For Jason, the owner of SHOES-n-FEET Shoreline, winter isn't about staying indoors (although he is an avid follower of the Power 90 Extreme (P90X) home exercise system). This adventurer yearns for the freedom of the snowy mountains and the fresh open air, no matter how low the temperature gets. Luckily, Washington State offers plenty of opportunities for his favorite winter activity: ice-climbing. Here, he shares with us his recent trek up the Snoqualmie pass, culminating in this absolutely breathtaking photo from the peak. Thanks, Jason - and keep the beautiful pictures coming!
With the consistent cold weather in the mountain passes, a friend and I hoped to find some climbable ice up Snoqualmie pass. We met up and started up the pass at 5am. This was the perfect time to catch a glimpse of the Lunar Eclipse on Saturday, Dec 10th. The morning was cold but not a bit warmer than it had been. We were determined to get outdoors so it didn’t concern us much.
We geared up in the Alpental parking lot and headed out. My feet felt great in my climbing boots thanks to my Superfeet and Smartwool socks*. I battled plantar fasciitis years ago and don’t want it to come back. Smartwool are my sock of choice when climbing because of warmth and it helps cut down on blisters.
We spent some time picking our way up the side of the mountain between Snoqualmie Peak and Guy Peak. We worked our way up steep terrain to some cliff bands that hoped had some ice. What we found was beautiful, but not ice thick enough to climb. We traversed along the slope a ways toward the trail up that side of the mountain. The traverse provided some fun steep alpine climbing, which was icier than we would have thought. Once we had gained the main trail, we decided to not waste the morning but to zip up the Snoqualmie Peak. As we hiked toward the summit we took occasional side trips to explore steeper terrain and scout for ice.
The summit was above the low clouds, so we were blessed with beautiful panoramic views of the Cascades which included Mt Rainier, Glacier Peak and many more.
Regardless of what you set out to do, Mother Nature provides adventure and beauty for sure.
*Just in time for your favorite winter sports, the SHOES-n-FEET stores in Federal Way, Tacoma and Shoreline are offering a great sock promotion. Buy 3 pairs and get a 4th free! See here for details.
Check back soon! Part 2 our Winter Fitness Series is coming later this week.