The title of this post is slightly dishonest. It snowed all week long and the mountain had a couple of feet of fresh powder. The traffic was steady up the mountain and the parking lot to snowshoe where we wanted was full. We didn’t let it stop us, but our detour added so much extra time we couldn’t make it to the top. It was a stormy day anyway, so the motivation to get there had waned. On a good day it is a 1.5-2 mile hike to get to 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains. We will have to try this again on a sunny day.
We ended up parking at the ski resort and hiking through a multi-use corridor to get to the trail head. This added almost an extra hour, but it was beautiful and peaceful. We passed a high school cross country ski meet, snowmobiles, and a meadow in between two mountains.
Once we made it to the trail head, we felt warmed up and ready to go. Oh, but it was steep. The bottom is already at about 6000 feet elevation and my lungs weren’t happy. I kept having to stop and catch my breath. My lungs began whistling and it wasn’t long before I started wondering how far we should go. We decided to just try to get above the tree line, but even that seemed like we were asking a lot. In the back of our minds we also worried about getting back before the kids ski lessons were over. On snowshoes there is no easy way. It’s kind of all hard, which is part of why we like doing it.
In the end we hiked a little more than 4 miles round trip, which is impressive for a first snowshoe of the season. We would have easily made it to the top of Tumalo Mountain if we would have been able to park at the trail head.
This trip wore us out more than anything we have done in a long time. We were instantly tired and sore. I have a pretty decent blister in a strange place on my foot. The good news is our fear of not making it back in time, left us with plenty of time to get a drink and enjoy the lodge. The mountain was packed with people and we were able to just relax and enjoy without being affected by the crowds.
If you are looking for a good, tough workout in the winter, I do suggest snowshoeing.
We shared the trail with Snowmobiles and had a small stretch along the highway.
I made Cheerio Treats. They were perfect when burning calories like a machine! I also had a GU Gel, which saved me when I felt so hungry, but not really at a stopping point. GU is one of my favorite endurance fuel brands.
One more thing that I brought that made me happy…warm apple cider in my Hydroflask! I can’t say enough about how nice it is to be in the middle of the trees on the side of a mountain and drink a warm beverage.
To get to the trail head we walked through a multi-use corridor.
And finally the most fun thing we saw. There is a resort that operates past the road closure. They have some sweetly upgraded vans to take you to the resort and back. I really need to go there sometime in the winter.