2011/5/30 – Mount Teneriffe III / 坦納利弗山之三

Kodak moment on Mount Teneriffe
Kodak moment on Mount Teneriffe

Today marked the one-year anniversary of my goal to hike once a week, so it was a special hike. It began with our hike to Mount Washington a year ago today; since then we have been hitting the trail every week. The boys have been on every hike with me, except for the ones I thought were too strenuous and/or technical to bring them along. They love the freedom of hiking and I enjoy seeing them running around carefree.

The original plan was to hike Green Mountain, since I had already done Teneriffe twice before with one being an unsuccessful attempt. I wasn’t able to find recent reports on Green Mountain, so I followed Google Maps directions to get to the trailhead by taking Middle Fork Road (NFD Rd 5060), going counterclockwise, and connecting with 9010-1. I wonder why Google Maps didn’t show Mount Si Road as an alternate route option. Anyhow, the gate at the 5060/9010-1 junction, approximately 5 miles farther in from Mailbox Peak trailhead, was closed. Unless I was willing to bushwhack after crossing the bridge past Granite Creek, I saw no other ways of crossing the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River. I scratched Green Mountain off my list for the day and turned around and drove to Mount Teneriffe trailhead. A trip report posted the day before indicated that the snow was fairly packed and there was no need for flotation devices. I left the snowshoes in the car and took just the poles and microspikes with me.

I never knew how unpredictable the weather was west of the Cascades until I started hiking nearly three years ago. The forecast indicated that weather was going to be mostly cloudy, which means the sun would (hopefully) turn up at some point. Well, it turned out to be cloudy with a high chance of precipitation, so I did not expect to see the sun at all during the hike. There were five other vehicles when I pulled into the parking area.

The service road was uneventful as per usual, we walked and took pictures whenever possible. It had started to drizzle soon after we started hiking and it stayed like that the entire way. Snow finally showed up at around 3,300’, just before the Mount Si/Mount Teneriffe trail junction. Quarter of a mile after passing the junction, a group of three were just getting ready to head back down after turning around half a mile ahead in fear of post holing to the top. We spoke for a few minutes and the dogs and I continued on. Five minutes later I met another party of two who had gone to the top and back. They said it was totally doable without snowshoes and that got me pretty psyched about finishing the hike.

There was a clear footpath on the ridge, all the way through the dense forest and to the top. There was no need to look for red tape like I did the time before minus the snow, and that made the climb much easier and more enjoyable. We didn’t stay at the top long because there was nothing to see with the mountain submerged in thick clouds. The dogs ate and I took some pictures, then we headed back down. We didn’t see anyone else on the trail until a biker passing us about one mile in from the trailhead.

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