2015/2/28 – Green Mountain / 綠山

The mountain had long been on my list before the Suiattle River Road was reopened last October past the initial 12 miles.

Two other cars were parked at the trailhead when I pulled in. Skiers/snowshoers of the two cars were aiming to explore some unknown peak behind Green Mountain, and they left shortly after I arrived. Another car pulled in just before the pups and I started going up.

Snow level at 5,000 feet and snow was in great conditions. I put on microspikes as soon as snow and ice fully covered the trail, then switched to snowshoes when the snow deepened in the upper meadow. Thanks to the group before me, I followed their tracks all the way to where the south slope started to deepen. The group took the summer trail to the lower part of the ridge and made their way past the mountain. I on the other hand, went straight up the south face and met the ridge at 150 feet below the lookout. We carefully made our way up the ridge, stayed mostly left to avoid possible cornices on the right side.

We were the first ones at the lookout tower and enjoyed our first 15 minutes of solitude before other skiers and snowshoers triggered in. Only three sides of the walkway at the lookout were available for standing, the east-facing walkway had been permanently taken out, perhaps in fear of people accidentally falling down the east face.

More and more people showed up and the lookout got uncomfortably crowded. After taking my last few photos the pups and I started heading down the mountain. Most snowshoers and hikers took my tracks on the way up and packed down the snow pretty well, so it was easier to just plunge step down the slope.

After years of waiting, the mountain sure did not disappoint. It offered many of the spectacular views I had only been able to see in photos up until now.

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