2017/2/4 – Frenchman Coulee VI / 法蘭區深谷之六

2017-02-15_06-13-45
Echo Basin

Photos from this trip can be found here.

With winter storm warning and travel restrictions, eastbound I-90 traffic was moving much slower than usual. Spin outs and reckless semi truck drivers between exits 47 and 52 made driving over Snoqualmie Pass in snow showers juuuuuust a tad bit more exciting. Weather and traffic calmed down significantly just before reaching Easton.

More snow than anticipated in Frenchman Coulee. I knew snowshoes probably weren’t necessary, but I packed them just because. Judging by the one car parked on south side of the road, there was at least one other person in Echo Basin whom we never saw. As with the trip from a year ago, we traversed counterclockwise on coulee rim starting from the southwest corner.

Four to six inches of snow on average, but packed enough that I never got to snowshoe. Covered in a white blanket, the area looked drastically different but more aesthetically pleasing compared with a year ago. Not terribly breezy at the start of the scramble, wind eventually died down as the afternoon rolled on.

Eastern end of coulee above a frozen waterfall marked our halfway point. Pups and I took a break, ate, and grabbed some photos. There I spotted boot tracks of the other hiker who appeared to have traversed in the opposite direction earlier in the day. Western sky began to exude vibrant colors through storm clouds one hour before sunset time.

We finished rest of the traverse through basin’s northern rim, where snow wasn’t as firm yet manageable. Also checked out some of the climbing routes on sunshine wall, as we slowly made our way back down into the basin and hiked out.

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