Access: Norse Peak Trailhead
Round Trip: 8.5 miles
Elevation Range: 3960′-6856′
Gear: microspikes and snowshoes packed but not used
In an effort to avoid the potentially dire Thanksgiving Day weather, I decided to move our pilgrimage to the peak ahead by two days. While turning onto Crystal Mountain Boulevard, I noticed that the closure of Highway 410/Chinook Pass was underway. Glad we visited Crystal Peak last week.
Many cars drove past and headed to the ski resort as we were getting ready by the gate. Since Crystal Mountain didn’t have much snow on it, I assumed those cars belonged to resort workers in preparation for this week’s snowfall. Snow free trail in lower parts of the Norse Peak.
At the last switchback, before the trail began to contour the big gully below Point 6304, pup started barking and proceeded to run downslope for a short while before returning. Later when another hiker showed up on the summit with his pup, I realized it wasn’t the deer that had alerted mine earlier.
In anticipation for snow in the upper basin, I had packed both snowshoes and microspikes, but ended up using neither. Higher up the trail was mostly clear of snow; parts through the burned forests were covered in thin ice but avoidable. Nice to finally be able to hike the trail in its entirety since black pup’s and my first visit eight years ago.
This was Logan’s first time on the peak; he hailed from Iowa and has been visiting family in the Seattle area this past week on a school break. He’s been busy hiking every day to places like Mount Ellinor, Mount Townsend (not Townsend Mountain), and Mount Si. I told him to consider starting his own blog called One Hike A Day!
Apart from checking out the usual gorgeous and expansive views, we ended up talking the time away for nearly two hours. After Logan and Haggard left the summit, I stayed behind for more photos before heading back down. Near the bottom, we met another hiker as he was coming up the trail.