Icicle Ridge IV / 冰柱脊之四

  • Reading time:3 mins read

I haven’t paid close attention to the weather. So I had just found out about the snow east of the mountains. We had bigger goals for today. But I wanted to play it safe and not to end up like yesterday. So we went up to Icicle Ridge instead.

Icicle Ridge at last
Icicle Ridge at last

See more trip photos here.

Icicle Ridge at a Glance

Access: Fourth of July Creek Trailhead
Round Trip: 10 miles
Elevation Range: 2240′-7029′
Gear: microspikes, snowshoes
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: on the trail

Fourth of July Creek Trail

A last-minute plan change brought us to the Fourth of July Creek Trailhead. It had been nearly a decade since the black pup, and I went up to the Icicle Ridge Lookout. What better time to revisit the place than on a cold winter day? Like yesterday, I started the hike with microspikes.

The pup and I hiked the trail through switchbacks in the lower elevation. There were more of them than I remembered. Cashmere Mountain soon came into view once we crossed Icicle Creek the second time. The sunshine couldn’t have come into the shade any sooner.

Icicle Creek Valley in full view
Icicle Creek Valley in full view

See more trip photos here.

Snowshoeing on Sunshine

Summit block was visible below the old burn. Just like yesterday, boot tracks ended above 5000′. But we continued through to 5400′ before I switched to snowshoes. I must have misremembered the mileage. But the one-way distance felt much longer. I’d turn back periodically to check out the views.

Snow depth was similar to yesterday, at most shin deep. Though, there was more rock scraping with the snowshoes, especially in places above the tree line. It grew windy below the ridge. Then clouds rolled in from the north. Soon, the Icicle Ridge Lookout loomed from behind the trees.

The summit block
The summit block

See more trip photos here.

Icicle Ridge Lookout

We bypassed the summer trail junction and went straight for the lookout site. Compared with the semi-winter approach, the scenery on the ridgetop was utterly different. Without much of a transition, we had stepped into a wintry landscape. The north wind slowly turned east as we neared the top.

The summit felt much colder. In fact, according to my thermostat, it’s in the low 20s. We avoided the wind behind the ice-covered lookout boulder. The rock looked much grimmer than it did in the summertime. I poked around for a bit. Then I realized whatever we used to get on top was now missing.

South view
South view

See more trip photos here.

Lookout Views Plus Outro

I decided not to get up on the boulder. It also looked sketchy under the ice. It was still cloudy to the north. But we were able to enjoy views of the dark side of The Enchantments. The Icicle Creek Valley was also clear of clouds. After a half-hour rest, we then proceeded to go back down the ridge.

It was still early in the day. But the shorter daylight made it feel much later. Before we went back into the forest, I noticed new boot tracks in the snow. Though, they had turned around by where I put on snowshoes. It sure was another fantastic day to be out in the neighborhood!

South panoramic view from the trail
South panoramic view from the trail

See more trip photos here.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Vivian Hauer

    this is practically a scene out of “Frozen”. Very well done! I like the contrast between this series of photos (winter wonderland with Cody) and the series of photos you took with Cooper in 2009 Summer.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.