Icicle Ridge IV / 冰柱脊之四

I have not paid close attention to the weather report. And that’s why I just found out it had snowed east of the mountains right before Thanksgiving. I had bigger goals for today. But I wanted to play it safe and not to park in the snow again 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 followed the trail through many switchbacks in the lower elevation. There were more of them than I had remembered. Cashmere Mountain soon came into view after 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′. We continued hiking up 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 to see the views periodically.

Snow depth was similar to yesterday, at most shin deep. Though, there was more rock scraping with the snowshoes in shallow snow above the tree line. It started to get windy below the ridge. Then clouds began to roll in from the north. Soon, the Icicle Ridge Lookout was looming 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 headed 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 suddenly walked into a wintry landscape. The north wind gradually turned east as we approached the top.

The summit felt much colder. In fact, according to my GPS device, it was in the low 20s. We stayed out of the wind behind the ice-covered lookout boulder. The white rock looked much more intimidating than it did in the summertime. I poked around for a bit. Then I realized whatever we used before to get on top was now missing.

South view
South view

See more trip photos here.

Lookout Views Plus Outro

I decided not to try and get up on the boulder as it looked sketchy covered in ice. It was still cloudy on the north side. But we were able to enjoy views of the dark side of The Enchantments. The Icicle Creek Valley was also clear of clouds. After resting for half an hour, 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 got back down to the trees, I noticed new boot tracks in the snow. Though, they all turned around where we took a break to put on snowshoes. It was another wonderful day to be out in the beautiful weather!

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.

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