I live under the shadow of Cascade Mountain and one of my goals this year was to summit it. It is a long haul though – with a 5-7 mile approach to the saddle and then 3 miles up a trail-less ridgeline to the summit. That means a minimum of 16 miles roundtrip. With little water access, I was leaving this for the fall when the temps dropped. It looks like I waited too long though – or didn’t time it right.
Another history professor joined me for our morning start at Big Springs. About a mile up the Big Spring Hollow Trail we hit snow but it wasn’t bad – 2 inches max in the shady spots. We made it up the 7 miles to the saddle and the views were great. Unfortunately, the 1-2 inches of snow on the ridgeline made it pretty slick. All of the rocks that might turn ankles were slippery. Moreover, the main ridgeline was up in the clouds. We opted to call it a day with the saddle. Instead of going back down the east side, we dropped down into Rock Canyon. Gorgeous, but such a rough crummy trail in parts. It would be fine for hiking but annoying to run on.