Kendall Katwalk (Oct 23, 2016)

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kendall_katwalk_coverConditions: day hike
Gear: nothing special
Map:  USGS Snoqualmie Pass
Area: Snoqualmie Pass, WA
Reference: 100 Hikes in Washington's Alpine Lakes
Stats: 12.45mi, 2930' gain (round trip)

Good friends are priceless... Dani reached out a few days ago and we decided, sort of, to plan a hike. But is all depended on the weather. It's been cold and wet lately. If the weather was going to be mostly dry we'd head out on a hike. Something close since neither of us was interested in driving far. I suggested Kendall Katwalk. It's been about 7 years since I was last there and it would be nice to head back. Just getting to the Katwalk from the TH near Alpental is a good day hike. Going further would just make a long day trip really (really) long!

We got to the TH find several cars already there. The good news...blue sky and no rain. Perfect! It was chilly though so both of us made sure to pack several layers. The trail starts out in the forest and stays there for a while. Lots of mushrooms bursting out in the forest. The flowers are long gone but I do like the smells of decay, the late season colors...that Fall brings.

There are a few switchbacks early on and then one long rising traverse that just seems to go on forever. I'd forgotten how long some of these switchbacks are. Getting to the KK seemed to take forever.

Eventually the trail emerges out of the trees. Down below us I90 was hidden under the a blanket of clouds. we could see off to the north towards Guye Peak and Snoqualmie Mtn. The top of Snoqualmie Mtn was covered under a blanket of fresh snow. Winter is closing in...

Eventually Red Mtn came into view. The color of the rock there is so distinctive. I kept thinking to myself...when are we going to get to the Katwalk. The trail switched back but wait...it was taking us away from where I knew the Katwalk was. Oh yeah...we still had a little ways to go. Yep, I really had forgotten how far the Katwalk was from the trailhead!

Around the north side of Kendall Peak we hit a dusting of snow. It was patchy and not too deep. Closer to the Katwalk it got a bit more consistent and deeper. My guess is that earlier this week a few inches of snow had fallen. With the foot traffic it had become compact but thankfully wasn't yet icy. When I packed for the trip today I glanced at the microspikes but didn't think to take them. I need to start remembering to just stuff them in the daypack.

Just prior to getting to the Katwalk the trail runs high on the north side of the ridge. It was a bit windy. Then finally, we reached the Katwalk which itself is on the south side of the ridge and today was snow free. That won't last too much longer. Here at the Katwalk we decided to make it our turnaround point. We found a protected spot behind the rocks on the trail and stopped for lunch. It wasn't a long stop...it was too chilly. Finally it was time to head down. The clouds blanketing I90 had lifted. We weren't that far from the highway but it seemed to take forever to get back to the car.

So thanks Dani for reaching out. I've missed your company. Today was a great day to be out.
 
Kendall Katwalk Slideshow

kendall_katwalk_map
(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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