Talapus Lake (Jan 14, 2017)

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talapus_lk_coverConditions: snowshoe
Gear: snowshoes
Map: USGS Bandera
Area: North Bend, WA
Reference: Snowshoe Routes Washington
Stats: 9.35mi, 1609' gain (round trip)

Time for a snowshoe trip! Lots of snow lately. Avy conditions seem like they have been wierd lately. Lots of wind slabs. This trip seemed like a good option for today when avy conditions were moderate (low), though I did notice in Nelsomn's Snowshoe Routes In Washington that if avy potential is moderate or higher one should avoid the trail component of the hike. The trail is always in the trees but very likely there are some open slopes up the flanks of Bandera Mtn (not visible) that could slide in higher avy conditions and have an effect down lower in the trees along the road to the trailhead and along the trail to the lake.

It was cold, really cold. We started out really low on the road. There were reports of cars/trucks getting stuck in the snow on the road up to the trailhead. When we arrived, there was a double snow berm right off 90 blocking auto access to the road. Oh well...made for more miles today. Just getting to the TH from where we parked it was 3.9mi and 1310' gain (to the lake, on trail, it was another .9mi and 299' gain).

The road was really well compacted. So was the trail all the way up to Talapus Lk. We used snowshoes after we got to the trailhead but I'm guessing one could have got to the lake without them.

If we had been able to start closer to the trailhead, it would have been nice to extend the trip up to Olallie Lk (another 1mi and 520' gain from Talapus Lk). But, considering our low start, Talapus Lk would be our turnaround. We reached the lake, found a nice flatish spot along the frozen lake shore and had lunch. We didn't linger too long...it was cold. We headed back down the way we came up. There is a good beat down trench the whole way to the lake.
Talapus Lake Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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