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1/5 - Basic - Snow Shoe backpacking/camping trip January 2013

We had a blast doing this last year. We did a mix of group cooking and solo cooking, group cooking is fun but gets challenging with winter back packing. This will be one of the easier trips, so if you have been doing the daytime snow shoes and want to find out what an overnighter is like, but want it to be fairly easy, this will be your trip.

We found that 3-5 people per tent kept the tents toasty, I have extra loaner gear,still have snow shoes, I also have extra mountaineering tents, So if this sounds interesting to you, - Saul[masked]

We will do a gear check before we leave the Park and Ride, Snow camping is beautiful but challenging. I don't want to turn this into a survival expedition because people are unprepared. When you RSVP, please post the following information: Snow shoes - you have your own or you need to borrow; Carpool - you can drive or you need a ride. Tent - you have a 4 season tent or you need space

Any of the other gear on the "some people" portion of the list below that you can bring. Any dietary restrictions, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, etc.


Saul's bus route car pool to the carpool Leave house at 7:30 Cherie L (GUGO)

7:45 - Ravenna P&R - Les, Will (GUGO)

8:15am Eastgate Park & Ride -  Chuck Martin - driver (PNWHB)

8:45am - Issaquah Transit Center


Known Food restrictions - no peanut products in the meals I will refine lists and event info as we get closer to the actual date.


Carpools - I will post carpool info here, once people post that they can drive. Each rider should plan on pitching in $10 for gas, etc. to the drivers.

The trip will be moved to a different location, cancelled or rescheduled if the avalanche danger is very high. I have picked a route that is generally pretty safe, but I can't predict the weather 2 months in advance.

Route Information Updated 01/03/2012 - The planned campsite is along the trail to Source and Snow Lakes in the trees on the slope by the flat valley before the first avalanche chute. The hike in was a mile from the trailhead on Sunday but with the Cat track lengthened to the furthest back point I have ever seen it and taking out some of the winding sections the trail is now about 3/4 of a mile from the trailhead. With a few back and forth trips to carry firewood and parking cars down the hill, you can figure about 2-5 miles of snow shoeing on Saturday and with the hike back to the cars on Sunday another 3 miles.

The Cat track is a perimeter down hill run for Alpental skiers so we have to stay out of the way of the downhillers, they've paid for the lift tickets and we have not, besides it would hurt pretty bad if you collide.



My basic criteria for route selection was: 2 miles or less each way Less than 1k elevation gain No big exposure to cliffs on the way in. No routing in gullies or avalanche chutes No Lake Ice Crossing required. Camping were it is legal Along the I-90 corridor and not more than 90 minutes drive from Seattle. Can find it in a snowshoe guidebook.

Safety: Snow camping is fun, the scenery is typically awesome, you get to see places without the crowds we have at other times of the year. It also has different risks than summer hiking, namely avalanches and cold, we will need to address both. Avalanches will primarily be addressed through route selection and through utilizing the NOAA forecasts. Cold will primarily be addressed through gear selection and keeping things dry. Everyone needs to be in good shape and capable of carrying their own pack for the duration of the trip.

Meals - Meals will be team meals or solo, see below, I will make group coffee on Sunday.

So each person will probably want to bring therir own freeze dried meal for Sunday breakfast and Sunday Lunch, I will bring a bunch of packets of oatmeal for my tent team and a few extras for anyone that forgets to bring enough to eat. You will be hungry and if you don't eat enough you will probably wake up at 2am freezing your butt off. Gear: We will do a gear check before we start, anyone without appropriate gear will not be able to go with us. I have loaner gear of most things on this list, so if you need to borrow, let me know.

*** Please note: Actual Snow Shoe Route choices will be updated to reflect conditions including avalanche danger. Carpool time and location will remain the same. Snow shoe routes will be fairly flat and away from the slopes for safety reasons *******

Meals On your own - Saturday lunch, Sunday breakfast and lunch.

Group meals - Saturday Dinner. Meals will have a vegan option.


Saturday Dinner -Curried Eggplant, wine, Saul - (Eggplant, onions, tomatoes, peppers, curry, sesame oil, mushrooms, shaved brocolli, diced peppers, rice, olive oil)

Wine - Cherie L (GUGO), Chuck Martin (PNWHB)

Desert -  I'm thinking fruit dipped into a chocolate sauce fondue style. I'll bring chocolate and cream.

Chocolate - Les (GUGO), Fruit (diced apples, whole berries) - Sergey (GUGO), bananas -

kevin mathias(PNWHB), Cream - Josh (PNWHB), mandarins (Chuck Martin), dried fruit - Karli (PNWHB)

Sunday Breakfast is by tent team, talk to your tent mates and figure out a meal. Probably best to keep it simple, stuff that uses hot water for cooking it usually works best. I won't have pans to cook in, just for boiling water. I will make coffee that I will carry from tent to tent, so have your cup ready.

Tent Teams, these are inital and like all things in life I may have made a mistake and if I have, you'll help me make a correction, I expect that as more people figure out what tents they have and how big they are that this will change:

We will probably leave our gear in the vestibule so that we can all fit inside the tent more easily. The guys will get the outside walls so the women can be in the center and not get cold.

Everyone has a tent assignment, we still have extra spaces in most tents let me know if you don't like the one you have and we'll adjust it. The considerations I took into account were: Do I know you; Do you know each other; have you been flexible on mixed gender sleeping in the past (it makes the tent warmer, guys throw off more heat); known snorers, I started snoring last year when I gained weight, but it has gone away as I've gotten back into shape, I avoid packing a snorers tent since others may not sleep well. My tent assignments are just to get things started and figure out how much equipment we need, I'm fine with people re-assigning themselves. I only have 4 each 4 season tents, so that limits my loaners. If conditions are mild (low snowfall and low wind) then 3 season tents work OK, and if one breaks you move everyone into the remaining tents, but I prefer the reduced risk of using 4 season tents from the start. I do plan on digging a platform and walls for my tent in the snow to cut down on wind (that helps keep things a lot warmer), and will probably dig a kitchen for the group as well. My usual approach is to dig down about 1-2 feet and make a huge flat spot for the tent, put down a reflective space blanket and then put the tent on top of it, then dig a pit under the vestibule about 2-3 feet deep so that you can sit and put your boots on without having to be a human pretzel.

We'll meet at 8:45am in the Park & Ride and head out at 9:05. We expect to actually start snow shoeing about 10:30 and be in camp by 1:30pm. At that point it's a combo of set up tents, boil water for the next day and start dinners all at about the same time. We'll have a little over two hours before it gets dark and need to get a lot done. Hope to see you there. Saul[masked] or [masked]

More info [b]Reminders: Bring eating utensils, plates, cups, forks, spoons. Be prepared to help carry part of your tent, winter mountaineering or 4 season tents are 3-4x as heavy as regular backpacking tents (generally 7-15 lbs is common), so expecting someone to carry the whole thing for you is a bit crazy. Generally one person can carry the poles and stakes, another the fly, another the tent body makes it easier.

[/b] I am bringing loaner snow shoes for: TBD ; You need to bring your own boots or shoes to wear with them and keep your feet warm. If you like to use poles you'll need to bring your own. I am bringing a pad for TBD I am bringing an extra bag for TBD, but you'll need to carry it yourself. I still have a few extra pairs of snow shoes, sleeping bags, packs, and a few extra therma rest pads. Route - final selection will depend on weather, we will adjust. RSVP to this Meetup:


Preliminary Tent Assignments - let me know if you want a change


Saul Loaner (2 person) Marmot Alpinist- someone in this tent will need to carry it, Saul will loan it, but you still have to get it up the trail ;-)

Anil (PNWHB)

Anil Guest (PNWHB)



Saul Loaner (5 Person) Mountain Hardware Trango - someone in this tent will need to carry it, Saul will loan it, but you still have to get it up the trail ;-)

Sergey (GUGO)

Chuck Martin (PNWHB)

kevin mathias(PNWHB)
Karli (PNWHB)


Saul Loaner (3 person) Marmot Citadel, Saul will carry this one.


Cherie L (GUGO)


Gear List - I suggest packing a day or two early so you get stuff right.


Clothes - Multiple layers of non cotton (synthetic or wool) clothing. Some type of jacket, leg covering, boots, gloves/mittens and hat/cap.

Eating/Drinking Tools - Water container Food(your breakfast stuff that can be eaten as is or with hot water - oatmeal, meals in bags, bars, etc.) /snacks, eating utensils, knife, plates, cups, forks, spoons

Sleeping Stuff -  sleeping bag rated to 0F or even colder (during winter camping it's nice to have a bag rated 10-20 degrees colder than the forecast temperature, not so warm that you sweat but warm enough that you can sleep without shivering), sleeping pad, a few packets of little hotties if you need them.

Other items - sunglasses toiletries Snowshoes headlamp/flashlight Map for area we are going - Greentrails #207 Snoqualmie Pass, Compass, Water to drink for the hike up and to mix with the snow so I can boil you more water without wrecking my kettle.


group items - a few people need to bring these:

Tent, First aid kit, Stove, fuel



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  • Kahrin

    Hi Saul is there room for 2 more?.

    December 22, 2012

    • Saul_K

      Kahrin, we now have two spots open, let me know if you want them.

      January 1, 2013

    • Kahrin

      HI Saul, Unfortunately we wont be able too, we made other plans with friends, hopefully for the next one we'll be able to join you. Have fun :)

      January 2, 2013

  • Les

    Will and i are sharing a tent and I'll have a complete first aid kit (my brain will be on holiday though). I'll bring wine as well as the chocolate and fruit mentioned above

    January 1, 2013

  • Saul_K

    I'm looking for someone with the gift of convincing Alpental security that we can park overnight, we end up doing this drill every year, of they say no, then we'll do a different route, of you're up for this challenge contact me.

    December 31, 2012

  • Wanda C.

    Have fun! Be safe. : )

    December 31, 2012

  • Saul_K

    Kahrin, we are actually at the 12 person limit. I posted it here for a week and only 2 people had signed up, so I cross posted in PNWHB and it filled up in a few hours. I will post more of these here first so keep your eyes open.

    December 23, 2012

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