What we're about

This group is for backpackers interested in year-round non-technical, challenging, and enjoyable hikes to the snow-covered ridges, frozen lakes, and icy summits of the Cascade mountains.

Most groups will be small, 3–8 people. If you like the beauty of snow, are committed to Leave-No-Trace ethics, love wildlife and panoramic views, please join us.

Our motto: "Always warm and comfortable!"

PLEASE READ ALL OF THIS BELOW!



Organizers are facilitators for the trips. Everyone shares responsibility together. There are no guides, first responders, or medical professionals provided. There is usually no phone service in the wilderness. Be prepared for the same risks and take the same precautions you would take if you were hiking alone. Arrive self-sufficient. Backpacking in the Cascade Mountains is dangerous and people get injured and killed doing it. None of the planned trips are risk-free. There are many risks including falling, hypothermia, and avalanches.

IMPORTANT: You can be new to snow camping, but this is not a beginners hiking group. You need to be fit and capable of hiking 8–16 miles in a day, with elevation gains up to 5000ft a day with a winter pack and snowshoes. Depending on snow conditions trip distances can be 4 miles (snowshoes on deep fresh snow), 6–9 miles (snowshoes on deep settled snow), 8–12 (snowshoes and microspikes on firm snow), and up to 16 miles (microspikes on occasional firm snow). Standard avi-gear (shovel, probe, and transceiver) is recommended, especially November–March, and sometimes required. Some hikes involve deep snow, scrambling, whiteouts, and high winds at high elevations and wet trails at lower elevations—all on the same trip. Be prepared, be equipped, and be responsible for your own navigation and safety. Always follow Leave-no-trace practices.

The goal is to have 2 trips per month, usually on weekends. Most will be 1 night, some longer. Some will be rescheduled if the weather is too cloudy. Group sizes will usually be 3–8, a few will be 12.

To attend, always agree to the RELEASE OF LIABILITY for each trip in the prompt questions (preferably print and sign the release https://winterbackpacking.com/release-of-liability.pdf, (https://winterbackpacking.com/release-of-liability.pdf))photograph it with your cell phone and send a photo of Signed Release of Liability to info@winterbackpacking.com or 425-678-5252 prior to the day of departure).

RELEASE OF LIABILITY

You must read and agree to this Release of Liability: I understand that during my participation in this Outing, I may be exposed to risks and hazards, foreseen or unforeseen, which are inherent and cannot be eliminated without diminishing the Outing. These inherent risks include, but are not limited to, the dangers of serious personal injury, property damage, and death (“Injuries and Damages”) from exposure to the hazards of travel, location, and weather. I agree that the Organizer has not tried to contradict or minimize my understanding of these risks. I know that Injuries and Damages can occur by natural causes or activities of other persons, animals, trip members, trip Organizers or third parties, either as a result of negligence or because of other reasons. I understand that risks of such Injuries are involved in adventure travel such as this Outing and I accept that I must exercise extra care for my own person and for others around me in the face of such hazards. I understand that on this Outing there may not be rescue or medical facilities or expertise necessary to deal with the Injuries to which I may be exposed. To the fullest extent allowed by law, I agree to WAIVE, DISCHARGE CLAIMS, AND RELEASE FROM LIABILITY the Organizer from any and all liability on account of, or in any way resulting from Injuries and Damages, even if caused by the negligence of the Organizer or other participants in any way connected with this Outing. I further agree to HOLD HARMLESS the Organizer from any claims, losses, Injuries and Damages caused by my own negligence while a participant on the Outing. I understand and intend that this assumption of risk and release is binding upon my heirs, executors, administrators and assigns. I have read the Outing description and this Release of Liability in its entirety and I freely and voluntarily assume all risks of such Injuries and notwithstanding such risks, I agree to participate in the Outing. I have read, I understand, and I agree to this Release of Liability.


Please Read the Discussion page for more information about this meetup group and gear requirements. Recommended reading: Avalanche Essentials: A Step-by-Step System for Safety and Survival, Paperback by Bruce Tremper, Mountaineers Books.

Learn more here: https://winterbackpacking.com/

Upcoming events (5)

Ingalls Lake (Overnight)

Eastgate Park and Ride

Near Ingalls Lake: Bring snowshoes and microspikes. https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/lake-ingalls https://opentopomap.org/#map=14/[masked]/[masked] Its a 2:10 drive from Eastgate to trailhead. We usually stop at a Starbucks for coffee and restroom break along the way. There’s no efficient Starbucks near the trailhead, but halfway, there is one in Cle Elum situated in a Safeway grocery store (but avoid grocery shopping if you can). Starbucks 804 W 1st St W, Cle Elum, WA 98922 From I-90, take exit 84 onto West 1st ST. The Safeway is on your right as you enter Cle Elum. Afterwards, follow the same West 1st St through Cle Elum (going East). This road becomes 903 (also 10 and then 970). After it bends left (NE) watch carefully for Teanaway Road on your left. Teanaway Road becomes Teanaway Road North Fork, then NF-9737 all the way to the trailhead. Its a long forest road. Hopefully you will not need them, but I recommend bring tire cables and a 30” bow saw in your car for all forest roads. Be sure to answer the RELEASE OF LIABILITY question in the prompt when you sign up. RELEASE OF LIABILITY You must read and agree to this Release of Liability: I understand that during my participation in this Outing, I may be exposed to risks and hazards, foreseen or unforeseen, which are inherent and cannot be eliminated without diminishing the Outing. These inherent risks include, but are not limited to, the dangers of serious personal injury, property damage, and death (“Injuries and Damages”) from exposure to the hazards of travel, location, and weather. I agree that the Organizer has not tried to contradict or minimize my understanding of these risks. I know that Injuries and Damages can occur by natural causes or activities of other persons, animals, trip members, trip leaders or third parties, either as a result of negligence or because of other reasons. I understand that risks of such Injuries are involved in adventure travel such as this Outing and I accept that I must exercise extra care for my own person and for others around me in the face of such hazards. I understand that on this Outing there may not be rescue or medical facilities or expertise necessary to deal with the Injuries to which I may be exposed. To the fullest extent allowed by law, I agree to WAIVE, DISCHARGE CLAIMS, AND RELEASE FROM LIABILITY the Organizer from any and all liability on account of, or in any way resulting from Injuries and Damages, even if caused by the negligence of the Organizer or other participants in any way connected with this Outing. I further agree to HOLD HARMLESS the Organizer from any claims, losses, Injuries and Damages caused by my own negligence while a participant on the Outing. I understand and intend that this assumption of risk and release is binding upon my heirs, executors, administrators and assigns. I have read the Outing description and this Release of Liability in its entirety and I freely and voluntarily assume all risks of such Injuries and notwithstanding such risks, I agree to participate in the Outing. I have read, I understand, and I agree to this Release of Liability. --- • What to bring You must have appropriate gear to attend. Arrive self-sufficient at P&R. Have 10 essentials (https://winterbackpacking.com/the-fifteen-essentials-for-winter-backpacking/). FOR GEAR REQUIREMENTS: CHECK THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW Have questions about gear? Use the comment section below to discuss gear and planning.

Huntoon Point (Overnight snowshoe)

Eastgate Park and Ride

Please join the waitlist if it is full. People usually drop out, so expect to go. This is probably one of the most scenic spots in the United States, with spectacular views of Mount Shuksan and Baker. It is situated next to a ski area and is perhaps the most popular spot for beginner snowshoeing. The route is probably 6 miles round trip and about 1000ft of elevation gain. If the snow is deep and fresh we may end up near Huntoon Point, otherwise, conditions permitting, we could hike over to Ptarmigan Ridge near Happy Bunny Butte which is less crowded, also known as Ptarmigan Perch (camping close to where the trail intersects to Iceberg Lake). Another option is to go about a mile further to the top of Ptarmigan, but I doubt conditions will permit it this early in the snow season. https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/artist-point-snowshoe https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/huntoon-point https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/ptarmigan-ridge Please follow Leave No Trace practices: https://winterbackpacking.com/rethinking-leave-no-trace/ Be sure to answer the RELEASE OF LIABILITY question in the prompt when you sign up. By attending you are agreeing to this release of liability. RELEASE OF LIABILITY You must read and agree to this Release of Liability: I understand that during my participation in this Outing, I may be exposed to risks and hazards, foreseen or unforeseen, which are inherent and cannot be eliminated without diminishing the Outing. These inherent risks include, but are not limited to, the dangers of serious personal injury, property damage, and death (“Injuries and Damages”) from exposure to the hazards of travel, location, and weather. I agree that the Organizer has not tried to contradict or minimize my understanding of these risks. I know that Injuries and Damages can occur by natural causes or activities of other persons, animals, trip members, trip leaders or third parties, either as a result of negligence or because of other reasons. I understand that risks of such Injuries are involved in adventure travel such as this Outing and I accept that I must exercise extra care for my own person and for others around me in the face of such hazards. I understand that on this Outing there may not be rescue or medical facilities or expertise necessary to deal with the Injuries to which I may be exposed. To the fullest extent allowed by law, I agree to WAIVE, DISCHARGE CLAIMS, AND RELEASE FROM LIABILITY the Organizer from any and all liability on account of, or in any way resulting from Injuries and Damages, even if caused by the negligence of the Organizer or other participants in any way connected with this Outing. I further agree to HOLD HARMLESS the Organizer from any claims, losses, Injuries and Damages caused by my own negligence while a participant on the Outing. I understand and intend that this assumption of risk and release is binding upon my heirs, executors, administrators and assigns. I have read the Outing description and this Release of Liability in its entirety and I freely and voluntarily assume all risks of such Injuries and notwithstanding such risks, I agree to participate in the Outing. I have read, I understand, and I agree to this Release of Liability. --- • What to bring You must have appropriate gear to attend. Arrive self-sufficient at P&R. Have 10 essentials (https://winterbackpacking.com/the-fifteen-essentials-for-winter-backpacking/). FOR GEAR REQUIREMENTS: CHECK THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW Have questions about gear? Use the comment section below to discuss gear and planning.

Excelsior Ridge (Overnight snowshoe)

Ash Way Park & Ride

Join the wait list if it is full. Probably 9–10 miles RT and 3500 ft elevation gain. Great views of the Cascades. Trail info: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/nooksack-river-to-excelsior-pass Road alerts: https://www.wsdot.com/traffic/trafficalerts/default.aspx? Avalanche Danger scale: https://www.nwac.us/ Be sure to answer the RELEASE OF LIABILITY question in the prompt when you sign up. RELEASE OF LIABILITY You must read and agree to this Release of Liability: I understand that during my participation in this Outing, I may be exposed to risks and hazards, foreseen or unforeseen, which are inherent and cannot be eliminated without diminishing the Outing. These inherent risks include, but are not limited to, the dangers of serious personal injury, property damage, and death (“Injuries and Damages”) from exposure to the hazards of travel, location, and weather. I agree that the Organizer has not tried to contradict or minimize my understanding of these risks. I know that Injuries and Damages can occur by natural causes or activities of other persons, animals, trip members, trip leaders or third parties, either as a result of negligence or because of other reasons. I understand that risks of such Injuries are involved in adventure travel such as this Outing and I accept that I must exercise extra care for my own person and for others around me in the face of such hazards. I understand that on this Outing there may not be rescue or medical facilities or expertise necessary to deal with the Injuries to which I may be exposed. To the fullest extent allowed by law, I agree to WAIVE, DISCHARGE CLAIMS, AND RELEASE FROM LIABILITY the Organizer from any and all liability on account of, or in any way resulting from Injuries and Damages, even if caused by the negligence of the Organizer or other participants in any way connected with this Outing. I further agree to HOLD HARMLESS the Organizer from any claims, losses, Injuries and Damages caused by my own negligence while a participant on the Outing. I understand and intend that this assumption of risk and release is binding upon my heirs, executors, administrators and assigns. I have read the Outing description and this Release of Liability in its entirety and I freely and voluntarily assume all risks of such Injuries and notwithstanding such risks, I agree to participate in the Outing. I have read, I understand, and I agree to this Release of Liability. --- • What to bring You must have appropriate gear to attend. Arrive self-sufficient at P&R. Have 10 essentials (https://winterbackpacking.com/the-fifteen-essentials-for-winter-backpacking/). FOR GEAR REQUIREMENTS: CHECK THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW Have questions about gear? Use the comment section below to discuss gear and planning.

Lake Colchuck I (Overnight snowshoe)

Eastgate Park and Ride

Join the wait list if it is full. This will be the first hike of Spring. We'll be camping on snow or ice, but winter is officially over. Probably 16-17 miles RT and up to 4700 ft elevation gain. The forest road is closed, so we have to hike that as well. That's why it is 16–17 miles. https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/colchuck-lake Be sure to answer the RELEASE OF LIABILITY question in the prompt when you sign up. RELEASE OF LIABILITY You must read and agree to this Release of Liability: I understand that during my participation in this Outing, I may be exposed to risks and hazards, foreseen or unforeseen, which are inherent and cannot be eliminated without diminishing the Outing. These inherent risks include, but are not limited to, the dangers of serious personal injury, property damage, and death (“Injuries and Damages”) from exposure to the hazards of travel, location, and weather. I agree that the Organizer has not tried to contradict or minimize my understanding of these risks. I know that Injuries and Damages can occur by natural causes or activities of other persons, animals, trip members, trip leaders or third parties, either as a result of negligence or because of other reasons. I understand that risks of such Injuries are involved in adventure travel such as this Outing and I accept that I must exercise extra care for my own person and for others around me in the face of such hazards. I understand that on this Outing there may not be rescue or medical facilities or expertise necessary to deal with the Injuries to which I may be exposed. To the fullest extent allowed by law, I agree to WAIVE, DISCHARGE CLAIMS, AND RELEASE FROM LIABILITY the Organizer from any and all liability on account of, or in any way resulting from Injuries and Damages, even if caused by the negligence of the Organizer or other participants in any way connected with this Outing. I further agree to HOLD HARMLESS the Organizer from any claims, losses, Injuries and Damages caused by my own negligence while a participant on the Outing. I understand and intend that this assumption of risk and release is binding upon my heirs, executors, administrators and assigns. I have read the Outing description and this Release of Liability in its entirety and I freely and voluntarily assume all risks of such Injuries and notwithstanding such risks, I agree to participate in the Outing. I have read, I understand, and I agree to this Release of Liability. --- • What to bring You must have appropriate gear to attend. Arrive self-sufficient at P&R. Have 10 essentials (https://winterbackpacking.com/the-fifteen-essentials-for-winter-backpacking/). FOR GEAR REQUIREMENTS: CHECK THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW Have questions about gear? Use the comment section below to discuss gear and planning.

Past events (35)

Hannegan Peak (overnight snowshoe)

Ash Way Park & Ride

Photos (1,416)