Jan. 9, Snow Lake and the Thumbtack

Kelly skins toward the thumbtack rock, below Chair Peak
Hooked up with Kelly to tour away from the crowds.  Bluebird day across Western  Washington translated to layer of fog in Alpental valley.   We headed up valley, hoping to break through the cloud ceiling.  Unfortunately, as we hit snow lake divide, visibility continued to be poor.   With enough visibility to barely find our way, we dropped down to snow lake.  Turns were a mix of decent snow with crunchy turned up stuff and fallen crusty snow off any trees.   From the lake we headed back to snow lake divide and decided to go higher.  We headed up towards chair peak basin, searching for the elusive sunshine.   Finally we broke through!   Enjoyed great views of the surrounding peaks poking out of the clouds.   From the thumbtack we dropped straight down towards snow lake, enjoying good snow, along the shaded margins of chair peak.  The main gully was crusty, but then, back in the cloud, enjoyed pretty good turns all the way to source lake.

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