Blue's Boots

Andrea's adventures on the trail…

MTTA Bruni’s Snowbowl Hut

My husband and I along with 3 friends had a wonderful 3-day snowshoe trip to MTTA’s Bruni’s Snowbowl Hut in perfect snow conditions (MTTA = Mount Tahoma Trails Association). MTTA is south of Mount Rainier, and when it’s not snowing with white-out conditions, the view of Mt. Rainier from the Snowbowl hut is incredible! We were lucky to get a 30-second window of time where we could see the mountain. It’s approx. a 3.5 mile snowshoe up to the hut along forest service roads. We had several inches of beautiful fresh powder, and it snowed most of the time we were up there.

The hut is a fully stocked, heated cabin that sleeps 14 people in an open loft on the upper floor. There is a propane heater/stove and a propane cooking stove. Water comes from collecting snow from outside and melting it by the propane heater, then filtering it. Works great if everyone who is staying there helps out to do their part. The kitchen has everything you could possibly need. The best part about staying here is that you don’t have to backpack your tent, cooking stove or utensils, etc. Bring your food, clothes, and sleeping bag and everything else is there waiting for you!

I can’t wait to get back out there again with friends, we had a great time in an absolutely beautiful setting. Topping the trip off with lunch at Cooper Creek Inn was a perfect ending.

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Tanning in Washington in Jaunary

It IS possible to work on a tan in January in Washington State… you just have to hit the mountains on a bluebird day, wear a tank top, bring an air mattress and a picnic lunch, and enjoy the day!!!  This was above Paradise at Mt. Rainier this past weekend.

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Paradise snowshoe – MRNP

There’s a saying in Washington, “We don’t tan, we rust.”  I certainly feel like that often, but sometimes we get lucky and have a few glorious winter days where it’s much warmer up on Mt. Rainier than it is in the lowlands. In wintertime, I live for those weather inversions! THIS is how I like to get a winter tan, and get a little bit of vitamin D to get through these short winter days 🙂 I only wish I’d had shorts on.

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Mt. Rainier Snowshoe

Mt. Rainier keeps calling me back, and I never get tired of spending time with her. Unfortunately there’s not a lot of snow up there yet this season, but enough to snow-shoe and spend a day in the sun 🙂

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Another day in Paradise…

Last week Frani and I headed back up Rainier to Paradise – can’t get enough of the beauty up there! We headed up the Skyline trail, up and over Panorama Point, and up a bit further from there before starting our glissades down toward Mazama. It was another tank-top day on the mountain, and 5 days later I’m peeling from sunburn like a snake loses it’s skin. Note to self—- next time, RE-apply sunscreen several times, and use at least SPF 1,000!!!

We had a hard time finding the trail down from Mazama Ridge to the road, so ended up doing a few crazy short glissades down a nice and steep embankment before finally getting down.  All in all, another wonderful day in Paradise 🙂

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Panorama Point in the snow

Fran and had a most glorious, wonderful, fantastic, warm, sun-burning day on Easter snow-shoeing up and over Panorama Point from Paradise at Mt. Rainier. I’ll admit, I had tried snow-shoeing up to the top of Panorama Point a few weeks ago and chickened out, turning around and sliding/clawing my way back down, vowing that I WOULD get up there some day. Easter must have been magic, because I got to the top and it was amazing (like French-onion soup or coconut cake).

We got to the parking lot at Paradise just before 8 a.m. and started the nice hike up Skyline Trail, then followed a bunch of others up the Panorama hill. We were very very blessed to have nice long, sharp fangs on our snow-shoes, because it was basically a 45-degree ice slope and others without snow shoes or micro-spikes were having a hard time. Hard to describe the view from the top, other than to say it’s incredible !!

Coming down the other side of Panorama, we got into a kind of sketchy traverse and ended up doing our first fun glissade to get out of it, then of course, since we were already wet and snow-covered, we just had to glissade down every nice hill we could find between Panorama and Mazama Ridge 🙂  Too much fun, think of it as an analogy between surfing vs. body-surfing and sledding vs. free-butt-sliding.

We stopped and had a picnic with incredible views of the Tatoosh Range, Goat Rocks, Mts. Adams, Hood, and St. Helens, then wound our way down Mazama Ridge and back to the Lodge. All in a a most glorious way to spend Easter, and one more check off of the ole’ Bucket List.

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White Pass Nordic Area – Snowshoe

The Nordic Ski area at White Pass (Hwy 12) has dedicated snowshoe trails as well as x-country skiing. It’s beautiful starting at the Yurt at Leech Lake, snowshoeing around the lake and through the forest or along the groomed trails. You can also connect with the PCT here and snowshoe for miles and miles…. It’s a great winter escape for those of us whose knees will not ever ski 🙂

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Skyline Trail in Winter, MRNP

The Skyline Trail in winter is just as gorgeous as in summertime, but in a different way. There is great show-shoeing out of Paradise, hopefully on a crystal-clear winter day that allows you to see all the way to Mt. Hood in Oregon. It’s days like these that get me through our gray, wet, PNW winters….

p.s. It IS possible to work on a tan in winter in Washington, I’ve gotten sunburned in January

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Mazama Ridge, Paradise, MRNP

Frani and I set out from Paradise to Mazama Ridge on a day that was supposed to be decent weather, but since our Mountain can make her own weather, she can do whatever she pleases whenever she wants. We still had a great time, and got to see an absolutely spectacular mountain shadow sunrise that morning on the drive there. We turned around early because of weather, so this is one area that I definitely want to explore more when I get the chance.

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Skyline Trail out of Paradise, Mt. Rainier. 03/09/13

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