Kelly Borksnowshoeing, skiing

Christmas Tree

Kelly Borksnowshoeing, skiing
Christmas Tree

For our fourth year of the backcountry Christmas tree tradition, we chose the same general area as the first year (along the PCT near Snoqualmie Pass) but hiked much farther along the PCT.

It's a spot we visited earlier this year, about halfway up to Kendall Katwalk, and knew would be full of various sized evergreens. We took an alternate route from what we did in the summer, since it's winter time and I had just recently hiked the Kendall Katwalk trail in the snow. The commonwealth snowshoe trail stays low in the woods most of the time, avoiding all thy avy chutes, and then heads up to rejoin the PCT quite steeply... or at least we think it's steep. We're not totally sure since we took a wrong turn at the first creek crossing, and ended up having to make our own trail back to join up with the PCT. 

The slopes around the meadow were great for the skiers to get in a few quick laps, while our snowshoe pal rocked out to Christmas tunes in our "basecamp". We had awesome weather, and even got a little bit of a sunset as we settled in for our backcountry Christmas feast: ham, peas, mac and cheese, applesauce, mashed potatoes, gingersnaps, and a little red wine.

Unfortunately, our stove fuel died halfway through heating the ham, soooo we mostly had wine and cookies while we watched the tree lights get brighter. We packed things up early, opting for burgers at Snoqualmie Pass instead. We ran into some routefinding drama on the way back down, taking a "shortcut" (to avoid another stream crossing) put us into a ravine above a cliff band... not my most favorite version of this hike, especially when traveling by headlamp... but we stayed calm and climbed our way back to the trail.

On the positive side, we got to see some super cool night views of Guye Peak lit up by the night-skiing lights from Alpental, and the burgers were some of the most delicious burgers I've ever eaten in my whole life :)