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11/12/12 - Hurricane Ridge

Saturday was sunny, so we headed up to Hurricane Ridge to check things out. The road to the Hurricane Hill trailhead was closed and covered with a thin layer of snow, so we hiked from the lodge to the trailhead. We saw some wonderful things.

Just a touch of frost

The grasses are golden

That's the Hurricane Hill Trail. It's still walkable, but we were too tired to continue.

A red branched bush

Another view of the Hurricane Hill trail

The mountains and clouds

More mountainas and clouds

There is just enough snow to make things look beautiful.

The road

A view through the trees

Mount Angeles

Keywords: hurricane hill, hurricane ridge, winter


10/23/12 - Winter Is A-Coming In

There had been a few sprinkles of snow on Hurricane Ridge, but they largely melted during the day. Now, however, the winter snow has come in earnest. Hurricane Ridge Road was closed at Heart of the Hills and the webcams showed a blanket of white and, at times, near white out conditions. There's a chance it will melt before the real accumulation begins, but after our cool summer it is more likely it will not. We'll be keeping our eyes open. We may be snowshoeing before we expected to.

Snow on the ridge

Keywords: hurricane ridge, winter


10/14/12 - Elderberries

With the drought this year, we weren't sure if the elderberries near mile 13 of Hurricane Ridge Road would ripen. Well, they did, and they're looking pretty good. If you do stop to admire them, keep a weather eye on your rear view mirror. There's a lot to look at on the road to the ridge, so keep your eyes open.

Some ripe elderberries

Keywords: hurricane ridge, autumn


07/25/12 - Hurricane Ridge and Sunrise Point

We are usually more adventurous, but now and then we need to take it easy. We just weren't up to a real serious hike, so we parked at Hurricane Ridge and climbed Sunrise Point. That's maybe a 200 foot climb, and we never got out of key clicker range of our car.

This year spring came late and summer came later, and that meant that the rains lingered into July. Cool wet weather make for lush green vegetation and lots and lots of alpine flowers. Some years the lupines barely grow as they race to bloom before drying out in the summer heat. This year, they've grown and grown, and while they are blooming now, they are still early in the cycle with many flowers yet to come.

It's like this for all the flowers: a late start, a lot of green, and a lot of flowers. This may be one of the best years in a while for high country blossoms, and you don't even have to walk very far.


A great view of the mountains and the fields

Lupines in the foreground

Lingering snow

Avalanche lilies

Phlox

More avalanche lilies

Guess

A very lush field of lupines

We aren't sure about these, but they're pretty.

Another lupine view

A lot of lush green means more to come.

Keywords: flowers, high country, hurricane ridge, summer, weather


06/08/12 - It's Going to Take a Lot of Melting

We've started our seasonal Hurricane Ridge watch, waiting for the high country trails to open. There's still a lot of snow up there, and the webcam points at a southern slope, so it doesn't reveal much about how clear the trails are. Another useful resource is the real time Hurricane Ridge weather report which gives the snow level. The park posts its own trail condition reports, and while things are thawing, the cool spring means that much of the high country is still closed. We'll be heading up to the ridge now and then to see what things are like, and we'll post a note when we get our first high country hike of the year.

There was a lot of snow.

These ramparts are lower now, but there's still a lot ot melt.

We walked the road to Hurricane Hill a bit. When we last checked, it wasn't plowed far.

Keywords: high country, hurricane hill, hurricane ridge, spring, trails, weather


04/20/12 - Hurricane Ridge Report

We recently were up at Hurricane Ridge to see if we could do some snowshoeing. There was lots of snow up there, but it had been melted and refrozen and compacted so many times that it was rough going. We had traction, but it was hard to take more than a few steps before breaking through the crust or having to climb up or down one of the folds in surface. We didn't get very far, but we enjoyed some great scenery.

Amazing views

There was a sign warning about snow sliding from the roof - and snow sliding from the roof.

More amazing views

There is still a lot of snow.

The hours for the lodge store - open May weekends, then every day starting Memorial Day weekend

Keywords: hurricane ridge, snowshoeing, winter


01/17/12 - Hurricane Ridge

Shortly before the recent storms, we drove up to Hurricane Ridge and did some snowshoeing. The snow was crunchy having been compacted, melted and refrozen, but it was easy enough going with our steel foot claws, our snowshoes.

It was a cloudy day, so we managed to capture some of the strange color that the mountain sky gets when the air is unsettled. It was a good workout, and, now that the storms have settled, we're hoping to get back up there.


Some of the strange sky

A bit of blue sky - There were colors for every mood.

The mountains and a pale gray sky

Vancouver Island across the strait

More strange and angry sky

Hurricane Hill in the distance

The trail itself

Keywords: hurricane hill, hurricane ridge, snowshoeing


07/01/11 - Hurricane Ridge to Hurricane Hill

We've fallen behind updating our web page. That's because we've been busy. We've been into Seattle a bit - more on that soon - and we've been getting up to the high country. The road between the lodge at Hurricane Ridge and the Hurricane Hill trailhead has been plowed, but not yet opened to traffic, so we've been walking it and a tiny bit of the Hurricane Hill trail. It's rather hypnotic, and the flowers are already in bloom.

The avalanche and glacier lilies are among the first, but it is the scent of the phlox that is the real sign of alpine summer. In fact, it seems that everything is blooming at once. Everything is late, but everything is there. We aren't sure when the park will open the road, but until then, we'll use it as a trail. Spring has come to the mountains.


The snow is melting.

Phlox is back.

As are these little violets.

And more phlox

Early lupines

Indian paintbrush

Melting snow on the Hurricane Hill trail

Avalanche lilies

A high country mushroom

A glacier lily

And the mountains

Keywords: flowers, high country, hurricane hill, hurricane ridge, spring, summer


05/20/11 - Hurricane Ridge, Hurrah!

They say on the west coast, one drives to the weather one wants, unlike the east coast, where the weather comes to you, wanted or not. Well, this year we took our first drive up to winter at Hurricane Ridge. Granted, it is late May, maybe a month from the start of summer at sea level, but at Hurricane Ridge, winter holds sway.

There snow is well over ten feet deep, so we broke out our snowshoes. We didn't get far. There is a gap in those ramparts that kept us from the Hurricane Hill Trail. Besides, we were a bit out of shape for the steep climb back. Instead, we made our way over to the avalanche danger signs for a view of Port Angeles, the Strait and points north. The view to the south was pretty impressive too.

So, if you just haven't had enough winter, and are hoping, perhaps, for a bit more skiing, sledding or just trudging through the snow, take a drive up Hurricane Ridge Road for a little taste of winter. Then drive back down again.


The view to the south - mountains and valleys and snow

The ramparts

Still plenty of snow for trekking around on

Mount Angeles and the north

The ski patrol is still at the ready.

Keywords: hurricane ridge, weather, winter


10/26/10 - Speaking of Winter

We were just talking about winter on Hurricane Ridge, and its seems the snows have followed. The webcam at the ridge has been a bit hard to decipher lately with rain drops and white outs, but now things have settled enough to make out the fallen snow. There's quite a bit. The Hurricane Ridge weather station says that there's been about 20 inches which looks about right.

The first snow on Hurricane Ridge

Keywords: hurricane ridge, weather, winter


10/23/10 - Wild Sky at Hurricane Hill

Winter is teasing Hurricane Ridge even now. There's already a touch of snow on the lodge roof and a fair bit more fresh on the distant mountain tops. There's still a lot of autumn color, but now that is starting to fade. We started our latest hike with the mountains shrouded in white cloud and a light sleet, but the clouds parted and swirled. The sky was gray, nearly black, then white, then gray again, then blue. It was quite a show. It made up for the lack of marmots, now sensibly drowsing, we presume. It won't be long before the dominant shade is white, and getting to Hurricane Hill will require skis or snowshoes, so this might be a good time to say goodbye to autumn.

An unprepossessing sky

Autumn colors



Light and mist

Quickly moving shadows

Harvest gold - it looks better here than on one's refrigerator

Early snow

More autumn color

More wild sky

The glow of the sun

Keywords: autumn, hurricane hill, hurricane ridge, marmots, winter


08/28/10 - Hurricane Ridge

We were up at Hurricane Ridge and couldn't help but notice that autumn is coming.

Autumn is coming

Keywords: autumn, hurricane ridge


05/20/10 - Hurricane Ridge Update

The snow melts apace up at Hurricane Ridge, but there is still lots to go. We're still getting a fresh fall now and then. The webcam has been down lately, but you can watch the snow melt thanks to the snow sensor.

Right now, the little shop at the lodge is open on weekends, but it will be open all week starting on May 29th.


A wall of snow in the Hurricane Ridge parking lot - that looks like more than 78"

Keywords: hurricane ridge, weather


04/30/10 - Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane Ridge is still open, so if you want some late season skiing or sledding, head on up. There were signs of spring though. That snow geyser, was just the spew from one of the snow removal machines making its way towards the road to Hurricane Hill. The park folks are getting ready to open the road, maybe in a month or two. In the meantime, there is lots of snow to enjoy.

Old Faithful - the original snow geyser, a major attraction in Olympic National Park

Mountains

More mountains

Snow covered trees

The view from the roda

Keywords: hurricane ridge


03/06/10 - Snowshoeing Again

Now that the road is open again, we went up to Hurricane Ridge for some snowshoeing. The temperature was in the mid-40s, and the sun was shining brightly. The snow was a bit crunchy, but that's more a problem for skiers than snowshoers.

Of course, the parking lot was pretty full when we arrived before noon, but there were still a lot of spots. The little kids were all over the little sledding area at the west end of the lot, and the ski slope was full of skiers. It was great seeing so many people out and trudging around on the trail. We should add our thanks to the team that managed to get the road reopened before the snow melted. (That includes all you taxpayers out there.)


We weren't the only ones.

The mountains were as amazing as ever.

You can see the snow melt.

Keywords: hurricane ridge, snowshoeing, weather


01/20/10 - It Was Fun While It Lasted

These are some photos from our last snowshoeing trip up to Hurricane Ridge. As you may know, Hurricane Ridge Road is closed until early March, so this may have been our last snowshoeing trip of the season. We suppose it is a rule of the high country, carpe diem - seize the day.





Keywords: high country, hurricane ridge, snowshoeing


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