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10/09/08 - First Snow at Lake Angeles

The Lake Angeles trail is one of our favorites. It climbs over 2400' passing from rain forest to alpine forest; it leads to an amazing mountain lake surrounded by fantastic ramparts of stone, and it is only about 10 minutes from our house. Every climb is different. Sometimes the trail is lined with trilliums. Sometimes it leads from rain and fog to brilliant sun. This time, it took us into the land of winter.

The skies were cloudy at the trailhead, and the trail was wet from recent rain, but the real treat started around 1700' above the parking lot. Here we saw the first dustings of snow. Most of the trail was clear, but here and there a patch of snow made it through a gap in the canopy. As we continued to climb, we could see the light snow. It would stick to trees and mosses but melt on rocks and the trail itself.

As we climbed, it grew colder, and the light snow became constant. We entered a wonderland of winter. Our traction was good and the weather well above freezing. The lake beckoned. We had to see what the snow was like around Lake Angeles proper. Somehow, we pressed on and were well rewarded for our efforts. Clouds hid the ramparts, but the white accent of snow made everything look magical. The little island seemed something of Arthurian legend.

Every climb is different.

Clouds hid the ramparts.

The mystic isle

An enchanted lake - Is that a hand with a sword?

More winter wonderland

Another view of the isle

Even a light dusting of snow makes the familiar seem different.

A simple shrubbery

The trail was clear.

Snow on the trail, but not very much

One of the rocky outcrops along the trail

Snow on the moss

Keywords: lake angeles, winter, trillium