Saturday, January 21, 2006

Mt. Si (winter)

Quick facts
Driving distance from Seattle: usually less than 1 hour
Hiking distance (both ways): around 8 miles (13km)
Elevation gain: 3,400ft (1,050m)
Green Trails Map: partially on 206
You need the NW Forest Pass to park at the trailhead



While this hike has a respectable elevation gain of 3,400ft, it starts rather low so in the winter it is much gentler than other seemingly easier hikes deeper in the mountains. Matt and I hiked Si in the middle of January of 2006 (this was a reasonably snowy winter, unlike the year before) and we did not encounter snow until about 2/3 of the way to the top. Because there was a fair amount of traffic on the trail, the snow was well packed -- it was nice on flatter stretches but on steeper parts the trail was sometimes icy and slippery. Hard rubber boots were helpful for getting decent traction (crampons would have been an overkill though Yaktrax might have been nice).

Clouds were low so we didn't get much of a view from the top (see the picture) but we did have peaceful and relaxing lunch on the snow-covered rocks.



Driving directions:
see my earlier post for more detailed practical info.


Resources

The following book is a great starting point for those who are too impatient to wait for the summer to start hiking: