I’ve been doing a few training hikes lately: loading the old rucksack up with 55-60lb, walking through forests and scrambling up peaks. The winter has been unusually warm, which has allowed me to access places that are usually off-limits this time of year without technical equipment. Yesterday I ventured out to Lake Serene, at the base of Mt. Index (just the other side of the Skykomish valley from Baring Mountain).
At a little over 7 miles (round trip) and only 2,000 feet elevation gain, this was a relaxing walk; a bit of an award to myself for completing the other, more difficult climbs.
The trail was snow free till about a mile or so before the lake. After that, there was a dusting of crusty snow — no more than an inch — and quite a bit of ice.
I ate lunch at the frozen lake, watched an avalanche on Index’s north peak, and raced the sun back home.