Thursday, January 19, 2012

New Years at Mt Rainier

I have been pretty slack on the blog lately.  Certainly not due to lack of time out.  It has been a great season so far with lots of playing in the snow and exploring our city.  Natalie and I made another attempt to get out into the Baker backcountry again and once again failed.  The weather was crystal clear when we got up to the parking lot and then as soon as we skied out of the parking lot a huge cloud bank came over Shuksan and we were soon socked in.  One day I will get her out there but it might be a while after that last failure.  I have been up to Baker a few more time helping out with a Mountaineers Level 1 Avalanche class and that has been a lot of fun.
But more recently Natalie and I headed out of town for new years.  This year we decided to do something nice and peaceful.  A good friend of ours has a family cabin just inside Mt Rainier National Park.  The cabin is out of cell coverage, has no running water, but does have a great fireplace and electricity.  We headed out right after work on Friday.   

Fondue Time
We got there Friday night about 10pm, and would have been there earlier, but we were stopped on Snoqualmie Pass for about an hour while road crews cleared a wreck.  There was so much snow they were turning you around (after an hour wait) if you did not have 4wd or chains.  Luckily we had both so we motored on past.  Had no trouble finding the house (we both sort of remembered its whereabouts from a previous trip) and began the weekend with cold beer we picked up from UBER on our way out of town.  Had two beers each and headed to bed.  The heated blanket on the bed was amazing!!!!  All weekend, it was a lifesaver as it was pretty chilly.

Saturday we slept late, drank coffee, had a late breakfast and got in an afternoon snowshoe.  Came back about 4:30pm, chopped firewood, stoked up the Kerosene heater, built a fire and settled in.  Natalie made cheese fondue, a fun treat, and cracked open a bottle (maybe two?!?) of wine.  We ended up drinking, talking and talking; next thing we knew the new year was upon us.  We rang in the New Year and were asleep before 12:30pm. Perfect.

Sunday, we got up earlier, had breakfast (bagels and eggs), and packed up for our cross country ski adventure.  We drove about 15 miles to Chinook Pass, where the road was closed, and hopped on the closed road.  It was a great, gradual climb and there was sunshine (for those of you who live in Seattle that is a large bright object in the sky that even shines in the winter)!  We went about 2 miles, had a snack of apples, raisins, chocolate and hot tea(!), and skiied down.  About 4 miles total and a great break with some fresh air and sun.  The snow was really soft up there. Came back, and snacked the rest of the evening as we sat in front of the fireplace for, literally, six hours reading books, chatting and eating.  So relaxing.

Monday, we slept until 9am, got up, lazily made coffee and breakfast, then proceeded to wash a weekends worth of dishes, pack the car and clean up.  We left about 1:30pm and arrived home 4:45pm.  A great weekend and we cannot wait to get back up there.

The road to Chinook pass
View off of the side of the road