Probably the first mistake was trusting that I would properly plan a snowshoeing trip with Rob and Gregg from high school and their wives Beth and Kristen. We were looking for something short at Snoqualmie Pass with no elevation gain. Voila, the Commonwealth Basin.
Unfortunately, since parking was scarce we found ourselves at the trailhead to Source and Snow Lakes so we decided that'd be easier and even provided us with a destination instead of just a time limit to wander around in the snow.
Although it had been raining at the Pass lately, two days before our trip it started snowing and didn't really let up much. Happily, this meant we'd have almost a foot of good snow on top of a relatively solid base. Tally ho!
I'd been up to Source Lake before Clara was born (in fact I called from Source Lake to make sure Amy wasn't in labor to determine if Dan and I should continue up to Snow Lake), but we approached from the upper trail. This time we followed the river much more closely.
I had Clara on my back as well as her 20 pounds of insulation so I had no trouble staying warm. Even Amy was mostly warm, though her feet were a bit cold. We stopped a couple of times to allow some of the group to shed layers, especially those who started with five layers of clothing.
We started right about noon and after a couple of hours we were all getting a bit hungry. My recollection said the lake was just around the next corner. Or the next corner. Or over the next hill. Really. We did finally get there, but it was a while after I had promised a quick finish.
At the lake itself the wind was blowing and the snow continued to fall so after a few pictures we turned around to head back to the relative safety of the trees for lunch. Clara got a natural lunch from Amy while Rob broke out a mini bottle of cognac to warm our spirits.
The trip back wasn't terribly exciting, though it did go quickly. Perhaps that was because most of the hills we had climbed were tackled in reverse on our behinds. The first time or two were by mistake, but soon each hill required most of the party to sit down and push themselves down. Amy didn't have gortex pants on, but did make use of my avalanche shovel (always prepared, of course) and turned herself into a hurtling object of danger.
We came off the mountain to a tasty crockpot dinner, a couple bottles of wine, and a couple of dead-tired dogs. My "short" trip with "no" elevation gain wound up being about 4.2 miles with about 850 feet of gain. So I wasn't that far off after all.