April?

Ryan and I decided for our 6th anniversary we wanted to be up in the mountains. At first Mt. Baker was the goal so that we could get a summit after our Adam’s weekend and because it seemed worthy of an anniversary trip.  As the weekend approached we realized that the forecast for snow was sticking and a whiteout on a volcano is the last thing you want.  So, instead we decided to head to Steven’s Pass for a day of front country followed by camping and backcountry on Sunday.

Snow Begins to Fall

As we began gaining elevation on our Saturday drive up to the mountains it became clear that winter was still in full force. It was snowing hard and we were smiling big. We arrived at Steven’s by about 9am and quickly hit the slopes. Oh man was that a good decision! We were treated to a day of waist deep powder and no lines. You can’t ask for more than that. All day we kept remarking how this was probably one of the best front country days we had had in a long while…and in mid-April!

Happy Anniversary! 

By 3pm our legs decided to call it quits and after a brief nap in the lodge we headed out to set up camp. We tried to find a secluded campsite but ended up deciding on the Steven’s RV parking lot. After another candlelight dinner, this time with champagne to toast to 6 years, we were invited to a bonfire with some RVers. While the fire kept us warm and the company kept us entertained, I am pretty sure I ended up more soaked than I would have been sitting in the tent since snow was still falling hard into the night. Finally, exhaustion was hard to combat and we headed off to our tent in the woods.

So Much Snow

Start of the Approach

Steep

We woke up to a mess of a parking lot and quickly headed over to the trailhead for Lichtenberg. We decided to ski something we had done before in case the whiteout conditions returned. The powder was deep and we were ready for some untracked slopes. The route we had taken earlier in the season no longer provided a steady looking snow bridge over the stream crossing so we hiked up the road a bit further before turning off.  The approach to Lichtenwasser Lake was mild although Ryan was breaking trail so he might have felt differently. We navigated one steep section with little trouble and were soon sitting on the lake eating the sandwiches I had been craving since I made them Saturday morning.

By now what was amazing powder was beginning to get sun affected. We continued up but knew that the summit of Lichtenberg was likely out due to avalanche conditions. As we caught our first glimpse of the peak we could see a natural slide right down the middle of it. We hiked just shy of the summit and converted.

Breaking Trail with Lichtenberg in the Background

Getting Closer

Cornice

Ready to Descend 

Saturday was definitely the better day but we had a good turn here and there. We made it back down to the lake and decided to see if a different decent route would more easily avoid the cliffs. It did for a while until Ryan told me to “open it up” and I quickly found myself almost skiing into the stream! We traversed left and picked our way though the trees until we finally hit the road. From there it was smooth sailing (skiing) back to the car. It’s always great when the forest roads maintain a constant downhill.

All in all, Saturday was amazing, it was good to be out on Sunday, and the anniversary weekend was a success.