It's not always sunny on Philadelphia 1-11-2013
Having just recovered from an injury and looking to avoid any avalanche danger on Friday, I wanted to find a moderate snowshoe day trip. With clear skies in the forecast, there would have to be views and of course I was also looking for a summit I had yet to visit. Philadelphia Mountain off of Highway 2 fit the bill.
I missed the sunrise under a thick fog on hwy 522 and pulled into the Lake Serene trailhead parking lot at 815.There were two inches of snow at the trailhead and around 3 or 4 feet at the summit of Philadelphia Mountain.The first mile of trail follows an old road and the few inches of inconsistent snow is fairly well packed. Just before the junction to Bridal Veil Falls fresh powder begin to obscure all but the occasional hint of a trail, and my lack of familiarity with the area provided several minor route-finding challenges on the way to Lake serene.
I donned snow shoes to cross the open snow field just before the lake, which was frozen over and covered in a solid blanket of snow. As I made the remainder of the ascent a light fog would periodically roll over the top of Mount Index and into the basin, obscuring the sun add it approached the ridge.
I was pleased to find several small sections of cascade concrete, the first I've seen of it this year. I reached the summit in just over 5 hours breaking trail add a moderate pace.
I could see that the sun would be setting behind Mount Index shortly so I could leave changed into a fresh pair of socks and hurried down, stopping shortly at a small opening to attempt some pictures of Frozen Mountain through the trees and the clouds.
I noticed a set of footprints in my trench that seems to have turned around just before the lake .
After crossing the snow field I passed a solo hiker on his way up who was stoked to hear that he would make the lake with some daylight left.
So if anyone is interested in visiting the area this weekend, there is a decent trench to Lake Serene, and a round trip of tracks to Philadelphia Mountain by one pair of snowshoes and groomed by one squatty dog.
Click here to view a map of my route