Tolmie Peak Lookout 11-27-2012
I Left the gate at 8:45 and started up the dry road. Snow showed up around 4000' feet and got as deep as 2-3 feet at the summit. Several others, including a few with snowshoes have made this trip since the bulk of the snow fell, a tightly packed trail to follow with little-to-no postholing. The overcast ceiling was well above Rainier and it was surprisingly warm compared to my recent trip to the Teanaway Valley. I used the Grindstone Trail to bypass the switchbacks in the road and before long I was looking at Mowich Lake.
Some elevation was lost on the way up to Eunice Lake, which is completely frozen over. I was a little tempted to walk a short distance out, but being alone that would have been silly and dangerous. Even with the snow softening up a bit the short climb to the lookout tower and the true summit beyond it took less effort than I expected.
The tower has been shuttered for the season and the door sealed with a few nails but the back side luckily provided some decent shielding from the intense wind that seemed to begin as soon as I approached the top. Views were astoundingly clear in all directions. This was my first look at Mt St Helens since childhood. I dug around in the snow on the true summit for a register but had no luck, so after a few rituals I hurried back to the shelter of the lookout tower.
|The true summit from the lookout|