Nov 27, 1998
Cave Ridge. A solo snowshoe trip, first of season, inspired by the massive 4-7 feet of snowfall the preceding week. Parked at N end of Snoqualmie Summit Ski Area and hiked to horse trailhead of PCT, where snowshoes went on. Proceeded on rising NNE traverse into flat bottom of Commonwealth Ck., crossed several branches of creek, then hugged E base of Guye Pk. until reaching drainage coming down from Guye-Cave Ridge saddle. Climbed easy slopes along N side of this stream to saddle, then N to summit of Cave Ridge (Pt. 5270). Took same route down, except stayed N of creek around S side of Guye, coming down through small private ski area to Alpenthal Road. On way up, followed day-old snowshoe tracks from trailhead most of way to where they ended at 4800 ft. N of saddle, saving a huge amount of work. On way down encountered a maze of new tracks in basin, including boot prints up to 4200 ft. in saddle drainage. Up to saddle, surface was mostly crusty powder or, under trees, hard packed and even icy; above, it was increasingly deep unconsolidated powder. Snowshoes sinking in a good 18 in. last 200 ft. to summit, making for an exhausting, tedious, discouraging slog in my current mediocre conditioning. Weather clear at first, giving good views from saddle, especially of Guye, but clouds closed in above there, so could only see Snoqualmie from top. Opened up nicely again on way down, to show all of local peaks in snowbound finery as sun set. 3 hrs. 50 min. up 2 hrs. 35 min. down 5-1/2 mi. roundtrip and 2300 vertical ft.