This day was pure pleasure from beginning to end! There was not a cloud in the sky, the sun was shining and it felt like Spring! And I shared it with a favorite hiking partner. The trail to Annette Lake is covered in very hard snow/ice for probably half of its distance. Micro-spikes are HIGHLY recommended and in fact, I experimented with just boots, micro-spikes, and crampons - and actually preferred the crampons - it was that slippery! We reached the lake very quickly and enjoyed the lovely quiet lake - where we saw no one all day. The scramble up Abiel Peak was our actual destination and we found a great route that included steep snow recommended only for experienced off-trail scramblers: around Annette's west side and then south-west up the slope to Abiel's west ridge, along the south side of the ridge where the slope is moderate, to the summit. We used ice axes and crampons due to the snow conditions. Our lunchtime view down to the lake was stunning, north to Stuart, south to Rainier, and west to Silver and Tinkham. Our up-route was so good that we simply re-traced our steps back to the lake and to the car - 8 hours car to car with a half hour lunch.
Trails for everyone, forever