We decided to head to Snoqualmie Pass to try out some new gear for the Fall hiking season and pre-winter adventurous.
This was a continued exploration of the area similar to other hikes we blogged about in this area:
We choose to try out some of the trails at Alpental which we had never tried before. We did not arrive too early since it was very rainy and it turned out that the parking lot was not 100% full at 9:30 AM.
It was very nice to see how low the snow line was when we started the ascent on the trail to Snow Lake. After only 150-200 feet of ascent, we could already where snow was sticking and remaining,
This was a great opportunity to test out some new gear we wanted to try out from REI to determine its suitability in this weather and region. We both wanted to try out the prAna stretch Zion pants which were both water resistant as well as quick drying. These were fantastic for repelling both the rain and snow and did not get cold, wet or persistent despite the inclement weather.
Now, lets mention shoes. On these trails with the water and snow, there are a LOT of waterfalls crossing the trail and despite the large rocks, you are going to bet your shoes wet — guaranteed 100%. And the rocks are sharp and pointy. This is where I wanted to try out the Ecco Gortex Exhike boots. These were a great choice for the cool weather, rough terrain and the constant water streams.
In addition to the waterfalls, there are a lot of rocks and steep pseudo-steps on the trail that are very stable, but very precarious to step on with one foot. This is where we recommend hiking poles for both the ascent and the more difficult descent when the rocks get slippery from the snow. We found the low cost REI trekking poles were a great and perfect for this environment,
By the time we ascended 1,500 feet and 2 miles, the snow was starting to actively stick. The picture does now show it, but over an inch of snow had started to collect on parts of the trail and rocks where there was no running water. You can almost see the snow falling down on my watch in the next photo.
Last, but not least, I wanted to try out my new adventure hiking watch from Breitling. More specifically the Emergency Watch which is the bets choice for now GPS data, but it can be used if you every trek off the trail, get hopelessly lost and need assistance. It is the latest in my Breitling collection and very thankful for Alvin Goldfarb in their procurement of this specialty watch from Switzerland for our fall hiking gear collection.
Yes it is a big watch and you do need larger sleeve outwear to comfortably wear this piece, but you get even more comfort knowing the transmitter and beacon are fully charged if you need it during an emergency,