|Other other two companions for the hike: Michael's brother Ariel, and our dog Unkai.
|The mushrooms growing on the trees seem to have their own towers/chimneys/hats of snow J
|One of the glimpses out of the valley of the peaks beyond J
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
And a month and a half later, we again sought the calming respite of the snowy mountainside, this time at another of our favorite hiking spots: Mount Rainier National Park.
|Evidence of the many passersby along this secluded National Park Road: icy footprints left in the shady sections J
|Celebrating the glory of Mount Rainier J
|And enjoying a break on the steep, 1200ft climb up to the ridge-line along Pinnacle Saddle (6100ft).
|The beautiful view of Pinnacle Peak, beckoning us to keep climbing J
|And we're getting closer!
|Michael and I enjoying the view (hmmm... slightly ironic??!) of Mount Adams after the short but strenuous snow-shoe climb
|Mount Adams on the left, and you can just make out Mount Hood down in Oregon towards the right
|Mount St Helens
|And of course, the magnificent Mount Rainier, as viewed back toward the north-side, on the other side of the valley J
Going down proved to be much quicker and easier than the climb up, thanks to the discovery of the glissade-descent technique we picked up from some fellow hikers (essentially: sliding down the steep slope on your backside!). Ariel added his own additional twist, going face-first: J
|And a final gift from our trip: a beautiful sunset along the drive home J