Rosary Lakes

Saturday, January 8, 2011
Leader: Matthew Bell
SShoe: 8.5 miles, 1200 ft (Difficult)

I led this trip as the trip I thought I signed up to lead, which was not the same as the trip that people thought they had signed up for. I didn't update the trail miles or the elevation gain information from what the Online Sign-up system automatically adds for the Rosary Lakes destination. Because of this people signed up for a Moderate 6 mile snowshoe with 600 ft. of elevation gain, when what they snowshoed was actually a Difficult 8.5 miler with 1200 ft. of elevation gain. Worse yet I didn’t question the information on the sign-up sheet thinking that it was the same as what I’d led last year. I was corrected back at the trailhead that we’d actually snowshoed farther than the 6 miles I thought we’d done.

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We started out from Willamette Pass at about 8:20 snowshoeing our way east along the PCT. We made the turn north and arrived at the south end of Lower Rosary Lake to see two snowshoers on the lake enjoying the views. The skies overhead had patches of clouds and after descending onto the lake we were able to see Pulpit Rock and even Maiden Peak. We snowshoed along the eastern shore of the lake exiting around the headwaters of Rosary Creek. On the north end of the lake we headed up the ridge between the lower and middle lakes. We stopped to get some photos as it seemed that we were directly below Pulpit Rock. We snowshoed along the east shore of the middle lake and followed the narrow passage that connects the middle and north lakes before rejoining the PCT above North Rosary Lake. We climbed up onto Maiden Saddle breaking for lunch, at about 11:45, behind some trees on the ridge to seek shelter from the breeze.

After lunch we followed along Taits Trail along the ridge behind Pulpit Rock. Passing just below one of the backside ski runs, we were able to watch skiers zoom by. As we snowshoed along the ridge the breeze continued and some dark clouds began to pass overhead. During breaks we could see down onto Lower Rosary Lake and over to Maiden Peak whose top was now obscured by clouds. We could see not only our own tracks around the eastern shore of the lower lake but the tracks of more adventurous snowshoers who had snowshoed directly across the middle of the lake detouring in the middle creating a little upside down “J” in their track.

We descended down the south end of the ridge to come back to the south end of Lower Rosary Lake. The breeze was out of the north so we didn’t return to the lakeshore. We headed for the PCT and I misinterpreted 2 blue diamonds for about 20 ft. that don’t seem to be part of any trail in the area.

We followed the PCT back to Willamette Pass. Along the way we were briefly dusted by some very fine snow. We also passed our second group for the day, this time it was 3 cross-country skiers with a dog. We arrived back at the trailhead beside the bunny slope at about 3 p.m.

Members: Matthew Bell, Lynn Meacham, Daphne James, Jolynn Fabiano, Brad Bennett, Art Kearney, Keiko Bryan. Nonmembers: Robb Mills, Kellee Blanchard, Tom O'Brien, Janice Suratt, Sheila Barry.


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