Features Feb 14, 2018 at 4:00 am

All of them are conveniently located off I-90.

Melakwa Lake Rich Smith


This is an amazingly irresponsible article. It's for beginners, right? People that are not from here and haven't hiked here? And this was written by a guy who has hiked around here for 2 years?

Let me get right to the most stupid dangerous thing. Granite Mountain trail. The trail crosses a south facing slope that features massive avalanches every winter. At least 3 people have died up there in avalanches in recent years. A beginner hiker should NEVER NEVER NEVER go to Granite Mountain in the winter, and maybe not in the spring either.

You cannot drive to the trailhead for most hikes in the winter, and most hikes are under tons of snow in the winter. Maybe an article on newbie hiking should mention that?

People are going to read this and then drive up to hike Granite Mountain trail this weekend, hoping to hike up to the rock formations and the huckleberries, that are currently under 10 feet of snow. And they will be walking right into an avalanche chute, if they even manage to get to the trailhead and start hiking.

What a horrible article. Why on earth would you want more people, particularity Johnny come lately hikers, out on the trails? This is dangerous and terrible for the environment.
I was about to comment but @1 beat me to it. Now is not the time for Granite Mountain. Neither is next month, or April, or May, or really, even June, depending on snowpack. People get killed annually up there crossing or attempting to ascend (?!?!) the active chutes.
I'd also like to point that a trail that involves a scramble is not a trail you should bring your dog or your kids if they have no previous experience with it, tend to bolt in front of other people, or are a general safety nightmare in a trail. Adults get fucked up by attempting scrambles all the time even when they have a basic idea of what they're doing. When assholes introduce their dogs trying to jam their way up past adults trying to get up or down with a minimum of drama -- bad shit happens. Same with kids.
@3: ANNUALLY? please. when was the last death on Granite?

I encourage all the n00bs to stick to these trails and stay the F off my favorites.

@5 Yes, Annually is hyperbole, but look at the Accident reports from NWAC, Granite Mountain is a regular (2015, 2014, 2013, 2010) compared to most other single locations, this trail has a high rate of avalanche accidents.
Oh, and 2016...from the Seattle times rather than NWAC...
@6: people get hurt there crossing the avalanche chutes, but rarely killed. come July it's fine. it's better than sending them up Snoqualmie Mtn. or Vesper Pk.
You forgot that access to the Denny Creek TH is cutoff due to snow, so that would add a few miles to the RT. Oh and that crossing Denny Creek is a bad idea if the water is high. great job trying to get folks killed.
@8 Three of those involved fatalities. 2015/2016 (Those are actually the same accident, took place on New years eve), 2014, and 2013, all had fatalities.

But you are correct, come July it is fine, and better than those you mention (and any number of other local routes that seem way more accessible than they are). My point (and the first posters) was that with Granite Mountain in particular, it would be nice if Rich followed the lead of WTA, and put a note there about the avalanche danger on that particular trail in the winter months. I've given up believing people will exercise common sense and read the trail description at WTA.org which has this information, given people I often encounter on local trails.
Also, Haystack on Mt Si is not a "playground". People who shouldn't be climbing it fall off and die there too.
Attention all City-Folk: the hikes mentioned here are the only ones worth checking out, and there are no other places in the Cascade Mountains worth bothering with - and certainly not the Olympic Mountains either.
If I-90 doesn't get you 90% of the way there, then it's not worth the effort.

Thank you.
3 deaths this past weekend due to avalanches, 2 people are still missing. 2 of the dead were snowshoeing a few miles east of the Granite mountain mentioned in this article.

People who want to learn about hiking should start by learning how to be safe. Check out WTA website for lots of tips for newbies. And stay away from the backcountry during winter time.

Please wait...

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