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February 2003 Winter Gear

Powder Hungry? Hike These Snowshoe Trails

Bust out of winter doldrums on one of these stellar snowshoe routes.

snowshoe

Washington

Tumac Mountain Ramble

William O. Douglas Wilderness

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is perfect for snowshoers who like to get high and stay high. This multiday loop tours classic Cascades high country, following the PCT north from White Pass (US 12) through a wonderland of alpine meadows, long ridges, and frozen lakes. The trail dips into thick stands of old forest, but more often looks out over high peaks and rolling dunes of drifted snow. Veer off the PCT to drop into the Twin Sisters Lakes basin, then swing back south to cross Tumac Mountain, with its perfectly symmetrical cinder cone and views of Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier. An endless array of side trips lets you extend the route from 20 miles to 35 or more; choose from sprawling lake basins, more baby volcanoes, and broad meadows perfect for pitching a tent.

Guides: Snowshoe Routes: Washington, by Dan A. Nelson ($16.95). White Pass #303, Bumping Lake #271, Old Scab Mountain #272, and Rimrock #304 maps (Green Trails, 206-546-6277; www.greentrails.com; $3.99 each).

Contact: Naches Ranger District, Wenatchee National Forest, (509) 653-2205; www.fs.fed.us/r6/wenatchee.

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