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[pct-l] Washington snow conditions

I am a lowly section hiker who recently attempted section J from Stevens
Pass to Snoqaulmie Pass in Wash on Aug 8-11.  Snow level varied from
4000-6000 ft.  South facing open ridges gererally open to 6000.  Deep
valleys and north facing ridges sometimes completely snow covered with
major trail finding problems as low as 4000.  Trap pass ok but unable to
get over Piper Pass due to steep snow banks at 5500 on north side.  Did
not attempt either Cathedral Pass or the Kendall Catwalk.  Detoured via
the older and lower Cascade Crest Trail.  At these lower elevations,
still met with challenging stream crossings. Also with snow fields
requiring ice axes at Dutch Miller Gap(4800') and at Snow Lake(4000').
     Our trip ended with the wonderful hospitality of Bob Ward and his
wife at Snoqualmie Pass.  They seem to love hikers and were happy to
have us.  There only complaint about us was that we did not smell like
ral hikers as we had only been on the trail for 4 days.
George Miller, OR

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