Backpacking in the Sublime Season

Before you decide to give up on the idea of backpacking in the more beautiful Wilderness areas because of the growing crowds of day hikers and lucky permit holders, consider snow backpacking.

frozen lake colchuck, Alpine Lakes Wilderness, north Cascades, snow backpacking, snow camping

Solitude and Snow

With the right gear and knowledge (know the hazards), you can head out and experience the beauty of the wilderness without the crowds.

To stay cozy and safe, you’ll need to add some pounds to your pack, making your ultra-light strategies even more important. And, sometimes you’ll also have to add in the extra distance of a snow-covered forest road. Winter backpacking is more challenging, but the experience more rewarding.

Just be sure your cold-weather gear is able to carry you through really difficult weather if necessary—not just the known weather forecast.

Here are a few photos from some winter backpacking trips that capture the pure visual poetry of the off season.

Winter backpacking
Left: Setting up camp for the optimum view. Center: View from tent of the last rays of evening sunlight. Right: Fresh pristine snow on top of the very solidly frozen lake surface.
Beautiful winter landscape
Early morning light.
Beautiful winter campsite
Our campsite—setup in near zero visibility.
Beautiful winter landscape
Our snowshoe tracks on the way back.
Beautiful winter landscape
Early morning view.

 

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