After my unsuccessful attempt of Mt. Teneriffe last week, I was itching to get back out and actually finish a trail. I had worked early that morning and was exhausted so my plan was to do a nice easy trail run to Talapus and Olallie Lakes with Kayuh and take a nap in the sun. Much to my surprise, the road to the trailhead was closed. I had already driven out to Snoqualmie and I was not about to drive all the way back, so I headed further down the road towards Mason Lake and Bandera Mountain.
I wasn’t expecting to do Bandera so I hadn’t done any research on the current conditions of the trail or trip reports and assumed I didn’t have all the necessary gear, but I would just go as far as I could. My intention of a nice easy trail run day had quickly turned into a climb of almost 1,000 feet per mile.
The first section of the trail is actually an old road through the forest. Once I broke out of the trees I found myself in a snow covered boulder field where the trail climbed straight up to a ridgeline which I knew would eventually lead to the summit. I passed a few fellow hikers in snowshoes who were on their way back. They were slipping and sliding all over, and none of them had made it to the top of Bandera. I only had microspikes and knew I probably wouldn’t make it much further. Kayuh and I began navigating our way through the boulder field but about halfway through it became too hazardous. I was post holing through the snow and one wrong step could easily leave me with a twisted ankle or worse.
Luckily I had made it just far enough to enjoy a view, so Kayuh and I took a nice break before turning around to eat and take in the beauty of the mountains.
I may have not made it to the top, but a day in the mountains is never a day wasted. Now I have something to look forward to and try again once the snow melts. Another one I’ll be coming back for soon!
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Before attempting Bandera Mountain, please visit WTA.ORG for hike difficulty, gear requirements, and recent trip reports.