Merritt Lake

December 7, 2002: Buddy, Harley, and I go for a hike.  Merritt Lake.  The trailhead is several miles east of the Rock Mountain trailhead (which is several miles east of Stevens Pass on US2).

 

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PICT0187: Snow at the 2500 FASL trailhead!

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PICT0193: It took us about 2 hours to walk the 2 miles and climb the 2500 vertical feet to the lake.  The lake is at about 5000 FASL.  We hiked in total solitude; we did not see another person the entire day.  The lake was frozen and beautiful.  I tried to take some Christmas pictures.

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PICT0194: Another attempt at a timer picture.

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PICT0196: The dogs had a blast sliding around on top of frozen Merritt Lake.  There's Harley.

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PICT0200: Harley again; playing in the snow.

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PICT0201: The ridge above the north side of the lake.

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PICT0202: Harley on the lake.

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PICT0203: Another look at the ridge.

I saw the 2 dogs playing, running, jumping, and sliding on the ice and thought, "hmm...if it can support 2 - 80 pound dogs, there's a good chance it could support me as well".  It did...for a while.  I also thought, "with all that snow on top of the lake, I bet the ice is pretty solid".  I wanted to get to a trail on the another side of the lake.  Instead of walking around the lake, I thought about walking across...thankfully I didn't have the guts for that.  Instead, I walked around the inside of the lake (I walked on the lake, but was always 5-10 feet from shore).  2/3 of the way around the lake, I took a step and heard a loud *CRACK* come from the ice 20 feet in front of me. I froze.  I took a small step back.  I heard a load *CRACK* come from the ice 20 feet behind me.  I was about 8 feet from shore.  I took a small step towards shore -- I fell through the ice and about to my waist in cold water.  Not fun.  Everything turned out okay, 'tho.  I sat on some warm rocks in the sun and dried out my clothes a bit before heading back.