7-Day Forecast for Scenic Hot Springs Area (2,900 ft near beginning of Trail Head)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

High Snows at Scenic-Slide Risk!

I just got off the phone with a friend in Skykomish, Wa (12 west of Scenic HS) and he tells me the settled snow base across the valley and at the same elevation as Scenic is 120" . . . 10ft. Scenic is on the colder, north facing slope, typically getting more snow.

The snow berms along Highway 2 are over 6ft high on average. Roofs have collapsed in Skykomish and a report of trees down across power lines.

Stevens Pass was closed earlier today because of avalanches and the risk remains high. Much of the 2 mi route up to the hot springs traverses cleared slopes with greater than 40deg slopes, the trigger point for avalanche worries. Added the seesaw wamring and cooling temperatures and we have all the ingredients for dangerous conditions in the Stevens Pass area and to a lesser-extent on the slopes approaching the hot springs.

Until these conditions improve, please stay away from the springs. The risk is not worth it.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Scenic Winter

The trail may be blazed up but that doesn't make the going any easier. However, the springs sources are running a toasty 115 deg F. Well worth the effort.

The view looks out to the north over the Tye River valley. To the right, Highway 2 makes the final climb to Stevens Pass. For those of you interested in history, you can easily make out the scar and avalanche chute in the far background. In 1910 a fully-loaded passenger train became snowbound after coming out of the first Cascade Tunnel. During the night the accumulated snowpack gave way and carried 100+ souls to their deaths far down the mountainside. The Wellington Train Disaster remains the deadliest avalanche-train accident in U.S. history.

The disaster was the impetus for the Great Northern Railway to start construction on the new railway tunnel, the current Cascade Tunnel under Cowboy Mountain and Stevens Pass. The town of Wellington was also renamed to Tye in a public relations move. Tye no longer exists but as an Interpretive Center for the very popular Iron Goat Trail along the abandoned railway grade.

New Hot Springs Forum

A new hot springs forum has been established to share information of places to soak. Soakers Forum was started by a friend, Eric, of the North American Hot Springs Association (NAHSA) to take the place of the venerable Soak Net long run by Jim Lange. Soak Net has become unreliable and overrun with spam posts . . . often unreachable. Eric started Soakers Forum to keep continuity and to archive all the valuable information posted over the years. Come visit us there, join in on the discussions and find a great hot spring to soak your worries away.

The other venerable soaker discussion board, Northwest Hot Springs has also been rebuilt after a meltdown last November. NWHot Springs focuses on natural hot springs in the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada. Members and moderators of both boards work well together.