I had a few site visits in the Northwest Cascades that I wanted to get in before another round of snow. Two of the sites were already pushing it for access; one with snow scraping the undercarriage and the second requiring a bit of hike through the snow on the road.
My first stop gave me a good view of a site I visited last summer.
Snowy patch in the center at the snowline is a snow covered landslide scar
The failure was a shallow failure of soil off a bedrock slope leading to a debris
My trip involved driving up the South Skagit Highway. This road is on the south side of the Skagit River and can be used as an alternative route up the valley versus the more typical Highway 20 route. It is a bit slower, but in my case was the route needed to get me where I was heading. It is a road far less traveled than Highway 20, but has its own scenic advantages.
I stopped at the Larsen Tree. A portion of the tree trunk is set on concrete blocks and has a roof covering. The display is memorial to the Danish grandparents of Herb Larsen and in way to another time. The tree was 1,303 years old when it was cut down in 1972.
The snow plastered upper slopes of Sauk Mountain
From bridge you can head to Darrington, or head back to the another road that follows the south side of the Skagit up to the Cascade River at Marblemount, or cross the Skagit and get back on Highway 20. In my case I took another path up a snow clogged gravel forest road.
After my field ventures, I did take the road back to Highway 20. Before reach the bridge across the Skagit, I caught the last rays of sun touching the peak of Sauk Mountain.