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Above Mason Lake

In the Cold of the Cascades

Story by HONEST LINES January 1st, 2015

BACK IN THE PNW

It had been almost three years since I’d been in the Cascades. Coming back up for the holidays gave me a chance to spend some time in the mountains I grew up with. I picked up Mark in Issaquah and we headed back up I-90, pulling off and heading towards the Mason Lake trailhead—otherwise known as the Ira Spring Trail.

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We took the old trail up past the lake to a small tarn with open skies. The night was cold and clear—almost painfully so—but the opportunity to be outside and watch the stars move and feel the wind blow was worth the effort.

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In my haste to pack and prepare back in Bozeman I neglected to grab my preferred winter cooking setup, so we made do with a tiny stove that only really worked if we held the canister in our hands to warm it…

It eventually produced boiling water and we downed a couple of freeze-dried meals, happy to have something warm to hold on to for a while.

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Dinner done and the tent prepped for the evening, we bundled up and spent some time photographing the night sky. The moon-lit trees and lantern-lit tent cooperated nicely.

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The night was cold but tolerable. Sunrise came and lit up the trees across the tarn, and we shot until fingers were frozen and then hustled to pack up and descend back to warmer temps and waiting family.

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McClellan's Butte
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A great way to finish 2014—and begin 2015. Thanks, Mark!

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Mason Lake, King County, WA, United States