Snowshoe Hike to Reflection Lake, Rainier National Park— January 28, 2006

  A group of eleven diehard snowshoers gathered at Whittaker’s Bunkhouse in Ashford to make final plans and arrange cars for a daytrip into Reflection Lake. The weather was between wet and not-so-wet with large snowflakes.  A convoy to Longmire, a short wait for the road to open and we were on our way to Narada Falls which would be our take-off point for the hike.  Apparently everyone in western Washington decided to park in the lot at Narada Falls. We were lucky to get there and find parking places before they stopped others from coming up.  Our Trail Guide extraordinaire was Phyllis Stroud. With her directions and trail breaking assistance from Mel Courtney we began the trek of 1-1/2miles over Mazama Ridge to the lake. We climbed over the ridge rather than take the road to avoid giving Park Rangers a potential training exercise in avalanche rescue.  It took one hour to top out and another 25 minutes to reach the lake. The stalwart group of Skihawkers led the crowd on the trail and Mark (last name unknown to me) did a super job of breaking trail the last several hundred yards to the lake.  Gusty winds and falling snow made for a true winter experience. A short, 20 minute lunch break at the lake and we were back on the return trail. The trip out was a bit easier…the promise of a rest stop for food and drink at the Copper Creek Inn helping us all keep our focus. The temperature was 29-30F so I guess I was wet from exertion, not the weather. No serious equipment issues, no injuries and all finished together. A great time was had by all. The wild blackberry pie at the Inn is highly recommended.                                                 Submitted by Rich Poelker                 Pictures by Mary Lloyd and Ron Ewert