I've never been much into the holidays, so I decided to spend Thanksgiving hiking. Recent warmer temperatures have melted some of the early snow we got this year, so I figured it was a good time to head up to some of the higher elevation areas before it gets cold again.
I made the scenic drive out along the Clackamas river, even picked up a nice hitchhiker named Kevin along the way. He had driven down from Washington to kayak the river with some friends and needed a ride back to his put-in spot where his friends were waiting for him. We had a good chat about kayaking and he provided me with some resources to look into getting into Kayaking.
Twenty minutes after dropping Kevin off with his friends, I arrived at the unmarked trailhead for Fish Creek Mountain. It was raining steadily, but I had expected this and was looking forward to testing a 3 layer rain jacket I had recently picked up from REI. I didn't know how much snow to expect, but I opted to leave behind my insulated boots and go with a lighter pair (I would later come to regret this decision).
I am sure this hike would be lovely on a nice summer day, but heading uphill in the constant rain and the wind was pretty brutal. This was probably one of the wettest hikes I have ever done. Clouds and fog obscured any potential views, and the wind made it uncomfortable to stop for any period of time, so I just kept heading uphill.
The trail was almost completely snow free up until I hit the turnoff to High Lake. I opted to drop down to the lake first, then return to hit the peak. As soon as I started heading downhill I encountered snow and it only got deeper as I descended towards the lake. I was able to follow the trail most of the way down to the lake, but eventually gave up and just followed what seemed to be the path of least resistance as I postholed my way through knee deep snow on my way to the lakeshore. My boots and gloves were soaked by the time I reached the shore, so I only snapped a couple of pictures before making the long climb back uphill to snow free ground.
Back at the junction, I decided to forego changing into dry socks and headed straight for the peak. It was getting late and I knew I was going to finish after dark, so I didn't want to linger any longer than I needed to, the luxury of warm feet could wait. Strangely enough, the path to the summit was mostly snow free and I only encountered snow along the last 50' or so to the top. Since there was no view and the wind was picking up again, I promptly turned around and made my way back downhill as quickly as I could, finishing about 20 minutes after it got dark.