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Snow Cave '00/ Troop 217,  Gold Creek,  Feb 5, 2000 - Feb 6, 2000     page 1 / 10

We headed out from Gig Harbor about 7:30, Saturday morning. After a stop for coffee and our required Sno-Park permits, we arrived at the Gold Creek trailhead. Gold Creek lies just east of Snoqualmie Pass on I-90. There were a couple dozen vehicles parked there indicating the popularity of the location for winter recreation. We saw several people putting on snowshoes, as well as cross-country skis. We put on our snowshoes and our packs and headed just across the bridge, then off the trail into an area suitable for snow caves.

Some of us began digging near tree trunks, working away from the tree, while others dug right in to the snow bank. Several shovels were used, as well as some homemade snow saws. The short shovels were found most effective, especially while on your knees inside the caves. The saws were used to cut large blocks of snow out of the caves. These blocks were then easily removed from the caves.

The caves were generally built large enough for two, though one held three that night. Most of us stayed relatively dry and warm inside the caves that night. I was able to stay warm wearing fleece clothing inside my sleeping bag. My sleeping bag rested on a Thermarest mattress on top of the snow. Some of the guys wisely placed their sleeping bags inside bivouac bags, improving their comfort. My unprotected bag became damp from dripping inside the cave during the morning hours.

The following photos display some our trip activities.

Zach, Tom and Joey start digging a cave on this snow bank