The objective of this trip was to compare hiking conditions this day, compared to similar (July 1) in year 2015. Never can expect a greater contrast in conditions for almost the same date two years apart for now, year 2017.
First off, a drive up to the "Artist Point " parking lot, which has been plowed free of snow. Must have been a huge job of snow clearing. - see the 4- 6 meter high snow walls in the pictures.
Then took the car and drove down and parked at the parking lot for the Lake Ann trail. In expectations of sloping snow conditions, I packed in crampons, microspikes, iceaxe, and one hiking pole. Microspikes proved to be exactly what was needed to navigate the sloping snow mounds on the trail, and then the cut down across the buried switchbacks to the bottom. The hard consolidated snow is covered with a sun-softened outer layer of 1 to 5 cm deep depending on slope and time of day (sun exposure).
From there found the valley below 98% snow cover, got my boots wet crossing the creek, and the forest trail on other side was about 90 % snowfree. Once reached meadow other side, 95 - 98% snow cover.... and pretty well 100% snow cover all the way to Lake Ann. The iceaxe and microspikes were definitely the order of the day. Crampons might have been it a bit easier.
Found the lake, just a ring of clear blue water on snow right now..... perhaps we won't see the lake free until August. Snow depth by guess 2 - 3 meters or more at the lake, and near 0.7 to 1.4 meter (2 to 4 feet) in valley bottom.
As the day wore out, the soft overlayer of snow increased in depth to 5 - 10 cm (isothermal snow)...
On the return when I was navigating the trail back up towards the parking lot, my GPS malfunction repeatedly turned itself off. Missed the correct line, and got stuck of 200 meters slow stressful climb up a steep gully nearly to the top of the hill, just below the skii hill Paul and I viisted earlier in the year. High point of this leg up was 1500 meters+ before walking down the snow-covered road (skii run).
For statistics, estimated net elevation gain of 650 meters net elevation gain and of 14 to 16 km return. My approximate day hike started a little after 11 am and returned a little after 8 pm; which included a lengthy lunch stop and recording videos. It was a spectular photo op day and took about 175 pictures including 4 videos.
FROM NEAR PICTURE LAKE TO PARKING LOT , ARTIST POINT. Washrooms not open or available.
Nice open lake to greet you.
Lower Baglie Lake, with Table Mtn showing above.
Snow plowed for access to Interpretation Center
Baker Highway heading up to Artist Point.
PARKING LOT, buried washroom , high snow walls
Highway Switchback view towards Mt. Shuskhan and Lake Ann Ridge
Trail Head, Info Board to start....
Area of snow-covered switchbacks, head down or up
Solitary snow patch on clear trail
Valley full of snow
Meltware channel low in the valley.
Mottled melting snow under young forest...
Meadow just before direct access to lake Ann, stream showing.
Water fall - obstacle on way up the slopes to Lake Ann
Scenes of direct route up to the top cornice gateway to Lake Ann
Getting up and over that melted cornice, gateway to Lake Ann
General views around from my lunch spot
I like my ice -axe
My tripod & camera gear
Zoom shot - Hann Peak to the southwest
zoom shot - Cole Pinnacle to the west
Zoom shot - Lower Carter Glacier on Shuskhan , east
As I back down to curve around before Lake Ann.
Open Meadow area largely snow-covered, open creek channel with flowers.
View back to Hann and Ann Peak as I retreat northward.
The major creek crossing, high water and fast flowing.
Snow slide area - broken trees.
Near head of valley, low look view back to Shuskhan and Lake Ann (ridge)
Lowering Sun over Artist Point and Access Highway...to parking lot.
Sun rays hitting snow drifts, getting close back to Parking Lot
Green old trees sitting in an oasis of bare snow-free ground.