This is going to be short and sweet today because I am beat. We left my house at about 5:30 AM with the intention of climbing up to Marten Lake from the Taylor River Trail which I hiked last summer. The Middle Fork road has hundreds if not thousands of potholes. Low clearance vehicles are not recommended. The weather was rain, rain, and more rain.
The first casualty of the day was the right rear tire of my buddy's Honda Pilot which fell victim to a pretty large pointed rock in one of the potholes. After changing the tire we decided to continue the trip. The Taylor River Trail has lots of blowdowns and also has off and on snow most of the way to the bridge over Marten Creek 3 miles from the trailhead. The snow is soft enough to sink into but not consistent enough to warrant snowshoes.
After reaching Marten Creek we starting climbing up to Marten Lake. There is supposedly a trail but it could not be found by us. It's easy enough though to keep the creek on your right and the high slope on your left. Once we ascended into consistent snow we donned our snowshoes and tried our best to stay in the trees and off of the open slope. It wasn't long before we started to see evidence of small slides. We could mostly stay in the trees but for the open sections between trees we went one at a time. I was about half way across one open section when a small slide headed directly towards me. There were fairly sizable "snow boulders" rolling in my direction. I didn't realize how fast I could run in snowshoes as I headed back to the protection of a group of trees. The slide actually stopped about 50 feet above where I had been. With the continuing rain and the warming weather we decided to play it safe and headed for home. We'd only made it about 60% of the distance to the lake from the main trail. Total distance hiked today was probably 9-10 miles. The 4th and 5th pictures below show the area just before and just after the slide.
On the way home we stopped in North Bend and because my buddy's car has AWD he had to replace all four tires. $900 later he was calling it the most expensive day hike of his life. Ouch! We arrived home about 12 hours after our departure. All in all we probably should have just spent this rainy day inside. We may try for Marten Lake again after the snow is melted later in the summer.