I’m scrambling around the SNOTEL site this morning, checking for signs of snow across Washington’s northern Cascades.

One of my reporters says the white stuff fell in the mountains above Lake Chelan overnight, and there’s nothing like that to fire up my inner deer hunter.

Fresh snow means deer season approaches, and it’s a reminder to the big bucks that hang out in the wilds of the North-Central Washington’s wildernesses that fall comes and it’s time to move out of the Pasayten, Lake Chelan-Sawtooth, Glacier Peak and Henry M. Jackson.

Well, that’s what I’d like for those high-country muleys to think anyway.

Biologists will tell you that it actually takes a heap-deep snow to push them out of their haunts. That, and their forage drying up and losing all nutritive value.

So far, though, the SNOTEL stations — set up at places such as Harts Pass at the southern flank of the Pasayten Wilderness, Salmon Meadows above Conconully, Rainy Pass and Swamp Creek on the North Cascades Highway, and Lyman Lake and Pope Ridge above Lake Chelan — don’t show any report of accumulation.

A few do post hourly temperatures into the lower 30s.

Ah-ha! Proof of snow — on another site!

A Web cam at the airport between Twisp and Winthrop in the Methow Valley shows a skiff of snow on the jagged peaks of Sawtooth Ridge, also above Lake Chelan.


The forecast calls for a chance of snow there and elsewhere in the northernmost Cascades through the weekend, but only at some of the highest elevations and with no real accumulation.

The National Weather Service’s seven-day outlook just touches on the 15th, opening day of the High Hunt for select Cascade wildernesses, and by that time it appears as if it will just be warmer and rainier.

But let’s hope this year’s weird weather includes a good dose of late September/early October snow for next month’s start of the general rifle hunt.

It’s what I wish for every year, not that the Weather Gods ever listen, but sooner or later I’m bound to hit the jackpot.


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