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My hike to Lake Ann started as one of those should have been bad days, which turned out to be a great day. With a lot of cloud cover keeping the mountains warm I left home around 3:30 am to try and catch some harder snow. The plan worked but I had forgotten my boots. Undeterred, I set off in the snow with my running shoes on my feet.
The start of the Lake Ann hike is Getting down into the valley, it was a breeze. I had expected this section to be much harder still covered in snow. I can see why the avalanche danger is such a consideration during wintertime though. The valley you hike through is little more than the bottom of some towering cliffs. It would be easy for an avalanche to sweep through here with the right conditions.
To get to Lake Ann, you must hike up from the valley to the shoulder of Mount Shuksan. This is where my day took a turn. As the snow was softening I began to punch through over and over again. Once or twice I ended up buried to my waist. Somehow I still managed to make it to the lake even in my runners.
My plan for the day had been to Climb Mount Ann and Mount Hann. But by the time I got halfway down the ridge, the snow had turned to slush. Being in running shoes with the daylight fading it felt time to abandon my goal. Either way I didn’t feel safe traversing under Mt. Hann. There are several recent avalanche debris fields to get by on the southeast side. Instead, I enjoyed a view of Lake Ann from above before Hiking back out.