After doing June Lake, I realized there are a lot of trails and routes that start from the Marble Mountain Sno-Park. One of those is Chocolate Falls which I had read about before. As a hike it didn’t interest me that much because it was not very long and by the description, perhaps not that impressive either. The name comes from the fact thatthis is a small creek that comes from the top of Saint Helens picking up minerals and dirt. Once it reaches the rock wall, the water looks brown like chocolate. The part that hadn’t occurred to me, was this route could be done in winter. So I got there, started my slow ascend towards the waterfall and soon realized that this trail is also the winter climbing route to Saint Helens. Yes, there were a lot of people heading up. I also saw a couple of big groups doing some rescue training which was cool. What wasn’t very cool (and I didn’t know) is that it seems that the creek freezes in winter so the waterfall is dry. Still the route offered some really nice views of Saint Helens and the south cascades. Training to make the route a bit more interesting, I did a bit of backcountry going over the moguls on the lava field. It was quite eerie as you saw rocks and little crevices and cracks in the snow. It was a bit of a guessing game trying to find a safe route thru that stuff. Once on the other side, I continued to June Lake for a bit to complete the loop.
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