The following is a trip report from the past Sunday.  As noted, the snow is melting though the conditions on the trail are rough.  Snowshoes are still required, as well as traction devices on the upper icy areas.  This last weekend was probably the last couple days that Lobster Pot
won’t be diluted until mid to late May to the point of unsoakability by cold snowmelt running
down the mountain.  Bear Den should hold its’ own but at a reduced flow rate.  The number of reservations per day will be reduced accordingly.
A three foot snow berm continues to block vehicle access to FS 850.  Parking at the Surprise Creek Trailhead is still the only option until more snow has melted.   Please keep these conditions in mind when you request permission.
“The trip up was arduous. Starting from the trail entrance there was snow. Snowshoes are definitely still needed. Without them our legs would bust through all the way to the hip. Once we got to the power lines it was nice and sunny. It was quite warm and we stripped out of our snow layers and hiked up, one of us even snowshoe’d shirtless (not me of course, I wasn’t trying to get Bigfoot all hot and bothered). With the sun beating down on us there were many times we wanted to turn around. For the most part the snow was solid, but there were a few places we would go all the way through (even with snowshoes on). Be careful around the runoffs, they cut deep under the snow and will give out at anytime.”
On the Power Line trail before the trailhead

“The last part of the hike was a little steeper, the snow was a lot harder and there was some ice. The gouges were fun obstacles, and provided more reason for my friends to curse me for bring them to this god forsaken adventure. Ran into the other couple that had access about half way up. My shirtless buddy must have scared them because they were wide eyed, they must have thought he was Bigfoot. Right after we ran into them we heard some deep “who who whos”. The girls got scared and had us boys walk in front. We tried to tell them it was just a bird, but they thought it might have been a bear. A little farther we missed the fork, I realized it didn’t look right and blazed up to our left and eventually located the correct trail. Had the girls backtrack to the fork and up. 5 mins later and a coupler “are we freakin there yets” we were at the springs. The pools were quite dirty, but we didn’t care. Both were about the same temperature, the western most one warmer by a couple degrees. We soaked for about 2 hours.”
Note:  The western pool is Bear Den and if it is warmer than Lobster then the Lobster feeds are definitely beginning to be affected by snowmelt. Lobster Pot feeds will soon triple in volume and drop to a chilly 50F until most of the snowmelt is over.  Only Bear Den (with separate feeds) will be warm and soakable.  Rick
“On the way back one of the ice bridges gave out as the last member crossed it, no body was hurt. The hike down was a lot easier and a lot more fun. We slid down a lot of places on our butts. It definitely made the earlier effort worth it.”  Trip report by Viet