Dog Mountain Winter Hike

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knguyen525
Posts: 2
Joined: December 6th, 2016, 3:07 pm

Dog Mountain Winter Hike

Post by knguyen525 » January 3rd, 2017, 5:44 pm

My wife and I headed up to Dog Mountain Sunday 1/2/2017. You can get up most of the mountain with just a good pair of boots or trail shoes but microspikes really made it much easier for us. Right when you break out of the tree line near the top is where the snow was right below the knee. We switched to snow shoes and was able to get another 1/4 mile before we decided it was safer to turn around since it was so windy and snowing. We used instagram to view previous days conditions. Dog mountain must have got dumped this past weekend on because what we saw on instagram was very little snow. Looks like several couples hiking together must have saw the same thing on instagram because I saw several folks in very casual hiking apparel (nike running shoes with no shoe socks). As soon as they hit the snow, they quickly turned around. The photo is the spot were we decided to turn around.

Question - I ran into a hiker who was coming down from the summit and he indicated to go straight up the mountain (photo's 12 oclock) instead of the usual left (10 oclock). Just curious if anyone else has gone that route during the winter. I would imagine if you go straight up instead of cutting left, you would then need to hug the tree line to get to the usual summer view point area facing the gorge. Is this area prone for any avalanches?
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Chip Down
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Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: Dog Mountain Winter Hike

Post by Chip Down » January 3rd, 2017, 9:21 pm

I've been up there in the winter, but I can't recall the route. If the trail is under snow, make your own!
What turned you back? Worried about losing your route?

I was at about that elevation the same day, but elsewhere. Fortunately, there was a break in the weather when I was up high, and I was somewhat sheltered by ridges and trees. If it had been as bad as it was earlier in the day, I would have turned back sooner. Feels spooky doesn't it? There's something ominous about cold wind and blowing snow. If nothing else, it's weird knowing that if you stop moving you become vulnerable to hypothermia.

Regarding avalanches, I've seen little slides on slopes like that, but nothing that I think would be particularly dangerous unless you were on the edge of a cliff when it snuck up behind you. ;)

BTW, cool picture.

knguyen525
Posts: 2
Joined: December 6th, 2016, 3:07 pm

Re: Dog Mountain Winter Hike

Post by knguyen525 » January 3rd, 2017, 9:43 pm

Chip Down - I think the wind, snow showers, seeing 3 different group turn back, only 6 cars in the parking lot, and no broken snow path gave us a bad feeling :? My wife and I are definitely going back on a clear day and going to make it to the top this time. We actually went back and looked at this past summer's hike of that same area and realized where the path was. Or just go straight up the hill behind me in that photo and hug the tree line to the view point.

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miah66
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Joined: July 6th, 2009, 8:00 pm

Re: Dog Mountain Winter Hike

Post by miah66 » January 5th, 2017, 8:18 am

Wasn't there a post about the "Instagrammification" of the outdoors? Does anyone else think it's odd so many people are hiking Dog Mtn year round? I'm sure people have always hiked it year round, and possibly I'm just "hearing about it" more. It just seems to me that Dog was a hike you did May and that's about it. :lol:
"The top...is not the top" - Mile...Mile & a Half

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ThePortlandeer
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Joined: May 5th, 2015, 1:28 pm

Re: Dog Mountain Winter Hike

Post by ThePortlandeer » January 5th, 2017, 3:04 pm

Is this area prone for any avalanches?
I don't think it's "prone" to avalanches, but a quick check of some points on the upper mountain using hillmap indicate slope angles ranging between 25-35 degrees, which is steep enough to slide. The other major factor would be wind. With the steepest part of the upper mountain facing southwest the prevailing winds during a storm (which would come from the south and west) likely keeps a large amount of snow from settling on that aspect. If the wind reverses after a storm (which does happen frequently with winter east winds), and before the snow-pack settles, it could move a good amount of snow back onto the southwest facing aspect and load it in a way that would make it more prone to sliding. In your picture it doesn't look like so substantial amount of snow that it would be worrisome, but if it was fluffy I'm guessing it was sitting on a stiffer, potentially slick, layer underneath and could move.

At the very least it would be smart and safe to travel up there with a partner in such conditions for a variety of reasons.
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CMH
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Joined: June 18th, 2016, 1:13 pm

Re: Dog Mountain Winter Hike

Post by CMH » January 13th, 2017, 3:55 pm

A friend and I almost made it to the summit of Dog Mt. last week. We ended up stopping about 200 trail-feet from the summit, 30ft past the Augspurger Trail junction.

We turned back due to risk of slides, deep snow, and whiteout conditions.

Spikes on shoes were moderately useful, but not essential up to the point where deep snow started. Snow shoes and poles were essential for the last 1/2 mile. It was slow-going.

Winds were estimated at 30mph by my friend. Ambient temperatures in most of the Gorge were about 20F.
07 Jan 2017 - Dog Mt.jpg
Near summit of Dog Mt. 07 Jan 2017.

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