Eagle Creek Trail, Feb. 8th, 2017

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Don Nelsen
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Eagle Creek Trail, Feb. 8th, 2017

Post by Don Nelsen » February 8th, 2017, 4:02 pm

I haven't been out on the trails in a over a week so was jonesing for an outing and the forecast of ice and freezing rain got my attention! Nothing like a day out in the gorge at its best. The freezing rain could be seen forming a couple of hundred feet higher as I passed by Crown Point on the freeway below and by Multnomah falls, the road was icy. By Eagle creek, it was very slippery!

The plan was to go as far as I could and I did that, but didn't get nearly as far as I'd hoped. Nevertheless, the difficulty of chopping and kicking steps in the ice made for a great workout and I'm very happy with my pitiful 2.3 mile hike today.

Arriving at the TH just before the cable bridge I donned the proper gear: crampons, ice axe, camera, etc. and headed in. The road is taped off at that point but the folks at the hatchery are plowing it so when it eventually does re-open, they won't have a major job clearing things away.

No one had been up the trail in long enough for the previous tracks to have disappeared so I was starting anew. I had to chop steps or kick steps the whole way due to the deluge of ice pellets that have repeatedly deluged the gorge.

No real melting since I took this photo on the 30th:
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Here it is as of this morning:
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The little bridge at the start is starting to show some strain due to the tons of ice and few big rocks weighing it down:
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Looking upstream from the previous:
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A few more shots:
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I'd never noticed this triple falls before!
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Here is where I chickened out. I could see a massive delta of ice pellets in the distance and beyond that are even higher cliffs so that was it for today.
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All the pics are here as well as a few comparison shots:
http://www.fototime.com/users/donnelsen ... r%20trips.

BTW, I know videos of this have been posted before but here is another. This was taken on Jan. 8th showing the "waterfall" of ice pellets that form these huge formations over the roads and trails in the gorge:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-pQB8-OS_E

dn
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drm
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Re: Eagle Creek Trail, Feb. 8th, 2017

Post by drm » February 9th, 2017, 8:03 am

Maybe we need a contest for when Eagle Creek will become a hiking trail again, rather than a climbing traverse.

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MarkInTheDark
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Re: Eagle Creek Trail, Feb. 8th, 2017

Post by MarkInTheDark » February 9th, 2017, 9:34 am

That is extreme! Thanks for the views!

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Eagle Creek Trail, Feb. 8th, 2017

Post by Don Nelsen » February 9th, 2017, 10:13 am

drm wrote:Maybe we need a contest for when Eagle Creek will become a hiking trail again, rather than a climbing traverse.
Excellent idea! I'll post the first guess: March 10 for a viable trail (some snow may remain but it will be hikable) and May 10 for the last of the piles of snow to melt.

Here is a photo I took on April 21, 1996 looking downstream at the start of the trail. You can see the previous bridge in the distance and a significant mass of ice and snow across the creek. I think the pile there this year may be even bigger at present.

Image

dn
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BigBear
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Re: Eagle Creek Trail, Feb. 8th, 2017

Post by BigBear » February 9th, 2017, 12:54 pm

Don: I wasn't certain if anything turned you back after seeing those spectacular Tunnel Falls shots. I was certain you had two more sets of legs and climbed around these obstacles like a spider.

That first picture, with all of the debris on the footbridge about 100 feet from the TH, that's where I would have turned back. Two legs, two poles, but still no decent sense of balance. :)

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MarkInTheDark
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Re: Eagle Creek Trail, Feb. 8th, 2017

Post by MarkInTheDark » February 9th, 2017, 7:09 pm

I agree on those Tunnel Falls shots/video..... can't believe that was possible.

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Eagle Creek Trail, Feb. 8th, 2017

Post by Don Nelsen » February 9th, 2017, 9:45 pm

BigBear wrote:Don: I wasn't certain if anything turned you back after seeing those spectacular Tunnel Falls shots. I was certain you had two more sets of legs and climbed around these obstacles like a spider.

That first picture, with all of the debris on the footbridge about 100 feet from the TH, that's where I would have turned back. Two legs, two poles, but still no decent sense of balance. :)
Thanks for the compliment! For sure, another set of legs would have helped and I will admit to a little apprehension in a few spots. Still, this was not as sketchy as many other outings, such as the final traverse on Mt. Jefferson and the chute on Mt. Hood, to mention a couple.

For those who have not climbed Jefferson, this is what that traverse looks like. the difference is that on the Jefferson traverse, the fall is about 2,000 vertical feet or more. (Of course, 2,000 or 50 likely doesn't change the outcome.)
Image
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miah66
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Re: Eagle Creek Trail, Feb. 8th, 2017

Post by miah66 » February 16th, 2017, 1:11 pm

Don Nelsen wrote: For those who have not climbed Jefferson, this is what that traverse looks like. the difference is that on the Jefferson traverse, the fall is about 2,000 vertical feet or more. (Of course, 2,000 or 50 likely doesn't change the outcome.)
Image
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Chip Down
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Re: Eagle Creek Trail, Feb. 8th, 2017

Post by Chip Down » February 16th, 2017, 8:49 pm

Since the topic is drifting this direction...trying to remember the most hellacious traverse I've had to manage. Probably the west slope of North Sister to the Bowling Alley from the south, and also to the Glisan/Prouty saddle from the north. Yikes! :shock: Haven't done that section between the bottom of the Bowling Alley and the Glisan/Prouty saddle...wouldn't be surprised if it's even worse.

But yeah, I've heard bad things about that Jeffy traverse too. Never even been to Red Saddle. Doubt I ever will, as my interests have shifted to shorter hikes.

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