Quick look at Wahkeena Feb 11, 2017

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pablo
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Quick look at Wahkeena Feb 11, 2017

Post by pablo » February 11th, 2017, 1:52 pm

Did a quick trip up Wahkeena, turned back before Fairy Falls. Traction devices needed, I carried an ice ax and had to self arrest one time so this is not to be taken lightly. Lots of snowy sidehill traverses and buried switchbacks. I can't imagine what the Larch Mtn trail part of this loop looks like, maybe some brave soul wil risk life and limb to let us know - that route not for me until some snow melts.

Snow was solid and kick steps firm. Long way down into Wahkeena Creek in a couple of spots.

Parking lot - not as many spaces as there usually are.

ImageParkingLot by pauljess999, on Flickr

The gabions are holding up on the approach to the falls but there is some debris.

ImageFalls by pauljess999, on Flickr

Columbia was calm and made for nice reflections.

ImageArcherMtnReflect by pauljess999, on Flickr

Typical switchback on the climb to Lemmon's Viewpoint

ImageTypicalSwitchback by pauljess999, on Flickr

Downed tree on the paved portion of trail.

ImageAcrossTrail by pauljess999, on Flickr

Somewhere in there is one or more switchbacks

ImageMissingSwitchback by pauljess999, on Flickr

Single track - one person at a time through the narrowest part.

ImageNarrows by pauljess999, on Flickr

My turn around point just before Fairy Falls.

ImageTurnAround by pauljess999, on Flickr

Stopped for more reflections on the way home. I haven't seen the Columbia this calm for many moons.


ImageReflection1 by pauljess999, on Flickr

ImageReflection2 by pauljess999, on Flickr
The future's uncertain and the end is always near.

squidvicious
Posts: 170
Joined: May 11th, 2015, 8:41 pm

Re: Quick look at Wahkeena Feb 11, 2017

Post by squidvicious » February 11th, 2017, 2:40 pm

Ha, that's precisely where I decided to turn around my last time there. It was fun, but I started thinking about how that bit that cuts the switchbacks and goes straight uphill was going to be a lot more "interesting" on the way down than up, and how my knee was already complaining. Yet I saw people with no traction at all. It does look more melted now, though maybe that also means more iced over.

Really really appreciate the updates on Wahkeena. It's such a nice convenient trail with different options that it's my obvious go-to, yet not so convenient that I really want to go just to turn right around.

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Chip Down
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Re: Quick look at Wahkeena Feb 11, 2017

Post by Chip Down » February 11th, 2017, 8:11 pm

maybe some brave soul will risk life and limb to let us know
Dammit, I already had a full itinerary planned Sunday, and you go and and entice me with that? :lol:
Maybe I'll head up there if time allows. A couple weeks ago I went up a ways, can't recall where I turned back. Oh, I remember, I roughly followed Perdition over to the top of Multnomah Falls. Somewhere along the way I ended up at the old abandoned Memorial Viewpoint. It aint easy following an abandoned trail in the snow. :?

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Quick look at Wahkeena Feb 11, 2017

Post by Don Nelsen » February 12th, 2017, 11:32 am

Pablo, Thanks for the update and photos. I'm committed to Herman Creek today but I think I'll give the Wahkeena loop a shot Monday.

dn
"Everything works in the planning stage".

Lurch
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Re: Quick look at Wahkeena Feb 11, 2017

Post by Lurch » February 13th, 2017, 3:41 pm

We pulled someone out of there last night. My advice would be don't go, wait until it melts.

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Chip Down
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Re: Quick look at Wahkeena Feb 11, 2017

Post by Chip Down » February 13th, 2017, 5:26 pm

Lurch, I guess you know a post like that just encourages some of us. That's okay, authoritative info is always a good thing, on balance. KATU says they were "turned around". Can you offer any details?

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Chip Down
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Re: Quick look at Wahkeena Feb 11, 2017

Post by Chip Down » February 13th, 2017, 5:30 pm

Don, chuckled when I noticed how similar your post was to mine: "sorry, plans already on calendar, will try to fit you in"

squidvicious
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Re: Quick look at Wahkeena Feb 11, 2017

Post by squidvicious » February 13th, 2017, 6:03 pm

Chip Down wrote:KATU says they were "turned around".
I heard, from various news sources: 1. got lost 2. fell 3. got into sketchy conditions and didn't feel comfortable coming down on their own. It was not exactly well reported. I think they just cranked up the random SAR situation generator and reported whatever option it spit out. I'm still not ever really clear if it was 1 or 2 people. Definitely wondering exactly where they were and if they were prepared at all, or just went up in sneakers or whatever.

I was going to have a look around there today, but changed my mind--mostly because my knee isn't up to it, but also it feels a bit wrong immediately after someone's had to be pulled out of there. Even if I have been there recently, have some idea what to expect from conditions, come reasonably prepared, and know I'll turn around if it gets uncomfortable.

Continuing to appreciate any and all condition updates, though.

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