Dog Mountain - March 3rd, 2017

This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
User avatar
Don Nelsen
Posts: 3498
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA

Dog Mountain - March 3rd, 2017

Post by Don Nelsen » March 3rd, 2017, 5:26 pm

This was plan B for today but it still turned into a pretty good adventure due to the snow accumulation. Still, I'm sure it was a lot better than Plan A would have been - Herman Creek.

Studying the weather maps this morning told me I might just beat the rain if I got back by one or so and it worked out great - The rain was just starting as I got back to the TH at 1:50. There was a light east wind at the TH as I set out at 10:18 but it became a stronger west wind above about 1500' but never a problem.

The trail is free from all but some very minor blowdown that never posed a problem - maybe three or four very small trees and virtually no other debris but the usual fir sprigs and cones.

There were only a few scattered small patches of snow for the first mile but then it abruptly changed to continuous snow cover for the rest of the way. This trail isn't so steep, even snow covered, that spikes are needed until the junction about 2.1 miles in. From there, the grade is much more steep and I was glad to have the spikes.

As I got to the meadows, I was glad a few folks had already put some footprints down:
Image

Wind Mountain:
Image

The view of the summit area:
Image

There had been some melting in the exposed areas but that only lasted for a quarter mile or so.
Then it got way worse!
Image

All tracks disappeared at the distant bend in the trail in this photo. It was too icy for me to attempt as well and the unstable fresh snow atop fairly hard ice convinced me to just go straight up from there.
Image

Approaching the summit:
Image

All trace of the trail is under two or three feet of ice and snow:
Image

Image

Epic snowdrifts all over the summit area:
Image

Image

Rather than risk doing the traverse in the downhill direction, I headed to the east and picked my way down to the trail through the drifts and open meadows. The snow and ice is pretty hard and even my 185 pounds didn't punch in more than 6 inches to less than a foot so it was not too bad a descent.
Image

6.1 miles, 3 hours, 33 minutes, 2,833' vertical.

dn
Last edited by Don Nelsen on March 4th, 2017, 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Everything works in the planning stage".

pablo
Posts: 1403
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Dog Mountain - March 3rd, 2017

Post by pablo » March 3rd, 2017, 10:12 pm

Thx Don for the report on conditions & nice photos - I like those with the low hanging clouds. Guess I'll be leaving my snow shoes and taking the spikes tomorrow. Looks like some snow showers tomorrow.

--Paul
The future's uncertain and the end is always near.

User avatar
VanMarmot
Posts: 1885
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: State of Jefferson
Contact:

Re: Dog Mountain - March 3rd, 2017

Post by VanMarmot » March 4th, 2017, 7:55 am

Nice! So this is what it takes to beat the crowds on Dog Mountain! I'm guessing that parking wasn't a problem either? ;)
Boots on the Trail (vanmarmot.org)

arieshiker
Posts: 115
Joined: December 3rd, 2009, 3:19 pm
Location: Goldendale

Re: Dog Mountain - March 3rd, 2017

Post by arieshiker » March 4th, 2017, 11:28 am

Starting to get the impression that wherever I might hike this year, I'll be following Don Nelsen's boot prints.
Last edited by arieshiker on March 4th, 2017, 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Don Nelsen
Posts: 3498
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: Dog Mountain - March 3rd, 2017

Post by Don Nelsen » March 4th, 2017, 11:41 am

VanMarmot wrote:Nice! So this is what it takes to beat the crowds on Dog Mountain! I'm guessing that parking wasn't a problem either? ;)
Amen to that! I was nevertheless a little surprised to meet a total of 7 other folks and one little black dog on the trail. None made the summit though. Prints in the snow proved the dog got the farthest!

dn
"Everything works in the planning stage".

User avatar
mountainkat
Posts: 37
Joined: March 4th, 2015, 6:12 pm

Re: Dog Mountain - March 3rd, 2017

Post by mountainkat » March 4th, 2017, 8:16 pm

Thank you, Don, for all of your recent trip reports showing the conditions out there. They are so helpful! :D

User avatar
Eric Peterson
Posts: 4066
Joined: May 11th, 2009, 5:39 am
Location: Oregon
Contact:

Re: Dog Mountain - March 3rd, 2017

Post by Eric Peterson » March 5th, 2017, 8:41 am

Awesome DN.

Your reports are making me think about waiting until June to start gorge hiking again :D

And ya, we have to get the gang together again for a hike :)

User avatar
aircooled
Posts: 447
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Re: Dog Mountain - March 3rd, 2017

Post by aircooled » March 8th, 2017, 9:36 am

Thanks for posting, Don! Could flowers possibly be a month away?

User avatar
-Q-
Posts: 1395
Joined: July 5th, 2008, 10:42 pm

Re: Dog Mountain - March 3rd, 2017

Post by -Q- » March 9th, 2017, 8:23 pm

aircooled wrote:Thanks for posting, Don! Could flowers possibly be a month away?
Grass widows bloomed at coyote wall a week ago :mrgreen:

User avatar
drm
Posts: 4737
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: The Dalles, OR
Contact:

Re: Dog Mountain - March 3rd, 2017

Post by drm » March 11th, 2017, 12:45 pm

aircooled wrote:Thanks for posting, Don! Could flowers possibly be a month away?
I assume this is referring to Dog Mountain's famous display. That isn't normally till late May, and has varied by weeks in recent years depending on the weather. Whether that is different this year may depend when the snow up there melts and allows things to get started, but an early June peak might be a safer bet this year.

Post Reply