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 Post subject: First Tracks on Table Mountain 122017
 Post Posted: December 20th, 2017, 8:57 pm 
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I looked like it might be a good day for a hike but I wasn't so sure as I headed out this morning. The gorge looked pretty dark but as I drove east I could see a few spots of blue in the sky. By the time I got to the Table Mt. area I saw a nice rainbow so made the decision to try that. (Chip Down has been having way too much fun up there lately so I needed to get in on the action anyway!)

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The sun came out now and then as I climbed up the trail and the forest fairly glistened with the raindrops hanging from the branches:

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I wanted to check out a few of the more obscure routes to see how they had faired since the winter of '16/'17 and it was a sad sight for most of what I surveyed. No one has done any clearing off the main routes so it took me an inordinate amount of time to get to where I wanted to be. The one good find was that a tree has come down over Cedar Creek at the 1600' level where there once was a bridge since washed out. This should last for many a year:

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The next section of trail, even though I know it well, was almost completely obliterated and I lost it. I ended up simply bushwhacking the next 400' vertical until I was on Cedar ridge.

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Cedar Ridge:

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Once at the PCT/Westway junction, I headed down the PCT to the Heartbreak ridge trail and headed up. I considered making this the turnaround point be I could see increasing blue above and the intermittent light rain had stopped.

I encountered continuous snow at about 2000' and it was a beautiful scene from then on:

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I was completely out of time by now so headed back down (edit) ,< 800' vertical from the summit. I estimated I would make it out by exactly sundown and that was right on the money:

Even with power lines in the way, the sundown was spectacular:

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8.0 miles, 3,083 EG, 4 hours 23 minutes.

dn

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 Post subject: Re: First Tracks on Table Mountain 122017
 Post Posted: December 21st, 2017, 5:53 am 
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All kinds of good crossings of Cedar Creek. Indeed, it should be no trouble for anybody at this point.

There are a couple clear but steep trail options to get on cedar ridge if you take the trail downstream on the west side of cedar creek until it curves around the ridge.

I haven't yet seen snow at that fire ring on the cedar crest just south of PCT. That pic is perfect, shows me exactly where to expect snow in the coming week. I think I'll look for lower-elevation fun. I've been meaning to get to the southern chief, but this might not be the best time. Maybe that's a good thing. I should step back from Table for a while, been getting obsessed.

Don't you carry a headlamp? Surprised you turned back.


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 Post subject: Re: First Tracks on Table Mountain 122017
 Post Posted: December 21st, 2017, 8:42 pm 
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Chip Down wrote:
All kinds of good crossings of Cedar Creek. Indeed, it should be no trouble for anybody at this point.

There are a couple clear but steep trail options to get on cedar ridge if you take the trail downstream on the west side of cedar creek until it curves around the ridge.

I haven't yet seen snow at that fire ring on the cedar crest just south of PCT. That pic is perfect, shows me exactly where to expect snow in the coming week. I think I'll look for lower-elevation fun. I've been meaning to get to the southern chief, but this might not be the best time. Maybe that's a good thing. I should step back from Table for a while, been getting obsessed.

Don't you carry a headlamp? Surprised you turned back.


The rain on Tuesday added a lot to the creek's flow but I agree, that crossing you mention is usually just fine. Where I crossed, it's usually fine and there was a small bridge there for a few years but no trace of it now.

Glad the pic of the ridge helps. The snow was continuous above about 2200'. The ridge where I took that photo is about 1950' +/-.

The southern chief is much more of a bushwhack than the northern one. Probably a little sketchy with snow and ice on it though.

I know what you mean about getting obsessed. I made over 40 trips up there in 2013 to make my map. Every trail, both directions with GPS and at least twice to make sure every track was spot on. I was younger then :-)

I have a light, of course, but I was totally soaked due to the ferns/branches/bushes, etc. brushing against me on the bushwhack part of the hike and I was getting a little chilled. Better to get back up there in better photo op conditions methinks.

-Don

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 Post subject: Re: First Tracks on Table Mountain 122017
 Post Posted: December 21st, 2017, 9:19 pm 
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Yeah, bushwhacking in a light mist will get ya soaked for sure. Heck, I've gotten pretty soppy from dew on summer morning bushwhacks.

Trail question: Let's say I start up your "[aldrich] "butte cut off trail", past your yellow "aldrich shortcut/game trail", to a junction where I can turn right on a trail that takes me to "aldrich butte road", or I can turn left and take a trail down to cedar creek. What's the trail that goes straight ahead? Actually there's a little jog to the right, so I have to go toward aldrich road a few feet, and then there's a trail that goes roughly north and roughly level (compared to the other two options). Does that go to the old creek crossing where the bridge is missing? And beyond that, is that where your overgrown trail was, where you bushwhacked up to the crest of cedar ridge? I've been wondering about that trail. I have to assume it dead ends, because I've been every place where it could connect to another trail/road.


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 Post subject: Re: First Tracks on Table Mountain 122017
 Post Posted: December 21st, 2017, 9:41 pm 
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Chip Down wrote:
Yeah, bushwhacking in a light mist will get ya soaked for sure. Heck, I've gotten pretty soppy from dew on summer morning bushwhacks.

Trail question: Let's say I start up your "[aldrich] "butte cut off trail", past your yellow "aldrich shortcut/game trail", to a junction where I can turn right on a trail that takes me to "aldrich butte road", or I can turn left and take a trail down to cedar creek. What's the trail that goes straight ahead? Actually there's a little jog to the right, so I have to go toward aldrich road a few feet, and then there's a trail that goes roughly north and roughly level (compared to the other two options). Does that go to the old creek crossing where the bridge is missing? And beyond that, is that where your overgrown trail was, where you bushwhacked up to the crest of cedar ridge? I've been wondering about that trail. I have to assume it dead ends, because I've been every place where it could connect to another trail/road.


Do you mean what I'm calling the "Giant Forest Trail"? That's a nice trail, in good shape and it goes to the Hamilton RR grade through a magnificent old growth area.
Where I crossed Cedar Creek Wednesday was way to the north at the 1,600' foot level. The trail I lost was what I'm calling the "Cedar Ridge Switchback Connector". (I made the map so I get to name stuff :-))

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 Post subject: Re: First Tracks on Table Mountain 122017
 Post Posted: December 22nd, 2017, 5:09 pm 
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No, I think I know where the giant forest trail is. I'm wondering about the trail I added in teal below:


mysterytrail.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: First Tracks on Table Mountain 122017
 Post Posted: December 22nd, 2017, 6:09 pm 
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Chip Down wrote:
No, I think I know where the giant forest trail is. I'm wondering about the trail I added in teal below:


I don't know about that one. Good find - I will have to check it out. There is an old road grade in that general area that I haven't put on the map since it doesn't connect with anything else but I think it is farther up the hill to the right.

don

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 Post subject: Re: First Tracks on Table Mountain 122017
 Post Posted: December 22nd, 2017, 10:29 pm 
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Don Nelsen wrote:
I will have to check it out.
Saturday should be a good day for that: "chance of snow...high near 32...gusts as high as 60 mph" per NOAA. Let us know what you find :D

I don't mind the snow or the temp or the wind, but all three is just more than I can handle.

But seriously, I'm amazed you hadn't noticed that trail. Seems to be quite crisp and easy to follow. But I don't know, it might just go 20' or something stupid.


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 Post subject: Re: First Tracks on Table Mountain 122017
 Post Posted: December 22nd, 2017, 11:27 pm 
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Chip Down wrote:
Don Nelsen wrote:
I will have to check it out.
Saturday should be a good day for that: per NOAA. Let us know what you find :D

I don't mind the snow or the temp or the wind, but all three is just more than I can handle.

But seriously, I'm amazed you hadn't noticed that trail. Seems to be quite crisp and easy to follow. But I don't know, it might just go 20' or something stupid.


Hmmm "Saturday should be a good day for that: per NOAA. Let us know what you find" Sounds like a great day out in the woods! -Report to come - should I survive. I'll bring the GF.

dn

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 Post subject: Re: First Tracks on Table Mountain 122017
 Post Posted: December 26th, 2017, 4:26 pm 
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Don,
I don't see any mention of where you started the trip. I assume at the power line gate?

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