Table Mt via Aldrich Butte

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Chip Down
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Table Mt via Aldrich Butte

Post by Chip Down » November 24th, 2017, 9:51 pm

Topo map shows a very clear ridge headed north from Aldrich Butte towards Table Mt. It fades out, but by that time you can pop over to the east and follow the edge of the Table Mt cliffs up to the top.

I found quite an array of roads and trails, both official and social. Left my head spinning. I won't even try to describe my route, because putting together a detailed account with maps and photos would certainly take an hour. I will answer specific questions though, if anybody is curious about details.

Wild guess: round trip from car to Table and back probably entailed 25% old roads, 20% social trails, 20% bushwhacking, 35% official trails. Would have been more off-trail, but it rained and rained and rained some more, so I stayed on roads and trails more than I normally would. This is still on my to-do list, because I want to go back and poke around a bit more on some variations that I wasn't able to complete.

Many more people than expected. I probably saw 11, including a party of 4 young guys approaching the Table plateau in short sleeved tee shirts, likely cotton, with no hats or gloves, with rain and wind on the summit. Imagine what their mothers would say!
Attachments
1.jpg
Ascending Aldrich Butte off-trail (there's an old road too, if you prefer)
2.jpg
Ruins at Aldrich Butte. Interesting spot.
3.jpg
Aldrich benchmark
4.jpg
Late in the day, looking back at Table Mountain from Aldrich, which I ascended a second time to see the views (zero visibility when I was there in the morning). Notice the obvious illuminated ridge from Aldrich to Table. Looks broad and possibly brushy, but it was crisp and easy to follow, even hosting PCT briefly.
5.jpg
I don't need f-ing fortune. I've got f-ing fortitude and f-ing fitness, which are much more reliable than dumb luck.
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7.jpg
See that waterfall? A little white ribbon. No creek or snow above, so must be spring fed.
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I've been wanting to get to that point for a while. Pulled it off today.
9.jpg
A gloomy drizzly day like this calls for a cheerful beer. You may recall a similar pic from a couple weeks ago, when I post-holed up to here! It's all gone! I hear Meadows cancelled their planned Black Friday opening because of unexpected warm rain.

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Chip Down
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Re: Table Mt via Aldrich Butte

Post by Chip Down » November 24th, 2017, 10:06 pm

Oh, what the heck, I might as well re-post my table-on-Table pics from a couple weeks ago, for convenient reference:
Attachments
8.jpg
9.jpg

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RobinB
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Re: Table Mt via Aldrich Butte

Post by RobinB » November 25th, 2017, 12:38 am

Nice! I'm presuming you went up "Cedar Ridge" (the one that hits the PCT just south of Westway)?

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Chip Down
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Re: Table Mt via Aldrich Butte

Post by Chip Down » November 25th, 2017, 6:50 am

RobinB wrote:Nice! I'm presuming you went up "Cedar Ridge" (the one that hits the PCT just south of Westway)?
Hmm...not sure. I've heard of Cedar Mt and Ridge, but not clear on where they are.

From Aldrich, I wasn't sure I was going the right way on the clear northbound ridge (it looks so easy on the map, but I had no visibility, no compass, no GPS, no familiarity with the area) so I dropped west to a road which I aimlessly wondered, killing time in hopes the weather would improve. Surprisingly, that took me to PCT, in the Sac/Pap area, so I figured I might as well go up Table. Took Heartbreak Trail up a bit, then left Heartbreak to follow the cliff edge up, occasionally catching views when clouds parted.

On the way down it was mostly dry, so I followed the crest of the long ridge towards Aldrich, discovering that it's every bit as clear and open as one could hope for, and there's even a pretty good trail worn in. On the "map" below, Aldrich Butte is at the south end, and of course the Table Plateau is the obvious flat spot at the extreme north edge. There's such an abundance of roads/trail in that area, I'm actually glad the map is so vague. An accurate map only would have confused me.

Is Cedar Ridge the one extending north from Aldrich? I suspect not.
Attachments
Table_via-Aldrich.jpg

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Table Mt via Aldrich Butte

Post by Don Nelsen » November 25th, 2017, 8:19 am

Good report, chip. This map I put together in 2013 shows almost everything in the vicinity of Table. This was a "test" post when I was nearly done with the project. Still a few things missing but not much.

dn

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=17962&p=132135&hilit=table#p132135
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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adamschneider
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Re: Table Mt via Aldrich Butte

Post by adamschneider » November 25th, 2017, 3:19 pm

I drove out to the eastern Gorge yesterday. Solid rain from Troutdale to Hood River, then nothing but blue skies from Mosier on east. I wouldn't have wanted to be on Table Mountain. :)

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RobinB
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Re: Table Mt via Aldrich Butte

Post by RobinB » November 25th, 2017, 6:41 pm

Don's map gets this across clearer than I will, but I think of Cedar Ridge as the one that runs north-south between Hamilton and Cedar Creeks, from roughly the Hamilton-Cedar confluence just west of Aldrich to where Westway leaves the PCT just south of Table.

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Chip Down
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Re: Table Mt via Aldrich Butte

Post by Chip Down » November 25th, 2017, 9:40 pm

Oh, I see. Nope, never got as far west as Cedar.

Don, I spotted Aldrich Butte as a candidate for some off-trail shenanigans, never realizing the spaghetti mess of trails up there. I seem to have that problem a lot in the gorge.

Chuckled at your "no bridge" warning on Hamilton Creek. I've been thinking about finding that RR grade, but a little scouting yesterday (on the east side) convinced me that I could do that only at the lowest possible flow. Or hike in from the east instead.

Fascinating to see where some of the routes go. And I think I finally understand what the "two chiefs" are. I take it they're the two prominent points on the lower/southern extent of the cliffs (a bit above sac/pap rocks).

Is it possible the 1950 Chevy is gone? Didn't see it a couple weeks ago. Of course, I kinda had my head down under my hood in the bad weather, and plunged directly downslope in the snow a couple times instead of following the road. But still, odd that I'd miss it both directions.
adamschneider wrote:I drove out to the eastern Gorge yesterday. Solid rain from Troutdale to Hood River, then nothing but blue skies from Mosier on east. I wouldn't have wanted to be on Table Mountain. :)
It actually wasn't horrible. The heavy rain was from Aldrich to Heartbreak, and that was such easy open terrain, with little wind, that I was able to use an umbrella most of the way. By the time I cut over to the cliff edge off-trail, it wasn't much more than a drizzle. Definitely better weather than my trip up there a couple weeks ago. I was pretty damp all day, but never soggy or chilled.

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Table Mt via Aldrich Butte

Post by Don Nelsen » November 26th, 2017, 10:53 am

Chip Down wrote: ...Chuckled at your "no bridge" warning on Hamilton Creek. I've been thinking about finding that RR grade, but a little scouting yesterday (on the east side) convinced me that I could do that only at the lowest possible flow. Or hike in from the east instead.

Fascinating to see where some of the routes go. And I think I finally understand what the "two chiefs" are. I take it they're the two prominent points on the lower/southern extent of the cliffs (a bit above sac/pap rocks).

Is it possible the 1950 Chevy is gone? Didn't see it a couple weeks ago. Of course, I kinda had my head down under my hood in the bad weather, and plunged directly downslope in the snow a couple times instead of following the road. But still, odd that I'd miss it both directions...
Chip, the part of the old grade between where the bridge once existed and where the route I'm calling the "Giant Forest Trail" junctions with it has a lot of poison oak. More interesting to the north of there anyway.

Yep, that's the Two Chiefs. A climb to the summit of both is a lot of fun.

The Chevy isn't too easy to spot. I missed it myself on three or four trips by there. It is pointed south and about 20 or 30 feet from the powerline road. Pics:

Image

Image

ps: it might be a '49 - without the grill, I can't tell for sure.
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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Chip Down
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Re: Table Mt via Aldrich Butte

Post by Chip Down » November 26th, 2017, 5:52 pm

Oh, yeah, with a foot of snow I wouldn't see that Chevy unless I was looking for it. Reminds me of the pickup on the powerline road north of Archer Mt that I almost missed, as well as the old Bronco (I think) near rd 777 in the Tanner area (Stolen Car Falls, I think it's been dubbed) which I nearly walked past when it was nearly buried in snow. Kudos to Don for finding those pics in a collections of thousands. I can usually dredge up a pic, but as I get older and my collection grows, I know it will get harder.

Good to know I got to the top of one of the Two Chiefs. Wanted to do the other, but I knew by the time I got there I might be back in the clouds again, and it would have meant I'd be hiking out in the dark, and I figured the north chief offered the better views, so I decided skip the southern chief.

[edit: disregard my question below, I just had to read the linked discussion] Don, when I try to save your map, all I get is a segment of it, as if your map is actually a series of smaller pics with no borders in between. What's up with that? :| Maybe it's for the best. A guy could spend weeks exploring all that, and I have other obsessive needs to fulfill.

Funny and weird that I have two similar pics on the "Popular Trip Reports" page. I generally post in the off-trail forum, so my pics rarely show up on the preview page. To see a set of twins up there is jarring. If I had deliberately set out to accomplish that, it would seem way too much effort, but it just happened by chance. :lol:
Attachments
beer30-on-table.jpg
This has nothing to do with my immense ego, I swear!

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