The plan: Park where Engineers Creek meets Hwy35, follow a road SE (on foot) to its end, follow ridge that runs between Engineers Creek and Hellroaring Creek, to Lookout Mountain (High Prairie area), then walk north a bit down High Prairie, descend the parallel ridge to the north of my ascent ridge.
What actually happened: At 5800' on my ascent ridge, I encountered Divide Trail, and aborted, taking the trail down. Reason: crossing a tremendous number of snowy toppled trees, winding through snowy brush, the daunting prospect of descending an unknown ridge...it all weighed on me. Weather was deteriorating, snow coming. I was cold and tired, and had hiked from dark to dark the day before. Enough is enough.
Weather: Started out clear and cool, but not uncomfortably cold, maybe high twenties. Clouds developed, darkened, wind picked up. At noon (5400') temp was 26. I had been dreading slushbombs dropping out of trees, but nope, never got warm enough. Overall, not too bad; I would have been less comfortable (wet) if it had been ten degrees warmer.
Regrets: I knew my original goal was very aggressive. Not surprised it didn't work out. Kinda wish I had continued to Lookout summit, but it's not a big deal. Once I passed over Bennett Pass Road at 5400', the adventure was over, and the rest was just playing. Just getting to that road was satisfying, and made me feel like the day was a success. I wonder what the day would have been like if I had started at dawn, as I normally do.
Microspikes (never needed, but might have been nice in a gully with 3" of snow over ice).
One treking pole.
Ice axe (helpful, but not essential, might have been better off with a second treking pole or my long bushwhacking ice axe).
Rope (never needed).
Discussions and Trip Reports for off-trail adventures and rediscovering lost trails
3 posts • Page 1 of 1
What!? You didn't start at dawn - or earlier? Was this Monday a day after your Crystal Lake/Riley Loop hike? I suppose a guy needs a slow day once in a while.
"Everything works in the planning stage".
Yeah, after Crystal/Riley I car camped and then grabbed a bite in Hood River on the way to my next hike. At the end of this hike I got back to my car in the light. What luxury! It felt downright decadent to change and sort gear by daylight, even took a few minutes to scout another hike nearby (looks like it will have to be 2021). Wow, it just "dawned" on me, this entire hike was light. That's not like me. I'm getting lazy