Snow hike off road 23 120720

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Don Nelsen
Posts: 3881
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA

Snow hike off road 23 120720

Post by Don Nelsen » December 9th, 2020, 2:44 pm

We had a nice snow hike Monday off the 23 road north of Trout Lake. Parking at MP 46.1, we hiked north to MP 45, left the road and headed up the hill, into the forest. The plan was to head 1.25 miles (in a straight line) towards the PCT, 1,100 feet above us. We hoped to find snow shoe tracks, or tracks from hikers, skiers etc. that had beaten in a trail and from there we were going to head north to road 23 and hike back to the car.

We opted for spikes instead of snow shoes and that worked out fairly well. Most of the time we sunk in less than a foot and often, the surface was frozen well enough we didn't sink in at all.

In places it looked like this:
Image

In other places, like this:
Image

We crossed a couple of old logging roads and finally got to a wider road at 4,200’. No trace of snowmobile tracks, so our hopes of an easier surface didn’t work out, but we had a nice set of elk prints to follow for a while. Adams was sporting a nice lenticular, too.

Elk tracks at 4,200':
Image

Image

Hiking north a bit then back into the forest got us to the PCT at 4,450’. Unfortunately, no trace of previous travelers so there was no way we could forge ahead the distance we would have needed to get us back to the 23 road that way. The snow was only a little deeper but it was heavier and wetter so the going was too tough as we sunk in at least a foot with each step. The snow shoes would have worked here.

Kel on the PCT:
Image

We went back the way we came and made it back to the 23 road only 45 minutes after sundown. The sky was crystal clear as we hiked back along the road with the Milky Way brightly lit above us. We saw Mars directly ahead and the Pleaides off to the left. We were hoping to see Saturn and Jupiter as they neared their solstice conjunction but they were too far to the SW and that part of the sky was hidden by the trees.

The meanderings in the forest to find the best path of least resistance ended up giving us 5.7 miles for the day with about 1165’ EG. It felt like 20 miles though!
Hike # 107
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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Kay Burton
Posts: 22
Joined: September 24th, 2020, 6:06 am

Re: Snow hike off road 23 120720

Post by Kay Burton » December 10th, 2020, 2:10 am

Wow! It's just a winter fairy tale! Say what you like, but winter is the most beautiful time of the year if it is a snowy winter. I don't like winter when there is little snow and a lot of mud.

Webfoot
Posts: 1363
Joined: November 25th, 2015, 11:06 am
Location: Troutdale

Re: Snow hike off road 23 120720

Post by Webfoot » December 10th, 2020, 8:04 am

Kay Burton wrote:
December 10th, 2020, 2:10 am
Wow! It's just a winter fairy tale! Say what you like, but winter is the most beautiful time of the year if it is a snowy winter.
I cannot disagree. A few photo threads for your enjoyment.

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=26237
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=28763
http://karl-helser.com/mt-hood-devils-k ... eft-chute/

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