Hello! New explorer of lower north slopes of Mt Hood

Introduce yourself to the group! We welcome novice and expert alike! We especially love hearing from those new to Portland and those new to hiking
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Timothy
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Joined: October 9th, 2021, 8:19 am

Hello! New explorer of lower north slopes of Mt Hood

Post by Timothy » November 1st, 2021, 6:24 pm

New to Oregon Hikers. Hi!
I have lived in Hood River summers for last 4 years and just this year hiked within the Mt Hood Wilderness Area for the first time. Vista Ridge: I love it! I am 67 yrs old, skinny and a weakling all my life so it's hard for me to get in shape each year for summer recreation. (I have been a road cyclist for 8 years around Portland and the Gorge.)
Given that the Laurance Lake Road was closed most of the summer, I poked around a lot off the logging roads southwest of Parkdale, leading to the ridge overlooking the lake, where the High Route comes up from the lake and meets Bear Creek Road. Hours of bushwacking and walking old roads no longer on maps led me to get to know the area well. But I long, now, to return next spring and climb Elk Cove and Pinnacle Creek (?) trails.
It's the Coe glacier's run out that fascinates me and the canyons of the Coe Branch and Compass Creek. I feel drawn in to that area. It's weird seeing photos from hikers' accounts from before the big fires 10 years ago when the forests were alive and green, and compare to the stubble of forest today. Vista Ridge's trees apparently rotted enough so that this year many were blown down --over the trail. I hiked there a 2nd time in September; amazing how many downed trees had been removed from the trail by crews--Thank You!
I spend the winters in Canada near Toronto, 2400 miles from the mountain, But I daydream about it a lot.
I'm not new to hiking: summer after high school I did Outward Bound in Colorado. Then at age 24 I was one of a group of 30 climbers who went to the India/Chinese border and ascended to 22,000 feet. But mostly after that I drifted and sat on my butt and lost my spirit. After 24 years of marriage now I have reclaimed a lot of my former passion. Feeling pretty good. Mt Hood helps. she's like a brother out there for me to go join with and just spend time.

Webfoot
Posts: 1597
Joined: November 25th, 2015, 11:06 am
Location: Troutdale

Re: Hello! New explorer of lower north slopes of Mt Hood

Post by Webfoot » November 1st, 2021, 7:51 pm

Welcome Timothy. I am glad you found your passion for the natural world again.

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Chip Down
Posts: 2795
Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: Hello! New explorer of lower north slopes of Mt Hood

Post by Chip Down » November 1st, 2021, 9:17 pm

Vista Ridge was my reintroduction to hiking after a multi-year recovery/rehab, back in 2014. That was after the Dollar Lake fire, so it was an interesting way to get to know the mountain again.
Also, agree with you on Coe, that's a neat glacier.
I've followed Coe/Compass from Laurance Lake to Timberline Trail. Recommended, if you're into that sort of thing.
But I long, now, to return next spring and climb Elk Cove and Pinnacle Creek (?) trails.
How is that possible? There's still snow until summer! ;)

cfm
Posts: 1074
Joined: June 18th, 2008, 6:49 am

Re: Hello! New explorer of lower north slopes of Mt Hood

Post by cfm » November 3rd, 2021, 6:43 am

The road has been fixed and is now open! However, the repair looks pretty fragile. This was the view of the flooded area on Monday 11/1.
washout repair.jpg
washout repair.jpg (16.48 KiB) Viewed 458 times
There are still signs up that say no recreation allowed at Laurence Lake, but I was able to drive to the Elk Cove TH. It was raining and there were no views, but the baby larches were pretty.
larch2.jpg

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Chip Down
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Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: Hello! New explorer of lower north slopes of Mt Hood

Post by Chip Down » November 3rd, 2021, 4:36 pm

cfm wrote:
November 3rd, 2021, 6:43 am
The road has been fixed and is now open! However, the repair looks pretty fragile.
It always is. I think it's recognized that Eliot is gonna keep doing what Eliot does. I'm a little surprised they don't do the same thing the NPS does on Rainier's Westside road: give up, and make it a non-motorized road. [Dammit, I wanted to do that this year. I wonder if it's too late.]

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