Dutchman back in Oregon

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dikkeknodel
Posts: 19
Joined: September 5th, 2016, 9:24 am
Location: The Netherlands

Dutchman back in Oregon

Post by dikkeknodel » January 23rd, 2017, 8:47 am

Hey guys,

My boss asked me to travel to Hillsboro another time, so I just booked tickets. Since there is the rule 'work hard, play hard' it feels great to have another chance to do some hikes in beautiful Oregon.

Last August I did the following day hikes:
- Arch Cape to Short Sand Beach Hike
- Tom Dick and Harry Mountain Hike
- Lower Salmonberry River Hike
- Eagle-Benson Loop Hike via Ruckel Ridge at 95 degrees Fahrenheit :D

For now I'm aiming for hiking the weekend of February 25th and 26th.

It's all rather fresh, so a real plan is yet to evolve. Things to consider:
Weather
- Cold and wet I am familiar with here in the Netherlands :lol: .Should I expect snow in the Columbia Gorge?
Where to hike
I'm in quite good shape at the moment, hiking in the tiny hills of the Netherlands 1 day a week and cycling as commute 5 days a week. So stamina wise it's okay. I do not have much experience hiking in the mountains with huge packs of snow and never did any snowshoeing or back country stuff. But would love to try. My balance is pretty good, and I'm not quickly afraid (cautious though).
What gear to bring
- I have sturdy Class B/C gore tex hiking boots and gaitors to stay warm and dry.
- Bring crampons, or microspikes?
- Are hiking poles of use in the snow, or more a burden? I generally only use them in the mountains while carrying full camping gear, which I'm not planning to bring now.
Access
- Are roads generally cleared from snow, or should I definitely get tyre-chain with my rental car to get anywhere near the mountains?

Any hints are welcome. If someone wants to join, I am welcoming that too :) .

Cheers,
Raymond
Keep hiking!

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Peder
Posts: 3397
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:02 pm
Location: Lake Oswego

Re: Dutchman back in Oregon

Post by Peder » January 23rd, 2017, 10:15 am

Well, anybody who does Ruckel Ridge - Eagle-Benson loop must be OK! :D

It is difficult to say what is best until you know the weather and the snow levels. So I would wait to make any decisions till much later. A few simple observations:

- It rains a lots around here from November through May, so expect precipitation! One trick is to go east toward the desert, where you can often get away from the rain. The Catherine Creek/ Coyote Wall area is a favorite to get out of the rain - you can hike pretty far around there and do interesting loops.
- The coast can have surprising good weather and be (relatively speaking) quite warm. A day trip can be fun (sorry, this is the children's version but Salishan Spit is great), it is also whale season in February, so you could go out in a boat from Depoe Bay to see them up close.
- The local hiking, say in the Gorge, is fine if you have raingear. Microspikes are a plus and you should bring them. You have to tailor your ambitions to the snow levels or bring snowshoes.
- If the weather is good :shock: you could consider renting snowshoes and enjoying the snow around Mt Hood or Mt St Helens.

Unfortunately I expect to be travelling that weekend, so I cannot join you for something. I am sure that you can receive suggestions as the dates get closer.
Some people are really fit at eighty; thankfully I still have many years to get into shape…

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kepPNW
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Joined: June 21st, 2012, 9:55 am
Location: Salmon Creek

Re: Dutchman back in Oregon

Post by kepPNW » January 23rd, 2017, 1:39 pm

dikkeknodel wrote:Weather
- Cold and wet I am familiar with here in the Netherlands :lol: .Should I expect snow in the Columbia Gorge?
Sadly, yes, probably. We are in the middle of one of the most miserable (obviously a matter of perspective) winters ever. So bad, in fact, it's been declared to be The Worst (relative to norms) in the entire country!

https://weather.com/storms/winter/news/ ... -2016-2017

Hopefully, in another month, the snow will be up a couple thousand feet, but it's currently down to the river through much of the Gorge. (And has been for what seems like two months now!) As Peder suggested, I'd also definitely recommend bringing the microspikes! With all the water in the Gorge, there's plenty of ice along many trails.
dikkeknodel wrote:- Are hiking poles of use in the snow, or more a burden? I generally only use them in the mountains while carrying full camping gear, which I'm not planning to bring now.
I tend to use them (nearly) all the time, and yeah I do think they're no less useful (probably more so) in snow than when not in snow. But in such situations, they're less useful for added propulsion than for simple balance on slippery surfaces. Also good for testing snow when you suspect it may give way should you step on it.
Karl
Back on the trail, again...

(Photos · PortlandHikers)

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Peder
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:02 pm
Location: Lake Oswego

Re: Dutchman back in Oregon

Post by Peder » January 23rd, 2017, 8:12 pm

Re. Hiking poles
kepPNW wrote:I tend to use them (nearly) all the time, and yeah I do think they're no less useful (probably more so) in snow than when not in snow.
If you generally do not use them, you should be fine without even in snow. For snowshoeing I would recommend some form of ski poles though...
Some people are really fit at eighty; thankfully I still have many years to get into shape…

dikkeknodel
Posts: 19
Joined: September 5th, 2016, 9:24 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Dutchman back in Oregon

Post by dikkeknodel » February 21st, 2017, 7:43 pm

I've brought my hiking poles and bought a set of 95 mm (4 inch) disks (how do you call those things?) to attach to them. So snow-shoeing should be no problem equipment wise.
Keep hiking!

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jointhedance
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Joined: July 16th, 2012, 8:21 am
Location: Portland
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Re: Dutchman back in Oregon

Post by jointhedance » February 23rd, 2017, 11:28 pm

Feb. 25 is looking great for XC skiing at mountain pass level. New snow, temps in the 20's, some blue sky showing..

dikkeknodel
Posts: 19
Joined: September 5th, 2016, 9:24 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Dutchman back in Oregon

Post by dikkeknodel » February 24th, 2017, 8:46 am

jointhedance wrote:Feb. 25 is looking great for XC skiing at mountain pass level. New snow, temps in the 20's, some blue sky showing..
Yes, Saturday seems to be a great day according to the forecast. Let's hope they are right! Peder and I maybe meetingand go for a snow shoe adventure near Lake St. Helens. Pending onder Peders availability. I need to get some suncreen or I'll burn alive :P .
Keep hiking!

pcg
Posts: 279
Joined: May 31st, 2011, 7:46 pm
Location: Chehalem Mountain

Re: Dutchman back in Oregon

Post by pcg » February 24th, 2017, 1:50 pm

dikkeknodel wrote:I've brought my hiking poles and bought a set of 95 mm (4 inch) disks (how do you call those things?) ...
baskets :)

dikkeknodel
Posts: 19
Joined: September 5th, 2016, 9:24 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Dutchman back in Oregon

Post by dikkeknodel » February 24th, 2017, 4:16 pm

pcg wrote: baskets :)
That was a tough one, thanks! Now the challenge is to not forget it. :mrgreen:
Keep hiking!

pcg
Posts: 279
Joined: May 31st, 2011, 7:46 pm
Location: Chehalem Mountain

Re: Dutchman back in Oregon

Post by pcg » February 24th, 2017, 7:31 pm

dikkeknodel wrote:... Now the challenge is to not forget it. :mrgreen:
No problem if you do. I never showshoe with poles, but I don't hike with poles either. My snowshoes are small and light (MSR Lightning Ascent) and grip well on crusty hard snow. If I was using an older style snowshoe that could slide on slippery slopes then poles would probably be helpful.
If you are renting snowshoes for now you are welcome to try mine out on the weekends - I never go anywhere on weekends. PM me if interested.

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