Minor Editing - Rock of Ages Ridge Loop

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Peder
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Minor Editing - Rock of Ages Ridge Loop

Post by Peder » July 6th, 2008, 9:43 am

Below there are a couple of suggestions to the Field Guide after my hike yesterday. The Rock of Ages Ridge was superb and the path in excellent condition. I really enjoyed the (to me gorgeous) 1.7 miles above the Devil’s Backbone, so I changed the wording to something more positive. By comparison the Bell Creek Trail, in its current condition, must be “bushwhacking” to some. So I wrote a few words on its condition. Finally for your information, the Horsetail Creek Trail, on the stretch from the top of the Rock of Ages to the Bell Creek Trail is also in poor condition.


For the Rock of Ages Loop
My suggestions are underlined in the original text and proposed deletions in ( ):

… After taking turns snapping photos of each other under the natural rock arch, take the side trail back to the main trail and continue uphill. Shortly hereafter the trail splits, go right as the left-hand trail only leads to a viewpoint.

The path continues to gain elevation steeply. You'll begin to notice you're traversing a well-defined ridgeline. Watch on your right as you get to about 0.9 miles and you'll see a large, jutting, rock formation. This is Devil's Backbone. Take care as you climb this spine as it's mossy, and straight down on the far side. This offers some of the best views along the trail, giving you a great vantage point of the Horsetail Creek valley as it winds northerly and drops out of sight into the Gorge. On a clear day, Mount Saint Helens is visible. This serves as a nice resting spot after such a tough climb, and possible turnaround point for those not opting to continue the loop.

At this point the steepest climbing is done, but you've barely done a mile of your 10 mile loop. You've got 1900 feet of elevation to gain in the next 1.7 miles.

Continue up the (the) Devil's Backbone ridgeline and pick up the trail again. The next 1 1/2 miles (seem like ten) follow the broad undulating ridge through a serene forest. (The trail levels out, then climbs again, and continues this cycle giving you the false impression that you are nearing the top of your climb.) There are some glimpses of Yeon Mountain proper through the trees on your left giving you some idea of how much more vertical ground you have to cover. …

For the Bell Creek Loop Hike
Note on conditions July 2008: There is a large blow down about 200 yards into the trail when coming from the east. Hereafter, there are frequent downed trees for the first mile; all are easy to get around. Further west, after the bridge over Bell Creek, there are only few obstacles.
Some people are really fit at eighty; thankfully I still have many years to get into shape…

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Stevefromdodge
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Re: Minor Editing - Rock of Ages Ridge Loop

Post by Stevefromdodge » July 6th, 2008, 10:50 am

Thanks Peder! I'll make the changes as soon as I can.

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jeffstatt
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Re: Minor Editing - Rock of Ages Ridge Loop

Post by jeffstatt » July 6th, 2008, 3:08 pm

Good suggestions Peder. i wrote that original narrative based on the trip I took in 2006 after summiting Mt St Helens that morning. I was really feeling it during that stretch past Devil's Backbone - which probably contributed to my faint praise!

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Peder
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Re: Minor Editing - Rock of Ages Ridge Loop

Post by Peder » July 6th, 2008, 10:00 pm

After Mt. St. Helens I would have a hard time getting up the staircase - never mind the Rock of Ages Ridge! I am impressed... The section you found long looks like this:
Image
You were there after sunset if I recall correctly, so a "view" might interest you!.
Some people are really fit at eighty; thankfully I still have many years to get into shape…

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jimsiff
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Re: Minor Editing - Rock of Ages Ridge Loop

Post by jimsiff » August 27th, 2008, 3:53 pm

Hahaha... I'm glad I came across this thread. Jeff, that was a fun impromptu loop, wasn't it? I forgot that we did St. Helens and the Rock of Ages loop the same day. I loved the sunset from Devils Backbone.
-Jim

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jeffstatt
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Re: Minor Editing - Rock of Ages Ridge Loop

Post by jeffstatt » August 28th, 2008, 6:24 am

:)

no doubt I need to try that whole loop again one of these days

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