Wahtum Lake, Chinidere & Tomlike Mountains, 7/21/2021

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pdxalex
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Joined: July 26th, 2016, 4:04 pm

Wahtum Lake, Chinidere & Tomlike Mountains, 7/21/2021

Post by pdxalex » July 22nd, 2021, 9:30 am

I decided to burn off some use or lose leave yesterday to explore the area around Wahtum Lake. The destination was a last-minute choice after my daughter bailed out of hiking with me. It turned into a bit of a comedy of errors. I was so eager to get out of the house that I didn’t think through where I was going or look at a weather forecast. I was dressed for a warm, low altitude hike, i.e. shorts and a wicking t-shirt, only to discover it was 45 degrees with a howling wind at the trailhead at 0835. At that point, I realized that I left my jacket hanging in the closet. Then I realized that the GPS batteries were dead and the spares were in my other pack in the garage. But all was not lost. I have the Gaia and Avenza apps on my phone as well as a paper map ... and a can of pFreim’s pale ale in my lunch box. I sat in the car for a while muttering about how stupid I was and then opted to go for it. It was going to be pretty unpleasant to start but it would warm up and the wind would be less of a problem once I was deeper in the forest ... and that’s what happened. The temperature transitioned from stupidly painful to merely unpleasant to reasonable. Next time, though, I’ll pull my head out of my butt & do it right. Anyway the details:

The hike began at the Wahtum Lake campground. There were 5 cars at the trailhead. The camp sites were occupied. The directions on the website were spot on. The forest service roads were in decent shape although there are some potholes on 1310, one of which spans the width of the road and would be pretty unpleasant to hit at faster than 5 mph. Any car could manage the route.

I started up the Ant Hill trail. There are a few points that overlook the lake and Mt. Hood. The trail is getting a little overgrown in spots but there were no blowdowns.
Wahtum lake & Mt Hood.jpg
Once I hit the Herman Creek trail, I decided to explore the user trail to Tomlike Mountain. It was fairly easy to follow with some nice views. I reached the rockpile below the last band of trees below summit and started up but completely lost the trail. I don’t often climb rock like this but I was very thankful for the rigid plates in the soles of my Danner boots. After rock hopping for a bit looking for an opening in the trees, I was getting pretty chilled so I opted to go back down to get out of the wind. I’ll come back another time more appropriately dressed. So, back to the Herman Creek trail and over to Chinidere. The trail is in great shape. There are about 15-16 blow downs between the two mountains. All were easy to go over or around. There were some nice patches of bear grass along the way extending deep into the forest but few other flowers, just the occasional columbine and lilies.
flowers.jpg
herman creek trail.jpg
tiger lilies.jpg
It was an easy climb up Chinidere to find a crowd of 10-12 people, a couple of off-leash dogs, and Mt. Hood hiding in the clouds. The peak offers an interesting view of the fire damage in the Eagle Creek basin.
looking W and N.jpg
At this point, it was time to hunker down out of the wind near the vision quest pits to have lunch and chat with a couple of other hikers. I headed back down with half a can of beer in my hand and took the Chinidere cutoff trail to checkout the outlet of the lake. As noted on the website, this trail is reasonably steep in places. I do not recommend this short segment if you are at all concerned about your knees. Mine still ache. Next time I would probably opt to add a few more miles and go back down Ant Hill or maybe take the PCT around the north side of the lake.

Other than the small crowd on top of Chinidere, I only saw 5 people all day. One early on about as badly dressed as I was and two parties of two on the Herman Creek trail. Other than the ridiculous start, it was a good day to be out, certainly much better than sitting at a computer all day.
Last edited by pdxalex on July 23rd, 2021, 5:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Chip Down
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Re: Wahtum Lake, Chinidere & Tomlike Mountains, 7/22/2021

Post by Chip Down » July 22nd, 2021, 10:38 am

... and a can of pFreim’s pale ale in my lunch box.
The universal problem fixer. :D

Your subject line shows 7/22, but your post is stamped 7/22 am. Hmm...

pdxalex
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Joined: July 26th, 2016, 4:04 pm

Re: Wahtum Lake, Chinidere & Tomlike Mountains, 7/21/2021

Post by pdxalex » July 22nd, 2021, 12:14 pm

A good beer may not fix your problems but sometimes they seem a little less of a problem.

Good catch on the title.
Last edited by pdxalex on July 22nd, 2021, 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Chip Down
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Re: Wahtum Lake, Chinidere & Tomlike Mountains, 7/21/2021

Post by Chip Down » July 22nd, 2021, 12:38 pm

My weather was a little weird on 7/21. I went out that day because the predicted high was the coolest in the long-term forecast. Still, I was sweating on my early morning ascent, as were the runners who passed me. By noon (aka beer o'clock) it was cool and breezy, clouds were taking over, and soon it was almost completely overcast. I don't carry a thermometer, but it felt cooler at 1:00 than it did at 9:00.

I'd much rather be too cold than too hot. I can always move a little faster and generate some heat.

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drm
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Re: Wahtum Lake, Chinidere & Tomlike Mountains, 7/21/2021

Post by drm » July 22nd, 2021, 12:47 pm

Since you didn't mention bugs, I guess they weren't too bad. I need to visit Indian Mtn again, and maybe check out upper Eagle Creek at the same time.

pdxalex
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Joined: July 26th, 2016, 4:04 pm

Re: Wahtum Lake, Chinidere & Tomlike Mountains, 7/21/2021

Post by pdxalex » July 22nd, 2021, 1:31 pm

I noticed a couple of bees moving sluggishly in some flowers toward the end of my excursion. Otherwise, there weren't any flies or mosquitoes. Of course, it may just have been the wind and the cold that suppressed them.

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