Table Mtn (Direct) 17-Dec-2011

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VanMarmot
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Table Mtn (Direct) 17-Dec-2011

Post by VanMarmot » December 17th, 2011, 5:57 pm

After a week of not being able to hike during the week ( :cry: ), I needed a hike (and possibly a hug too). The original plan was for a loop hike over Cedar Mtn starting from Bonneville Hot Springs. I was fortunate that today was a bluebird day in the Gorge.

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After reaching Carpenters Lake via the Dick Thomas trail, I took the Two Chiefs trail,

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to its junction with the PCT and then took the PCT toward Table. Enroute I passed through a band of fog that was rapidly dissipating in the morning light.

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I reached the Cedar Mtn use trail, and started down it, but then got to thinking that such a nice day really deserved a view rather than a walk in the woods. So I decided to do Table via its NW ridge (the Cedar Mtn loop would have to wait for a cloudy day or for more snow higher up). As I headed N on the PCT, I thought (way too much thinking on this hike) that it would be interesting to see if you could go directly up (E) from the PCT to the top of the NW ridge - thus avoiding having to hike under the power lines and then back along the brushy ridge. So at the 2400' level of the PCT, I turned right and started climbing.

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At 2800', I came to the first cliffs, and worked to the left to get above them. There are some "caves" at the base of these.

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I eventually worked into a drainage that let me get past two more cliffs so I could traverse back on a mossy slope to reach the use trail on the ridge ("T" is the approximate location of the PCT).

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So, yes, you can climb directly from the PCT to Table's NW ridge, dodging cliffs and thrashing through some nasty brush along the way. Was this fun - yes; would I do it again - not anytime soon. Of course, once I reached the ridge, the views kicked in and all was forgiven. There were clouds jammed up behind Dog,

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while Rainier, Greenleaf (foreground), and Adams were prominent in the cold, clear air,

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as were Birkenfeld and St. Helens,

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and, of course, Hood.

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I could also see the Silver Star "range" where a loony hike was in progress or at least progressing.

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I got off Table via the W ridge, with my knees feeling every loose rock. Once back on the PCT, I enjoyed a bit more sunshine,

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before taking the PCT back to the Aldrich Butte Road, which I followed until I could take the old cut-off trail to the gas line right-of-way road (under the BPA lines), and that back to the TH. Another great day on the sunny side of the Gorge. :) 11 mi RT, 3700' EG.

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Last edited by VanMarmot on December 18th, 2011, 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mayhem
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Re: Table Mtn (Direct) 17-Dec-2011

Post by mayhem » December 17th, 2011, 6:21 pm

Hmmm...Kind of getting sick to my stomach on all your great TR's :) Good kind of sick, more like jealous!! I can hike but not off trail or to put it in words...not going to happen!

Keep rubbing them in :)
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Crusak
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Re: Table Mtn (Direct) 17-Dec-2011

Post by Crusak » December 17th, 2011, 7:11 pm

mayhem wrote:Hmmm...Kind of getting sick to my stomach on all your great TR's :) Good kind of sick, more like jealous!! I can hike but not off trail or to put it in words...not going to happen!

Keep rubbing them in :)
Ditto! I had a LOONY thought this week - applying for a transfer back to the job I used to do, just so I could work shift work and have weekdays off again... To hike like VanMarmot! :lol:

Great TR and pics, VanMarmot. I recall that you are suffering through a job change yourself that will take away your weekdays off, right? Sad times. But welcome to the weekend warrior club. ;)
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Appleton
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Re: Table Mtn (Direct) 17-Dec-2011

Post by Appleton » December 17th, 2011, 8:48 pm

Nice report and pics! I can't say I understand your bushwhack route but that's a-ok. The posted routes to the top are crazy enough for me.
I went towards Table today too, although I got a late start so I mostly just wandered around the base. I parked at the Bonneville trailhead and took the Tamanous to the PCT to explore that area. There was only one other car in the lot at 11 a.m. It is a looong hike to Table from there but it was sunny and WARM! Almost too warm. I was glad in the afternoon as it cooled off that I wasn't zipping and unzipping my jacket anymore. Got back to my car just as it was turning to dusk. I saw two humans and one dog all day.

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Re: Table Mtn (Direct) 17-Dec-2011

Post by potato » December 17th, 2011, 11:23 pm

Nice work. I also had some clear views of Silver Star, St. Helens, Rainier, Adams, Hood, and tons of other unidentifiable-by-me ranges from my hike on Defiance today. I can't think of another day spent hiking that was so clear that Rainier didn't look any more hazy than Adams. Sorry to hear about your weekday hiking situation.

Pretty phenomenal weather today :)
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romann
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Re: Table Mtn (Direct) 17-Dec-2011

Post by romann » December 17th, 2011, 11:29 pm

It's interesting scramble - thanks for another loop idea! I did a "conventional" NW ridge loop in November based on one of your earlier TRs and maps; that trail on top of NW ridge was rough but quite scenic. Forest road hiking further north was easy but not as open - I wished that trail continued on the ridge rather than dipping to E side.

I think you might be in this picture (view from Hamilton Mtn. @ about 2 pm)
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VanMarmot
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Re: Table Mtn (Direct) 17-Dec-2011

Post by VanMarmot » December 18th, 2011, 8:59 am

Crusak wrote: Great TR and pics, VanMarmot. I recall that you are suffering through a job change yourself that will take away your weekdays off, right? Sad times. But welcome to the weekend warrior club. ;)
Thanks and, yes, I'm back to weekends after many years with a more flexible schedule. But it was either this new job or that totally flexible schedule called unemployment - so no real complaints here. The real test will come when it's raining on my only hiking day - hmmm, new rain gear?

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VanMarmot
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Re: Table Mtn (Direct) 17-Dec-2011

Post by VanMarmot » December 18th, 2011, 9:01 am

mayhem wrote:Hmmm...Kind of getting sick to my stomach on all your great TR's :) Good kind of sick, more like jealous!! I can hike but not off trail or to put it in words...not going to happen!

Keep rubbing them in :)
Thanks. My TRs are compensation for not being up to the rigors of a loony hike! I have some back issues from time to time and can (somewhat) appreciate what you're dealing with. Give yourself a chance to heal a bit before going loony again!

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VanMarmot
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Re: Table Mtn (Direct) 17-Dec-2011

Post by VanMarmot » December 18th, 2011, 9:07 am

romann wrote:It's interesting scramble - thanks for another loop idea! I did a "conventional" NW ridge loop in November based on one of your earlier TRs and maps; that trail on top of NW ridge was rough but quite scenic. Forest road hiking further north was easy but not as open - I wished that trail continued on the ridge rather than dipping to E side.
If you try this "loop" just don't try to climb any of the cliffs you'll certainly encounter. Going onto the rock is tempting due to the nasty brush but the rock only looks solid but its full of loose handholds and footholds. Best bet is the drainage just north of where I left the PCT and which I eventually worked my way into - less brush and it gets you through the cliffs.

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VanMarmot
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Re: Table Mtn (Direct) 17-Dec-2011

Post by VanMarmot » December 18th, 2011, 9:12 am

Appleton wrote:Nice report and pics! I can't say I understand your bushwhack route but that's a-ok. The posted routes to the top are crazy enough for me.
I went towards Table today too, although I got a late start so I mostly just wandered around the base. I parked at the Bonneville trailhead and took the Tamanous to the PCT to explore that area. There was only one other car in the lot at 11 a.m. It is a looong hike to Table from there but it was sunny and WARM! Almost too warm. I was glad in the afternoon as it cooled off that I wasn't zipping and unzipping my jacket anymore. Got back to my car just as it was turning to dusk. I saw two humans and one dog all day.
I saw 3 guys at Bonneville Hot Springs as I started my hike in the morning but never saw them again. There was 1 guy coming up the road as I was returning to the TH. That was it for the day. I was thinking that I'd see more folks out hiking on such a nice day?

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