Elk Creek Trail in the snow 03-17-12

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Crusak
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Elk Creek Trail in the snow 03-17-12

Post by Crusak » March 17th, 2012, 4:05 pm

I decided to answer my own questions about the Elk Creek Trail today by visiting it in person. :) I'm happy to report that the trail is still there. The gate to Elk Creek Campground is still locked, so parking outside by the highway is the only option. Anyone curious about this area, head out Hwy 6 to about milepost 28. ;)

It was a balmy 35° at the start. I had a nice leisurely hike, took my time, spent a lot of time just standing and listening. It was still plenty of exercise, since towards the top I was post-holing every step (it was about 24" deep, more in places, near my turn-around point). When it started getting deep enough to make walking more strenuous I also stopped to put the 'snow' baskets for my poles. I'd never removed the 'small' baskets, so it was quite a guessing game / wrestling match. Fortunately the baskets and poles survived.

This time I brought my gaiters, and i even wore snow boots. I figured that having dry, warm feet would be nice, and I was glad to have them.

An unfortunate event occurred on the hike - my super powers were revealed to the world. My GPS clocked me moving at 229 mph down the trail! Yes, it's true folks, I am that fast. :lol: When I got home I had to butcher up the .gpx track to remove the anomaly that produced that result. I think I ended up doing about 5.8 miles and 1200 feet of elevation gain. My 'true' moving speed overall was about 2 mph which isn't a surprise, given the amount of snow. I'd thought about bringing snowshoes, which would have made the deep snow in the higher elevations easier to traverse, I suppose. But I just wanted to get out and enjoy the snow - wasn't going for distance or EG.

Best part of the day? When it started snowing. I love the sound of snowfall in the forest.

Some pics from the day:
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Eric Peterson
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Re: Elk Creek Trail in the snow 03-17-12

Post by Eric Peterson » March 17th, 2012, 5:11 pm

Hey Crus, did you see my Saab parked at the gate?

Nice TR and looks like a good hike! :)

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Re: Elk Creek Trail in the snow 03-17-12

Post by Crusak » March 17th, 2012, 5:14 pm

Eric Peterson wrote:Hey Crus, did you see my Saab parked at the gate?

Nice TR and looks like a good hike! :)
:o I arrived around 8:30am and I think i remember seeing a Saab - but I didn't expect you guys out there this weekend, so I didn't even realize it was yours! Where were you hiking today?
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Re: Elk Creek Trail in the snow 03-17-12

Post by Eric Peterson » March 17th, 2012, 5:20 pm

Mayhem and I did a WRT through hike, his car was down at Keenig, just woke up from a 2 hour nap.

We actually thought we saw your truck at Kings TH when driving back to my car at Elk:)

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Re: Elk Creek Trail in the snow 03-17-12

Post by mayhem » March 17th, 2012, 6:06 pm

Thanks Crusak!! Makes me feel better about not doing the loop with that much snow. We would have been in a lot of trouble!
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Crusak
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Re: Elk Creek Trail in the snow 03-17-12

Post by Crusak » March 17th, 2012, 6:21 pm

mayhem wrote:Thanks Crusak!! Makes me feel better about not doing the loop with that much snow. We would have been in a lot of trouble!
I can't imagine crawling down the back of Kings or Elk in that snow. Yikes! That would have taken a long time. Unless you brought a sled with you!

So you guys did a leisurely 21 mile trek on the WRT today? :o :o :o
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Re: Elk Creek Trail in the snow 03-17-12

Post by mayhem » March 17th, 2012, 6:33 pm

Crusak wrote:
mayhem wrote:Thanks Crusak!! Makes me feel better about not doing the loop with that much snow. We would have been in a lot of trouble!
I can't imagine crawling down the back of Kings or Elk in that snow. Yikes! That would have taken a long time. Unless you brought a sled with you!

So you guys did a leisurely 21 mile trek on the WRT today? :o :o :o
Crusak we have to go up the Idiot Creek trail sometime! very easy grade & interesting forest views with one good view at the top looking towards highway 6 & Elk mt...kind of :)
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Re: Elk Creek Trail in the snow 03-17-12

Post by Crusak » March 17th, 2012, 7:15 pm

mayhem wrote:Crusak we have to go up the Idiot Creek trail sometime! very easy grade & interesting forest views with one good view at the top looking towards highway 6 & Elk mt...kind of :)
That's across the river, at that sign, just a little way up the Elk Creek Trail, right? I remember the TR from your trip up there with Thum/Pulgar: Tailgate Party
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Re: Elk Creek Trail in the snow 03-17-12

Post by [email protected] » March 18th, 2012, 3:10 pm

We were up on the Elk Mountain Trail (not the river one) on last Wednesday and ran into just tons and tons of snow. Expected maybe 6-8 inches but ended up kicking steps us and up finding ourselves in as much as 2feet + of snow. Really wet snow but even with all the rain I don't expect this to dissapear very fast and if it ices up - well watch yourself on that trail for sure. We made it up to the 2500ft sign and then decided not to drop down and then up to the summit - it was fun up to that point so we headed down and that was an adventure too given the steep drop-offs. The combination really gave the legs a work-out

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Re: Elk Creek Trail in the snow 03-17-12

Post by Crusak » March 18th, 2012, 7:28 pm

[email protected] wrote:We were up on the Elk Mountain Trail (not the river one) on last Wednesday and ran into just tons and tons of snow. Expected maybe 6-8 inches but ended up kicking steps us and up finding ourselves in as much as 2feet + of snow. Really wet snow but even with all the rain I don't expect this to dissapear very fast and if it ices up - well watch yourself on that trail for sure. We made it up to the 2500ft sign and then decided not to drop down and then up to the summit - it was fun up to that point so we headed down and that was an adventure too given the steep drop-offs. The combination really gave the legs a work-out
I saw some guys camped at the Elk Creek Campground when I was there. Looked like they had parked outside the gate and hauled their gear in 1/4 mile to the campsite. They said that they had tried to get up Elk Mountain and encountered the same snow levels you did. I think I made it up to about 2100' on Elk Creek, and I was postholing up to 2' or so.
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