Over the Phlox and Down the {Hamilton} Mountain 08-Mar-2013

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VanMarmot
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Over the Phlox and Down the {Hamilton} Mountain 08-Mar-2013

Post by VanMarmot » March 9th, 2013, 4:03 pm

Payslee’s recent TR on Hamilton (Hamilton), Peder’s harrowing tale of trying to cross upper Little Creek enroute to Hardy (Trouble), an as yet unamortized Discovery Pass, thoughts of a big loop with views, and, of course, bluebird conditions, all conspired to put me at the Hamilton Mtn TH on Friday. From there, a stroll thru the campground and a little XC brought me to Keuffler Rd, which I followed – paved then gravel – to the very old road that heads NE toward Hardy Ridge. It took two tries to find the correct old road and follow it to its crossing of Little Ck. Crossing the creek involved arm-waving acrobatics :o and a graceless landing in wet moss and leaves on the other side, but my boots stayed dry. This is what I’m now calling Peder’s Crossing.

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From there the old road was uneventful. Snow kicked in at around 2200’ but it was hardpack covered with 3-6” of soft stuff – easy to walk on.

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The road and a little uphill XC brought me to Phlox Point, with its great views of Hood,

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and of Archer Mtn to the W.

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The firm snow made it possible to continue N on Hardy Ridge to join the old road a little higher up.

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This old road connects with other old and new roads that take you to the headwaters of Hardy Ck – an area that was recently logged.

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I stopped on a stump for lunch and watched fearsome looking clouds gather over Phlox Point – but nothing came of it.

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A little further E, the W side of Table came into full view.

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Then I turned S on another old road that heads directly to the saddle just N of Hamilton. Another cathedral of trees with very walkable snow. I brought microspikes but didn’t use then – snow shoes would have been completely unnecessary.

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From Hamilton, there were views of Table & the Birkenfelds

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and of Dog & Augspurger far E in the Gorge.

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Then it was down past Hamilton’s cliffs,

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and Rodney Falls,

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to the Hamilton TH. Excellent hike, great views, magnificent weather – unbeatable! 13.5 mi, 3100’ EG.

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Crusak
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Re: Over the Phlox and Down the {Hamilton} Mountain 08-Mar-2

Post by Crusak » March 9th, 2013, 7:14 pm

Nice hike and TR Bruce. I did the basic Hamilton loop last weekend and I've been itching to check out a larger part of that area. Bookmarking! ;)
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Sean Thomas
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Re: Over the Phlox and Down the {Hamilton} Mountain 08-Mar-2

Post by Sean Thomas » March 10th, 2013, 7:24 am

Great idea, Bruce. The shot of Archer and the black and whites of Table are really awesome. Looks like it was a regular old VM bluebird day out there :)

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