Table Mountain & Aldrich Butte, 2-May-2013

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kepPNW
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Table Mountain & Aldrich Butte, 2-May-2013

Post by kepPNW » May 6th, 2013, 6:16 pm

Last Thursday, I had to get out. It was already late in the day, 10am or so, when this overwhelming need hit me.

What's close? Hmmm, got it! :)

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Many shot panorama: first views of the cliffs of Table Mountain.
Interactive Photosynth - zoom/scroll around in 105 megapixel image.



I ended up at the Bonneville Hot Springs trailhead about 12:30, or so, and was on the trail shortly. I often hear how muddy this first stretch is, but it really wasn't bad. The day was warm and amazingly still. I was wearing shorts.

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Watch it! This stuff's definitely coming out in force.


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(No idea what this is?)
EDIT: Hooker's fairy bells (Prosartes hookeri)



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Bleeding Hearts


The shortest path is always a straight line, right? Straight up hill!

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It only gets steeper, so don't be alarmed at this point.


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Saw my first phlox this year.


At around 2500', the trail levels off a bit, and you get some really nice views of the cliffs of Table, as well as Sacagawea Rock.

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The layering within Table Mountain is amazing, really. One flow after another.


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The legendary collapse accounts for the south side cliffs. But what accounts for the other sides vanishing?


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Sacagawea Rock, looking over the eastern gorge. Wind and Dog in distance. The great slide in foreground.


Then, after just a short period of fairly level trail, there's the boulder field. They're pretty stable, really. I guess I thought the Elevator Shaft might've presented more risk of severe ankle injury. Still, this is a place to be very cautious, especially when solo!

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Just one step after another. It goes by pretty quick. Think five or eight steps ahead.


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Looking back down the boulders, towards Hamilton Mountain.


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Just past the top of the boulders, hook a right on Heartbreak Ridge Trail. (One of the coolest trail signs ever.)


The summit is near!

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Even before hitting the summit, this tease with Bonneville Dam and Mount Hood shows up at one brief clearing.


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You're there!


Last time I was up here, it was a whiteout. The views were far better today. :)

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Mount Adams rising over Greenleaf Peak. Next time, I think I'll start earlier and go over there, too!


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Cool little summit flowers. (No idea what they are?)
EDIT: Columbia Kittentails, (Synthyris missurica)



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A nice little trail heads out to the edge of the cliffs, offering incredible views of the dam and iconic volcano.


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How about that?


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Obligatory self-shot at the precipice. Found a new place for my PortlandHikers button!


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Hard to stop shooting these views!


Volcanoes in every direction. Not all from one viewpoint, but here and there.

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Mount Jefferson


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Mount Hood


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Mount Saint Helens


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Mount Rainier


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Mount Adams


As I mentioned earlier, it was an unreasonable calm day. There was actually zero breeze on top! And those pesky little black biting flies were out in swarms. I couldn't sit still to take a photo, much less to have a little snack, without turning into one myself. So I really did keep a move on up there.

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Scoped out my descent route along the Westway Trail.


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As I crossed back towards the north end, ...


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... remembered the last time I was up here.


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There are just a few patches of snow left now, if you'd like to camp up here!


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The glacier lilies are coming on strong on the northwest edge.


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The south ridge of Silver Star looks ready for our assault on that in two days!


I'd heard a lot of grumbling about the Westway Trail down Table, but couldn't recall having taken it before, so I thought I oughta see what it's like. If you suffer IT-Band Syndrome, like me, don't even think of doing this without poles! You'll definitely want/need brakes. It is a very scenic route, though, and well worth it. I just went very slow, exactly as the doctor ordered. :)

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Some very cliff-y sections.


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Another large patch of glacier lilies, with Hamilton in background.


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Pretty cool basalt formation peeling off the mountain side.


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(No idea?)
EDIT: Smooth douglasia (Douglasia laevigata)



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Rocky, view-drenched descent. Boulder field ascent route in background.


Alas, the forest came all too quickly.

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Some really huge old cedar stumps in here!


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Totally funky shelter thingie. WTH kinda idjit burns logs like that?


Turned out, I wasn't out of daylight yet, so I decided to wander up Aldrich Butte as well. Hadn't ever been there, and the extra 500' EG would do me well after all that knee-banging descent. :)

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Seems to be the remains of an old fire lookout up here! Great place for one, were it not for all the trees.


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Still a very nice view of the dam, though!


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Thankfully, the local gun nuts had not disturbed the survey marker, just shot up the sign. :roll:


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I'd really like to know what this is. It has a powerful strong odor!
EDIT: Saskatoon or serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)



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Structure clearly been gone some time, now.


Then, it was just down to the jeep, and back to the Republic of Clarkistan. Great little getaway! Altogether, about 10.6 miles and 4000' EG.

http://gpsfly.org/gps_map.php?gps_id=2359&w=645&h=440


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These guys always crack me up. (I tend to stop for a cold drink at that little store in North Bonneville when I'm here.)

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Last edited by kepPNW on May 9th, 2013, 6:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Karl
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Oldman Withers
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Re: Table Mountain & Aldrich Butte, 2-May-2013

Post by Oldman Withers » May 6th, 2013, 6:32 pm

Were the pesky flies out by the rock pile? Last year I had to pretty much run up the rock slide just to get away from them. Great pictures by the way!

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kepPNW
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Re: Table Mountain & Aldrich Butte, 2-May-2013

Post by kepPNW » May 6th, 2013, 7:18 pm

Oldman Withers wrote:Were the pesky flies out by the rock pile? Last year I had to pretty much run up the rock slide just to get away from them. Great pictures by the way!
Thanks! Yeah, pretty much everywhere above the trees. There were flying things pestering me on the initial climb through the woods too, but I think some of them were mosquitoes. Below the sign boards, no problems, really.
Karl
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payslee

Re: Table Mountain & Aldrich Butte, 2-May-2013

Post by payslee » May 7th, 2013, 7:13 am

Your white-flowered shrub in the last flower photo is called saskatoon or serviceberry, Amelanchier alnifolia.

Looks like you had a great week outside last week!

-payslee

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kepPNW
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Re: Table Mountain & Aldrich Butte, 2-May-2013

Post by kepPNW » May 7th, 2013, 9:14 am

payslee wrote:Your white-flowered shrub in the last flower photo is called saskatoon or serviceberry, Amelanchier alnifolia.
Ahhh! Now that you say that, yeah, the leaves look just like those I harvested from last fall! :)

Thanks much for the ID!
payslee wrote:Looks like you had a great week outside last week!
Better than I normally dare hope for, yeah. :D
Karl
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pdxbucky
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Re: Table Mountain & Aldrich Butte, 2-May-2013

Post by pdxbucky » May 8th, 2013, 11:02 pm

kepPNW wrote:Image
Cool little summit flowers. (No idea what they are?)
Looks like Columbia Kittentails to me. http://www.pnwflowers.com/flower/synthy ... p-stellata
"Where are we going to explore today, Daddy?" Perhaps the best question ever.

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Re: Table Mountain & Aldrich Butte, 2-May-2013

Post by adamschneider » May 8th, 2013, 11:24 pm

Your serviceberry and Columbia kittentails have already been identified, so I'll try to help with the others... the first white one is Hooker's fairy bells (Prosartes hookeri), and the pink phlox-like one with small leaves is probably smooth douglasia (Douglasia laevigata).

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Crusak
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Re: Table Mountain & Aldrich Butte, 2-May-2013

Post by Crusak » May 9th, 2013, 5:17 am

Nice hike, and report. I still haven't ever hiked Table Mtn. Gotta get up there someday. :)
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kepPNW
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Re: Table Mountain & Aldrich Butte, 2-May-2013

Post by kepPNW » May 9th, 2013, 6:03 am

pdxbucky wrote:
kepPNW wrote: Cool little summit flowers. (No idea what they are?)
Looks like Columbia Kittentails to me. http://www.pnwflowers.com/flower/synthy ... p-stellata
Nailed it, I'd say! Appreciated! There weren't many, but they certainly were posing with some photogenic backgrounds up there. :)
adamschneider wrote:Your serviceberry and Columbia kittentails have already been identified, so I'll try to help with the others... the first white one is Hooker's fairy bells (Prosartes hookeri), and the pink phlox-like one with small leaves is probably smooth douglasia (Douglasia laevigata).
Also much appreciated! I really wonder if I'll ever really know even most of what I see out there. I suppose it's time to edit the main TR, to fill in all the blanks. :)
Crusak wrote:Nice hike, and report. I still haven't ever hiked Table Mtn. Gotta get up there someday. :)
I forget how excellent it is, too. This was actually the first time I'd been up there, with views, since 1986! I think next time I do it, I'd like to start much earlier and go hit Greenleaf too. Not sure my knees could ever consider DN's "Triple Table" idea, though! :lol:

Thanks, all!
Karl
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MarsIsCobra
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Re: Table Mountain & Aldrich Butte, 2-May-2013

Post by MarsIsCobra » May 9th, 2013, 6:23 am

The last two times I've been to table visibility has been very poor. Your report and pics have me itching to do it again. Maybe this weekend... Ohh... too many choices!

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