A Cedar Table Loop 31-May-2013

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VanMarmot
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A Cedar Table Loop 31-May-2013

Post by VanMarmot » June 1st, 2013, 8:07 am

Work, business travel, selling our house & moving, and bad weather all conspired to suck the hiking time out of the last three weeks. :cry: Finally, finally, a hiking day came available. :D Since "young" and "spry" no longer apply to me, I knew that, after 3 weeks of sitting around and/or just moving boxes, a re-conditioning hike was necessary. So, off to Table Mtn. As I left the Bonneville Hot Springs TH and headed up the Dick Thomas trail, the clouds gave the (false) impression of clearing and sunlight was streaming through the forest.

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I took the Two Chiefs trail to the PCT and that to the Heartbreak Ridge trail and headed up. Judging by how my legs felt here, moving boxes does not count as exercise for hiking. Eventually, I reached the rocky outcrop and had a view of the clouds lazily rolling in from the W.

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However, by the time I'd dragged by aging and decrepit body to the top of Table, the clouds had settled in to obscure views in most directions. There was a nice view, however, of my planned return route - Table's NW ridge.

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The usual way down is to follow the use trail to where it joins an old, somewhat over-grown road on the E side of Pt 3210, and thrash along that to the powerline service road to the N. A while back, I'd found (or re-found, as there was a bit of a use trail, a flag or 2, and some old clothes) a way up the W side of Pt 3210. Except for a couple of short stretches of vine maple, it seemed easier than the road. This time I descended this route, going along the W side of Pt 3210 (arrows). It was harder to follow going down - staying high was important - but otherwise OK. It would need a little clearing to be a viable alternative to the road. After reaching the service road, I climbed up to the PCT and over to where it traverses a boulder field for lunch (yes) and a view (no). Greenleaf was visible but Adams was banded in clouds.

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After a nap to kill time in hopes the clouds would clear (no luck), I headed S on the PCT. I'd done a Hardy-to-Hamilton loop hike earlier this year but did not quite grasp the extent of the clearcutting that had taken place in that area.

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In the short time it took me to reach the bear grass covering the area below the powerlines, the clouds had dissipated and the air temperature had shot up! Amazing! The blue-bird of weather happiness was back!

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By the junction with the Cedar Mtn trail, it was as warm and sunny as any one could hope for - magnificent hiking weather! :D So, S on the Cedar Mtn trail.

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This is now almost a real trail and very easy to follow (no longer any need for flagging). What struck me about this whole hike was how LUSH the vegetation was - seemed greener and denser than in past Springs.

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Looking N from the spine of Cedar Mtn, I could see Wauneka Pt (w) and the bald spot just below it which are likely the vision pits.

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Then on down to Cedar Creek, over the ridge to the road, and along that back to the TH.

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After a cloudy start, this turned into a great hike on an excellent weather day (13.5 mi RT, 3500' EG). After I regain the use of my legs, another re-conditioning hike may be needed. I should also note that next time, we'll be hiring movers.

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Crusak
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Re: A Cedar Table Loop 31-May-2013

Post by Crusak » June 1st, 2013, 10:06 am

Hiring movers definitely sounds like a good plan. :)

Nice Cedar-Table report! Someday I need to hike that myself (I passed up the offer of a lifetime a few weekends ago - Don Nelsen offered to lead a hike up there & I did the WRT thru hike instead).
What struck me about this whole hike was how LUSH the vegetation was - seemed greener and denser than in past Springs.
I wonder if that's due to the unseasonably early heat we got, followed by lots of wet weather? Whatever the cause, it's very nice.

Nice TR VanMarmot!
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Don Nelsen
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Re: A Cedar Table Loop 31-May-2013

Post by Don Nelsen » June 1st, 2013, 5:26 pm

Bruce,

Nice job and report. Good to see that there is a viable use trail on the west side of the ridge for the last half - I'd never given that a try so thank you! I shwhacked along the old road through two foot deep snow and interminable vine maple late in April so will give your route a try asap.

Don
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Peder
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Re: A Cedar Table Loop 31-May-2013

Post by Peder » June 1st, 2013, 5:32 pm

Great TR and pictures as always. I also need to test your non-vine maple version of the Table north ridge.
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kepPNW
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Re: A Cedar Table Loop 31-May-2013

Post by kepPNW » June 2nd, 2013, 7:51 am

Heh, I can't believe I hiked a trail on Table before Don! :) That looks a lot like the way we went last December (http://gpsfly.org/g/2004), although I had absolutely no idea where we were most of the time. It was snowing, and we were in the clouds above about the halfway point. I probably said a half-dozen times, "I can't wait to get home and download the track, so I'll know where we are!" :lol:

Loved reliving the trail, Bruce! It's a great loop. How's that Cedar Creek crossing, now?
Karl
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VanMarmot
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Re: A Cedar Table Loop 31-May-2013

Post by VanMarmot » June 2nd, 2013, 8:16 am

kepPNW wrote:Heh, I can't believe I hiked a trail on Table before Don! :) That looks a lot like the way we went last December (http://gpsfly.org/g/2004), although I had absolutely no idea where we were most of the time. It was snowing, and we were in the clouds above about the halfway point. I probably said a half-dozen times, "I can't wait to get home and download the track, so I'll know where we are!" :lol:

Loved reliving the trail, Bruce! It's a great loop. How's that Cedar Creek crossing, now?
Looked at your GPS track - you were on the old road to the E of Pt 3210. The alternate goes along its W side. When there's a lot of snow, that old road is not too bad but in the summer it can be vine maple purgatory :twisted: . Sometimes ATVs/hunters/hikers do some clearing but it's never enough.

There's a big tree that's fallen almost in the middle of Cedar Ck (see my last photo) which you can use for an easy crossing.
Last edited by VanMarmot on June 2nd, 2013, 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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kepPNW
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Re: A Cedar Table Loop 31-May-2013

Post by kepPNW » June 2nd, 2013, 8:20 am

VanMarmot wrote:Loved reliving the trail, Bruce! It's a great loop. How's that Cedar Creek crossing, now?
There's a big tree that's fallen almost in the middle of the creek (see my last photo) which you can use for an easy crossing.[/quote]
Ahh! That looks much better than the one we used! Lower water, too. I gotta do this loop again, now that I know where it goes. :) Thanks!
Karl
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