Larch Mountain from Multnomah Falls, 23-Nov-2013

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kepPNW
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Larch Mountain from Multnomah Falls, 23-Nov-2013

Post by kepPNW » November 24th, 2013, 8:13 pm

It was just one of those days. Needed to get out, but hadn't really put any thought/effort into planning a getaway. So, I just hit one of the closer trailheads to home, up a known path. Got to Multnomah Falls about 9:30, or so, which didn't leave a whole lot of daylight hours to get to Sherrard Point and back.

It was cold and windy at the base of Multnomah Falls. Which turned out to be a really good thing! There was a 1/4" think glaze of ice across the bridge, and up the next few hundred yards of paved trail, which reduced the tourist count to virtually nil. I passed one family going up, and two joggers coming down, and that was it. Farther up, I think I only passed a few more folks, while much farther up a small handful who'd gotten up earlier were already returning. All in all, the forest was far more peaceful than usual on this trail.

The ice at the bottom was as bad as it got. There were some nice icicle displays along the way up, but nothing as glorious as Sean saw two peaks over. Hardly any snow to speak of up on Larch, though the ground was pretty much frozen hard bottom to top. Wind was only nasty right on the edge of the Gorge.

I'm sure most have been up here, so I'll just post a few photos of things I'd noted had changed or were otherwise out of the ordinary.

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All along the trail, ice crystals were extruding up out of the ground, sometimes 3-4" or even more. Beautiful.


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I hardly ever see Multnomah Falls with ice, as it seems I-84 is often kinda ugly too, so this was fun.


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What saved me from the hordes. Half a dozen people strenuously tried to warn me from walking up there! :)


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New sign (excuse?) for Perdition Trail closure. Old "Hikers Trail" sign still in background.


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Nice display of icicles from the basalt overhang of Dutchman's Tunnel.


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Solitary icicle hanging over Wiesendanger Falls.


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Where ever the trail wasn't basalt, it seemed, ice crystals were pushing upward and out of it.


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Icicles over Multnomah Creek.


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Seemed to be lots of new signage. This one (on the "low-water trail") just struck me as totally needless.


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A favorite stretch. I should note, complete hike was dry feet! Never a threat of wetness.


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More icicles.


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This one just said "Forest Primeval" to me. It is how I think of the lower sections of this part of the gorge forest.


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Still some fabulous fungus every here and there.


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Absolutely incredible fountain of resin escaping this tree in the Larch Mountain picnic area!


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Standing back a bit for scale. It was eye-height for me. Stunning.


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This was about the extent of the snow approaching 4000'.


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Nope, no snow here, either!


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Very intriguing ice formation over on Archer Mountain! What the heck is that???


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Nice day!


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Silver Star looks like it's still completely bare of snow, as well!


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Obligatory summit selfie, take two. (I mellon-headed Hood in the first take, too!)


I left Sherrard Point a bit after 1:30, realizing daylight was limited, and I really wanted to avoid a headlamp. Far too much glaze ice in the lower stretches, which would've really slowed me down at night. So, I did something I rarely ever do. Plugged in the earphones (old and new mix; JJ Cale, REM, Billy Bragg, Jerry Garcia, as I recall), and started boogieing, stopping for just a few more photos.


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One taken especially for all my right-wing friends! :)


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Didn't stop enjoying the icicle show, either!


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Was absolutely appalled at an asshole named Igor! I sure don't remember this being here before.


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Very nice repair job on landslide just below Wahkeena turnoff.


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First time I actually saw this plaque!


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The Archer Mountain ice feature from Multnomah Falls lodge area. What is that, anyway?


So, all in all, this was a really nice little "training hike" for me. Turned out to be about 16 miles, and maybe 4300' EG. I impressed myself, though probably no one else, with a GPS reading of 2.8mph moving average on the way up. Ended the trip with only 2.9mph, though, so something seemed whacky. Curiously, the Trip Computer showed 8.44 miles up and 16.20 miles at the bottom again, which would suggest the trip up was 2/3 mile longer? And yet, it was the same trail, in and out, with at most 0.25 miles of variance. I don't think I "get" that one!

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All I can surmise is that it was the signal bouncing around the canyons in the lower part of the journey? <shrug>

http://gpsfly.org/gps_map.php?gps_id=2886&w=645&h=440

Anyway, it truly was another great day in the woods! :)
Karl
Back on the trail, again...

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Peder
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Re: Larch Mountain from Multnomah Falls, 23-Nov-2013

Post by Peder » November 24th, 2013, 8:48 pm

kepPNW wrote:Image
Very intriguing ice formation over on Archer Mountain! What the heck is that???
Karl - Great pictures and TR. And yes, Igor is an idiot! The rocks east of Archer Falls leak a lot of water and this water has frozen into ice sheets on the cliff. Archer Falls can been seen on your original at the bottom of the "V." I cannot explain the big patch of "snow" below the ice sheets.
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romann
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Re: Larch Mountain from Multnomah Falls, 23-Nov-2013

Post by romann » November 24th, 2013, 9:34 pm

Wow - surprised at lack of snow on top of Larch Mt. Might give it a go next weekend, if the weather holds.

This inscription on the rock reminded me of graffiti someone painted on large trees at the bottom of Angels Rest trail, a year or 2 ago. But at least the trees have shed paint fast...

Archer Falls is another alike P. Trail above Multnomah (though I didn't try the latter). Impressive hanging valley out there.

raftingdog
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Re: Larch Mountain from Multnomah Falls, 23-Nov-2013

Post by raftingdog » November 24th, 2013, 10:37 pm

I'm impressed with your speed...do you recommend micro-spikes for icey parts? your route was I was always told 7 miles each way.. unless you toke side routes for more miles

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Eric Peterson
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Re: Larch Mountain from Multnomah Falls, 23-Nov-2013

Post by Eric Peterson » November 25th, 2013, 6:17 am

Image
Looks like there's some trail tending that needs to be done!

Nice moving AVG for sure Karl! ;)

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kepPNW
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Re: Larch Mountain from Multnomah Falls, 23-Nov-2013

Post by kepPNW » November 25th, 2013, 6:58 am

Peder wrote:
kepPNW wrote:Very intriguing ice formation over on Archer Mountain! What the heck is that???
Karl - Great pictures and TR. And yes, Igor is an idiot! The rocks east of Archer Falls leak a lot of water and this water has frozen into ice sheets on the cliff. Archer Falls can been seen on your original at the bottom of the "V." I cannot explain the big patch of "snow" below the ice sheets.
Thanks, Peder! I definitely need to explore up there around Archer. Now that you mention it, I have seen a TR or two with photos of that falls/basin.

You really gotta wonder how someone as mentally challenged as Igor stumbled that far up the trail, huh? :evil:
romann wrote:Wow - surprised at lack of snow on top of Larch Mt. Might give it a go next weekend, if the weather holds.

This inscription on the rock reminded me of graffiti someone painted on large trees at the bottom of Angels Rest trail, a year or 2 ago. But at least the trees have shed paint fast...

Archer Falls is another alike P. Trail above Multnomah (though I didn't try the latter). Impressive hanging valley out there.
I'm hearing very little chance of any significant precip through the weekend. Which is just amazing. December???

Igor, the mental midget, didn't have what it takes to mark the rocks for the millenia, but I suspect it may last for quite some time. I wonder if there's anyway to encourage the lichens to do their magic there?

Ahhhh, yes, I do remember (as well) now about some sort of "access" issues. Hmmm...
raftingdog wrote:I'm impressed with your speed...do you recommend micro-spikes for icey parts? your route was I was always told 7 miles each way.. unless you toke side routes for more miles
I saw signs that indicated it was more like that, and they sure weren't matching up with the GPS. The biggest discrepancies were lower on the trail. But the fact that the GPS measured noticeably less distance on the descent, even after accounting for a couple diversions, leads me to think it just got all tweaked by canyon echoes on the way up and had better angles on the satellites on the way down. The track shows some seriously bizarre stuff down low, too.

The speed is all relative to the GPS, I suppose. :) If it really did record an extra mile going uphill, well, that'd have an impact for sure. Then you gotta wonder what it considers "Stopped Time" too. :) But it did feel good to just let it loose, and get a little exercise out of the day! (Although the hip flexors weren't in full agreement with that notion the next day! Heh...)

I almost pulled out the microspikes down by Multnomah Falls! But just moving really slow, along the edge of the path, with poles for balance, got me through that stretch. Otherwise, there wasn't another spot that didn't offer fairly good traction somewhere. The stairs and shaded paved trails around Sherrard Point had avoidable patches of ice to be aware of, though!
Eric Peterson wrote:Looks like there's some trail tending that needs to be done!

Nice moving AVG for sure Karl! ;)
Thanks, Eric! No rest for the wicked, eh?! :D
Karl
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Don Nelsen
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Re: Larch Mountain from Multnomah Falls, 23-Nov-2013

Post by Don Nelsen » November 25th, 2013, 7:01 am

Peder wrote:
kepPNW wrote:Image
Very intriguing ice formation over on Archer Mountain! What the heck is that???
Karl - Great pictures and TR. And yes, Igor is an idiot! The rocks east of Archer Falls leak a lot of water and this water has frozen into ice sheets on the cliff. Archer Falls can been seen on your original at the bottom of the "V." I cannot explain the big patch of "snow" below the ice sheets.
Not really "snow" - it is mostly the accumulation of ice falling from the cliffs. Should the current long range forecast of some really cold weather starting next week come true Archer Falls will really be interesting. Here's a shot I took yesterday from the cliffs near the falls:

Image

-Don
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kepPNW
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Re: Larch Mountain from Multnomah Falls, 23-Nov-2013

Post by kepPNW » November 25th, 2013, 7:08 am

Don Nelsen wrote:
Peder wrote:
kepPNW wrote: Image
Very intriguing ice formation over on Archer Mountain! What the heck is that???
Karl - Great pictures and TR. And yes, Igor is an idiot! The rocks east of Archer Falls leak a lot of water and this water has frozen into ice sheets on the cliff. Archer Falls can been seen on your original at the bottom of the "V." I cannot explain the big patch of "snow" below the ice sheets.
Not really "snow" - it is mostly the accumulation of ice falling from the cliffs. Should the current long range forecast of some really cold weather starting next week come true Archer Falls will really be interesting. Here's a shot I took yesterday from the cliffs near the falls:

Image
Wow! :shock: Amazing... Particularly because of the south-facing aspect, as well as the relatively low elevation... That's just gorgeous! I need to go there. Thanks, Don! :)
Karl
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forestkeeper
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Re: Larch Mountain from Multnomah Falls, 23-Nov-2013

Post by forestkeeper » November 25th, 2013, 9:36 am

:D Absolutely stunning captures, Karl! Nice TR! How far is it to that viewpoint on top from the lodge parking lot? I'ii be heading there Wednesday, but I only average about 2 miles per hour when taking pics. :roll: :roll:
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If I had the unofficial okay from Splintercat, I'd maybe do a minor brushout of the Perdition. ;) Not sure if Ian is still in charge of the Columbia River Scenic Area unit of the USFS and how often they patrol the trail. Don't want to get in trouble or damage my perks at Clackamas River. :cry: Maybe get mcds involved and I'd be his helper. He's more experienced with the big stuff.

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kepPNW
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Re: Larch Mountain from Multnomah Falls, 23-Nov-2013

Post by kepPNW » November 25th, 2013, 11:03 am

forestkeeper wrote::D Absolutely stunning captures, Karl! Nice TR! How far is it to that viewpoint on top from the lodge parking lot? I'll be heading there Wednesday, but I only average about 2 miles per hour when taking pics. :roll: :roll:
Thanks, Will! I guess it's between 7-8 miles, one way, up to Sherrard Point. My GPS doesn't like that lower canyon, so readings are a bit crazy. :)

No idea if any "big stuff" is involved on that one stretch. But it'd sure be nice to see it in good shape again! :D
Karl
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