Table Rock Wilderness 20-Apr-2014

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VanMarmot
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Table Rock Wilderness 20-Apr-2014

Post by VanMarmot » April 20th, 2014, 2:54 pm

Going through some old 35mm slides the other day, I realized that I hadn't visited the Table Rock Wilderness is something like 18 years! That glaring omission, some time today for a short hike before heading to DC on business, and curiosity about snow levels, found me at the Table Rock TH early this morning.

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The road and the Table Rock trail up to 4200' were mostly snow-free, with only short stretches of snow in a few places. No need for snow shoes or spikes, but the crusty, breakable, soft, uneven surface was a little hard to hike on.

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At 4400', the trail cuts below the north face to Table Rock,

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and here the trail was completely buried in snow.

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I worked my way across carefully, as this is soft snow on a boulder field - punching through the snow and getting your ankle/leg trashed by an underlying rock is a real possibility. Once the I reached the W side to Table, the snow largely disappeared again and it was an easy hike up to the top of the rock.

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There was still a lot of water vapor in the air from Saturday's storms but Hood was visible (and so are the clear cuts - which come almost to the wilderness boundary in some spots),

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as were Jefferson (J), Three Finger Jack (T), Washington (W), and the Sisters (S).

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I had lunch on the summit then, with a high overcast moving in, decided to head back. Rather than go back across the snow field, I used a use trail to leave the Table Rock trail and descend to intersect the Image Creek trail at about 4200'. There's no official Image Creek TH on the Table Rock road but the trail comes very close to the road and I was curious what that looked like. So I went W on the Image Creek trail, accomplished a soggy, slippery crossing of Image Creek, and dropped on to the road immediately thereafter. The only sign that this connection exists is a wilderness marker (arrow) back in the trees,

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and something of a wide spot in the road.

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Back up the road to my car and home to pack. 8.3 mi, 2300' EG. Will have to come back again this year - and not wait another 18 (at which point I won't be able to get my walker up the trail). ;)

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bobcat
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Re: Table Rock Wilderness 20-Apr-2014

Post by bobcat » April 20th, 2014, 3:02 pm

Good early report on Table Report. Glad that you got to make loop a using the upper end of the Image Creek Trail - that trail will fade away if not used! My entry in the Field Guide states that it is not a real trailhead, but it is most useful for doing loops. The brown post marker up the slope is key. Hope my coords are correct.

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Zia
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Re: Table Rock Wilderness 20-Apr-2014

Post by Zia » April 20th, 2014, 5:26 pm

Thank you for the TR! We've been thinking about going back up here to finish it. We had to cut it short the last time we were up there. The only thing that was holding me back was road conditions and now thanks to your wonderful report, I now know the roads are clear. Moving this hike back up to the top of my to hike list. :D

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BrianEdwards
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Re: Table Rock Wilderness 20-Apr-2014

Post by BrianEdwards » April 20th, 2014, 8:53 pm

Interesting loop. Surprised at the low snow level up there, even being a low snow year
Clackamas River Waterfall Project - 95 Documented, 18 to go.

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VanMarmot
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Re: Table Rock Wilderness 20-Apr-2014

Post by VanMarmot » April 21st, 2014, 3:37 am

bobcat wrote:Good early report on Table Report. Glad that you got to make loop a using the upper end of the Image Creek Trail - that trail will fade away if not used! My entry in the Field Guide states that it is not a real trailhead, but it is most useful for doing loops. The brown post marker up the slope is key. Hope my coords are correct.
Your field guide entry was spot on - both for how to get there and the trails. That little use trail was handy for avoiding the snow.

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forestkeeper
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Re: Table Rock Wilderness 20-Apr-2014

Post by forestkeeper » April 22nd, 2014, 12:22 am

Beautiful photos and trail info! Thanks for the TR.

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