Overnight at Punchbowl 1/15-16

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heidiswift
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Joined: January 17th, 2017, 12:15 pm

Overnight at Punchbowl 1/15-16

Post by heidiswift » January 17th, 2017, 1:24 pm

Hi everyone,

Long time reader, first time poster here. I've always loved Eagle Creek when it snows and Don's early January posts (combined with being fairly shut in due to weather) were driving me insane. Finally decided to go have a look for myself. Don: can't thank you enough for the information and updates provided in your TR's - key factor in feeling prepared and confident.

Also, ran into Eric Peterson down at Lower Punchbowl. Great to see you, Eric! Thanks for the information on the condition of the trail beyond the creek/bridge. We followed your tracks until they stopped and then turned back to spend the night at Punchbowl.

Cliffside sections were manageable and exhilarating! But I personally would not have passed over them without the Hillsound units we were wearing on our boots. We also wore climbing helmets just in case of ice fall (probably overkill, but I was happy to have it.)

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The ice formations are truly stunning right now:

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Brisk evening to be tent camping for sure, but the clear skies delivered:

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The thought of hot coffee was just about the only thing that could have gotten me out of my sleeping bag in the morning:

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Hike out in the morning was uneventful but gorgeous. We only passed one couple hiking in as we made our way out - they had just started hiking and had yak trax. We advised them of the conditions and they went on to have a look.

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When we got to the parking lot our car was the only one there. Thought that was strange but as we were heading out we saw that the entrance to the lot had been taped off at some point:

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Glad we squeezed this in before the shift in the weather. This area is such a gem in the winter time. Was hoping to see "Famous Don" but no such luck. I'll keep my eyes out in the future!

http://www.heidiswiftphotography.com/

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Chip Down
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Re: Overnight at Punchbowl 1/15-16

Post by Chip Down » January 17th, 2017, 2:17 pm

Fantastic debut post!

By sunset 1/15 I was so fed up with the cold I could barely stand it, and longed to get back to my car. Can't imagine a night out in it.

Once again, I see better trips than mine, from folks who took the known routes, while I struggled with explorations off the beaten track that weren't productive. Oh well. I know ultimately the odds are in my favor, and there are rewards to avoiding the "crowds" at Eagle Creek.

Looking forward to your future reports!

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Charley
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Location: Southeast Portland

Re: Overnight at Punchbowl 1/15-16

Post by Charley » January 17th, 2017, 3:00 pm

Were you camping down on the gravel bar next to the creek? That is SO COOL! I wouldn't want to camp on the gravel, and it's usually so crowded; snow camping there solves both problems. Nicely done.

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Sean Thomas
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Re: Overnight at Punchbowl 1/15-16

Post by Sean Thomas » January 17th, 2017, 3:02 pm

Great idea and great pictures! It sure looks beautiful down there dressed in all that snow and ice.

heidiswift
Posts: 5
Joined: January 17th, 2017, 12:15 pm

Re: Overnight at Punchbowl 1/15-16

Post by heidiswift » January 17th, 2017, 3:04 pm

Charley wrote:Were you camping down on the gravel bar next to the creek? That is SO COOL! I wouldn't want to camp on the gravel, and it's usually so crowded; snow camping there solves both problems. Nicely done.

Yep - right there. I figured snow was probably the only time we'd get to camp there and have it to ourselves. Beautiful morning view as well!

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heidiswift
Posts: 5
Joined: January 17th, 2017, 12:15 pm

Re: Overnight at Punchbowl 1/15-16

Post by heidiswift » January 17th, 2017, 3:05 pm

Chip Down wrote:Fantastic debut post!

By sunset 1/15 I was so fed up with the cold I could barely stand it, and longed to get back to my car. Can't imagine a night out in it.

Once again, I see better trips than mine, from folks who took the known routes, while I struggled with explorations off the beaten track that weren't productive. Oh well. I know ultimately the odds are in my favor, and there are rewards to avoiding the "crowds" at Eagle Creek.

Looking forward to your future reports!

Thank you!
I applaud your efforts to explore new territory! I'll be off the beaten trail soon enough as crowds pick up with better weather. I can't stand to go into the wilderness to be surrounded by people :). Probably why winter is my favorite time to hike and camp!

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Eric Peterson
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Re: Overnight at Punchbowl 1/15-16

Post by Eric Peterson » January 18th, 2017, 6:09 am

I thought you guys had a lot of gear for just a short day hike.

Helmets were very smart. Which Hillsound traction did you guys have?

Spectacular photos! Kicking myself for not doing a pano at lower PB.

Nice meeting you guys and glad to see you reporting here :)

heidiswift
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Joined: January 17th, 2017, 12:15 pm

Re: Overnight at Punchbowl 1/15-16

Post by heidiswift » January 18th, 2017, 1:43 pm

Eric Peterson wrote:I thought you guys had a lot of gear for just a short day hike.

Helmets were very smart. Which Hillsound traction did you guys have?

Spectacular photos! Kicking myself for not doing a pano at lower PB.

Nice meeting you guys and glad to see you reporting here :)
Thank you!
We had the Hillsound Trail Crampon Pro. Super impressed with the design and usability of the ratcheting system. Wish we had packed in snowshoes so we could have gone a bit further in, but the camp out at Punchbowl turned out to be a highlight.

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Overnight at Punchbowl 1/15-16

Post by Don Nelsen » January 18th, 2017, 4:42 pm

Awesome accomplishment! Great photos and TR, too.

-Don
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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DouggieFir
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Re: Overnight at Punchbowl 1/15-16

Post by DouggieFir » January 18th, 2017, 4:47 pm

Oh wow! Definitely going on the bucket list right now! Just so magical when it's all frozen like that.

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