Cook Hill on a winter day

This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
Post Reply
User avatar
Don Nelsen
Posts: 3649
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA

Cook Hill on a winter day

Post by Don Nelsen » January 16th, 2019, 4:48 pm

Somehow I’d managed to miss out on hiking Cook Hill all these years so I decided to correct that error yesterday.

Getting my usual leisurely start, I headed up the trail at 12:40 with a strong wind at my back. The 37 degree temperature felt like the mid 20’s with the wind so I was very glad to enter the forest after only a short distance.

Most of this hike is on an ancient logging roadbed that’s perhaps 80 years old or more and well covered in conifer needles and oak, maple and alder leaves. This gives it the feeling of a very wide trail rather than an old road. Only the final mile of the loop as described in the field guide is an actual trail and it’s a good one that’s well maintained. According the field guide, it’s yet another Russ Jolley built trail.

I hit continuous snow cover about half way up so donned my spikes for better footing though the snow never got more than 6 inches deep, even on the summit ridge. The rime ice was another story though:
Image

Image

Image

Once past the summit, I headed down to the ridge and trudged the 6/10 mile through crusty snow and rime to the powerlines and towards the communications towers:

Image

Image

The pictures don't do justice to how thick the ice was. Here's a pic with my GPS for scale:Image

Image

Image

Image

The ice was incredibly thick on the towers. At least a foot at the base and way more higher up:
Image

Image

The wind was relentless on the ridge and at 27 degrees the wind chill was now in the mid-teens or worse. After checking out the powerline pylons and getting really blasted by the wind, I was glad the rest of the hike was in the lee of the ridge.

Image

I was dressed for these conditions but was glad to be back in the car, heater on high for the drive home.

The map:
Image
"Everything works in the planning stage".

pablo
Posts: 1438
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Cook Hill on a winter day

Post by pablo » January 16th, 2019, 8:28 pm

Thx Don for the report & photos. Cook Hill has been on my list forever - maybe your report is enough to get me out there and do it. I guess parking is not an issue at the trailhead. I'd be looking at the loop with Cook, Aug and Dog - like when the snow is deeper and amenable to snowshoes.

--Paul
The future's uncertain and the end is always near.

User avatar
Chip Down
Posts: 1476
Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: Cook Hill on a winter day

Post by Chip Down » January 17th, 2019, 5:39 am

I've been there many times in the winter, but have never seen the towers like that :shock:

Defiance was rimey on Saturday, but I didn't make it to the towers.

Many fun OT routes on Cook, go back and play around!

Pablo: for that loop, park at Dog Creek Falls and you can just about eliminate SR14 walking.

User avatar
Don Nelsen
Posts: 3649
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: Cook Hill on a winter day

Post by Don Nelsen » January 19th, 2019, 8:01 pm

pablo wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 8:28 pm
Thx Don for the report & photos. Cook Hill has been on my list forever - maybe your report is enough to get me out there and do it. I guess parking is not an issue at the trailhead. I'd be looking at the loop with Cook, Aug and Dog - like when the snow is deeper and amenable to snowshoes.

--Paul
Paul, thanks for the comment and hope you check this one out. I was really impressed with the route and especially the sights. Parking is no problem. There is ample room for a dozen or more cars along the Cook-Underwood road about a third of a mile uphill from SR14.
"Everything works in the planning stage".

User avatar
woodswalker
Posts: 819
Joined: November 25th, 2012, 4:51 pm

Re: Cook Hill on a winter day

Post by woodswalker » January 28th, 2019, 8:57 am

That ice is impressive. Like others, this one has been on my list for a long time. It just got bumped up. Thanks for the inspiration. Colette Grace

Post Reply