epic all-day Devils Rest hike

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Chip Down
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Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

epic all-day Devils Rest hike

Post by Chip Down » February 21st, 2019, 8:37 pm

Due to car problems, got an extra late Don Nelsen(R) start. Left Waukeena TH at 10.

Arrived at the top of Mist Falls, and that's where the adventure began. Crossed the creek (to the west side) and climbed to the ridge west of the creek (is it Mist Creek?) which I ascended until it hit a slight high point, descended a bit, and faded. From there I went west as directly as possible.

If you look at the map you'll see that the terrain between the top of Mist Falls and Angels Rest is quite rugged, although it's gentle below and above. I stayed as low as I reasonably could, exploring a labyrinth of gullies and ridges. Fun.

Ultimately, the sensible thing to do was ascend (steep!) into gentler terrain, which took me to the trail (boo!) which I followed towards Angels Rest. I could see it was crowded over there (yeah, even on a winter Thursday) so I headed up to Devils Rest.

Soon, the snow got much deeper. Worse, it was sloppy, wet, dropping out of the trees, no longer sparkly and dry as it was below.

As so often happens, I got a bit disoriented in the Foxglove Labyrinth, but finally landed on what I believed was the trail that goes up the back side of Devils Rest. What a relief. I wasn't sure I'd make it: deep snow, heavy snow-laden branches sagging over me, slush bombs dropping out of the trees. I was especially discouraged at 4200', quite close to the top. Seemed hopeless. I know I didn't take the best route. It worked, but it wasn't ideal.

From the top of DR it was pretty easy to follow the standard (Waukeena side) route down. With less exertion, I was starting to get cold. Had to stop to don warmer hat/gloves. Fun quick hike down, nothing compared to the difficulties of my five-hour (!) ascent. Arrived at the car right around sunset, give or take ten minutes.
Looking east from the top of Mist Falls.
The top of my ridge west of Mist Creek, looking down/north.
The top of my ridge west of Mist Creek, looking up/south.
The high point on that ridge was out of the question. If I took the time to get there, then Angels Rest would have to be the end of my hike.
Looking over at always-crowded Angels Rest.
Strangely worded.
No gnomes, just a buck, a bandaid, and a couple icicles.
With no discernible Primrose Path, finding this was a fun Easter-egg hunt. When I found it, I laughed at my stupidity. It was low, because I was standing well above the summer ground level.
looking north from the edge of the Devils Rest bowl
the rumors are true: there are dragons on Devils Rest.

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Don Nelsen
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Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: epic all-day Devils Rest hike

Post by Don Nelsen » February 22nd, 2019, 8:45 am

Chip Down wrote:
February 21st, 2019, 8:37 pm
...got an extra late Don Nelsen(R) start. Left Waukeena TH at 10...
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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Re: epic all-day Devils Rest hike

Post by BigBear » February 22nd, 2019, 9:26 am

Epic? hmmm...

Glad you had a good time. I suppose my most "epic" Devils Rest hike in the snow was one where I dropped into a shoulder-deep tree well coming off the west side of the summit. It was more like swimming than hiking up there on the summit. It had been knee-deep or less until we got within a quarter-mile of the top. The surprise was finding a woman hiking solo who had reached the summit first (no footprints to guide her) and all she had for her first-time hike up there was a travel guidebook of Oregon which she showed us. It merely mentioned Devils Rest as an option while visiting the area - no map of the route. It seemed a bit risky under the conditions. We confirmed for her that she had reached the summit when she described the rock pile.

The other memorable Devils Peak hike was a few years later when we encountered a female trail runner who was wearing only a lycra halter, lycra shorts, a fanny pack and jogging shoes. We were ascending in hat, coats and gloves with the snow falling. I asked her if she found it a bit cold, given the amount of bare skin being exposed to the elements and she replied, "yeah, it was a bit cold up at Multnomah Basin." When we arrived tot he Basin it was windy and 23 degrees. Even with coats, hats and gloves we opted to forego the break and push on for the summit.

Disclaimer: These two stories are not meant to bash women, it was just that they were women who we had encountered on their solo excursions into the wintry elements, and our group (men and women) collectively thought they were woefully under-prepared. With that regard, they were the most memorable encounters on this particular series of hikes.

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Re: epic all-day Devils Rest hike

Post by arlohike » February 23rd, 2019, 10:02 pm

I only recently became aware of Mist Falls and did the short jaunt to the base. I can't imagine how you got to the top! Very cool!
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