Dog Mountain, March 5th, 2019

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Don Nelsen
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Dog Mountain, March 5th, 2019

Post by Don Nelsen » March 6th, 2019, 3:12 pm

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This was planned as a Doggie-Augie trek but I wussed out near the junction of the Augspurger part of the route on the NW ridge. No tracks, snow too deep and relentless wind. In any event, it was a most picturesque hike and a great workout.

Arriving at the TH, I was happy to see it was plowed. Also, the hwy dept. plows have removed those annoying lines made of old fire hoses so maybe now we can use the parking area more efficiently. (Yeah, like that’s going to happen.)

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The start of the trail is fine for just boots but I put my spikes on about a quarter mile up for a little more traction. The bootpath from other hikers is narrow and well packed down so even boots without traction devices would be fine most of the way. I didn’t put on my snowshoes until the upper junction and even then, they weren’t really needed until I headed for the western ridge. I was tired of carrying them though.

The track up the center line has turned into a steep glissading chute:

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There was minimal wind until I broke out onto the meadows and then it was only about 10 to 20 MPH. The temperature was 18 degrees on top so it was definitely brisk!

I saw only two people the whole day, one coming down from the top just as I neared it and one lone woman, climbing in just boots. She seemed to be doing just fine - twenty-somethings are tough!

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From the top, I followed snowshoe tracks towards the west side trail and snowshoes were absolutely needed there. The ridge was beautiful with snow and ice plastered trees and a lot of rime in places.

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No one had gone past the trail junction that heads over to Augspurger so I backtracked up the ridge a little ways and followed a good set of tracks directly down to the trail heading back. Very steep, but good enough.

The map:

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Hike number 32, 6.5 miles, 3,164 EG, 5 hours, 39 minutes.

ps: Thanks go to my totally badass friend Mandrake, who I've now found out made those tracks from the top!
Last edited by Don Nelsen on March 7th, 2019, 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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Chip Down
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Re: Dog Mountain, March 5th, 2019

Post by Chip Down » March 6th, 2019, 7:02 pm

Oh, so I'm not the only one who has noticed that the Dog parking lot layout is ridiculous. Seems like the USFS is deliberately limiting the number of vehicles that can park there so that they can justify their permit scheme.

Don, have you done Dog Spine or the east ridge? They're both outstanding routes. Better than doing the tourist trail over and over. I don't even feel bad about "spilling the beans" because they're both just barely tricky enough that I don't think we have to worry about them being overrun with flipfloppers. I know you disdain poles, but I trust you have an axe?

Also, if I might be allowed to ramble off topic, a direct ascent (what was that word Bosterson taught me?) up Wind Mountain is a fantastic winter hike.

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retired jerry
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Re: Dog Mountain, March 5th, 2019

Post by retired jerry » March 7th, 2019, 6:22 am

I think there's a mindset that if a place is crowded, you limit the number of people that go there until it isn't crowded

Vs, imaginatively coming up with ways to accommodate larger number of people.

It's our federal land so we should be able to go there. Even though some places get crowded, there is still beauty. Going to a place that has a lot of people has it's own beauty, the people become part of the experience. If there are more people using a place, maybe there'll be more political pressure to preserve it and all the other wild areas...

I think the federal employees that have this faulty mindset are well intentioned. They're not bad people. They just need their thinking to be re-adjusted.

If you want solitude, walk another mile or go to a less busy place.

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Dog Mountain, March 5th, 2019

Post by Don Nelsen » March 7th, 2019, 5:21 pm

Chip Down wrote:
March 6th, 2019, 7:02 pm
Oh, so I'm not the only one who has noticed that the Dog parking lot layout is ridiculous. Seems like the USFS is deliberately limiting the number of vehicles that can park there so that they can justify their permit scheme.

Don, have you done Dog Spine or the east ridge? They're both outstanding routes. Better than doing the tourist trail over and over. I don't even feel bad about "spilling the beans" because they're both just barely tricky enough that I don't think we have to worry about them being overrun with flipfloppers. I know you disdain poles, but I trust you have an axe?

Also, if I might be allowed to ramble off topic, a direct ascent (what was that word Bosterson taught me?) up Wind Mountain is a fantastic winter hike.
What Jerry said and I'll add: One of the many problems with the FS is they have no incentive to facilitate the public’s access to the lands they administer. Quite the contrary: The fewer folks out there, the fewer trails, etc. the less work they have to do. Now we have these radical schemes of permits/timed parking/limited access/fees/fines etc. being foisted on us. This will only raise money for the FS, further limit our use, raise our costs and relieve the FS personnel of having to do much of their job. I’ve long maintained that the FS needs a complete reset of priorities and policies from the top down. Over a hundred years of bad management and poorly thought out policies and plans have taken a toll on the publics respect and confidence.

There are far too many bureaucrats in the upper echelons who know little or nothing about the people whom they allegedly serve. I’m sure there are a lot of fine people working for the FS but the ones calling the shots need to find other work.

Personally, this barely affects me because I never have a problem finding a good place to hike without crowds. It’s the principle of the thing though, and of course, will just get worse if we allow it to continue. This is making me grouchy so I'll quit now.

Also, I haven’t done the other routes you mention but may give them a try later on. I’ve become fairly sensitive to poison oak due to lots of exposure so need to be careful. Thanks for the tips though.
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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Chip Down
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Re: Dog Mountain, March 5th, 2019

Post by Chip Down » March 7th, 2019, 8:42 pm

I forgot to mention, "Doggie-Augie" is so cute! :D
Great idea for a winter hike.

Regarding Poison Oak on the non-standard Dog routes, I've found the lower west-side of Dog Spine is the worst, but it clears out soon. The east side of Dog Spine isn't so bad, and East Ridge is okay, as I recall.

I feel your pain: My first PO outbreak was maybe a year or two ago. I was starting to wonder if I was immune, but then it finally got me, and now it's a concern for me. Fortunately, I'm really good at identifying it (even when leafless) and I have a number of defenses.

another edit: forgot to mention, I like the red/green map. Even though I generally hate trails, it's a fun/useful resource.

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