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Wygant - Chetwoot Equinox hike 031920

Posted: March 20th, 2020, 7:18 pm
by Don Nelsen
Kelly and I decided to do the "social distancing" thing and find a hike where likely no one else would be. Wygant - Chetwoot loop filled the bill and we headed out to celebrate the equinox.

The recent snow had almost all melted and we saw only a few leftover remnants starting at about 500':

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By the time we arrived at the west Chetwoot junction, we were both pleasantly surprised to see lots of wildflowers starting to bloom:

The western junction of the Chetwoot loop:

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Even a few grass widows!

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The views were as spectacular as ever and the wind was nonexistent all day with the Columbia as smooth as glass:

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The trail is easy to follow but there are a few spots where the tread is gone and a little bit of adjustment is needed. Here's one of those places:

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There are five big trees down on this loop. Kelly wondering whether to go under or try to get over this one:

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She went under this one:

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This is the only really difficult log - about 3 1/2' or 4' diameter, high angle and nothing to grab onto. It looked like a few folks have forged a boot path up and around the root ball of this one so the problem can be circumvented.

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There's a log over the creek at the Perham crossing but it could use a little stabilization. Still, It worked well.

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This is really a very nice route but is not for the uninitiated. There are a couple of places a flag or two would be helpful but 95% of it is good to go.

dn

Re: Wygant - Chetwoot Equinox hike 031920

Posted: March 24th, 2020, 7:50 am
by bobcat
Many thanks for this report, Don! Everything I'd seen said Chetwoot was "impenetrable." I took a look at both ends when I was doing trail work on Wygant a couple of years ago, but I didn't really get much of a sense although it got very jungly (that was late spring). I was all set to follow in your footsteps, but now they've closed everything down!

Re: Wygant - Chetwoot Equinox hike 031920

Posted: March 24th, 2020, 10:32 am
by Don Nelsen
If you do the route in the clockwise direction the trail is very easy to follow. With a few flags in only two spots it would be fine CCW too. The tread is gone in some spots and care must be taken but the worst of it is only fifty feet or so. As for the few trees over the trail - Only one on the east side of the route and it has a notch cut into it and a couple of very handy broken branches for handholds. The others are step overs, crawl unders or go-arounds so no but deal.

Too bad about the gorge closure or I'd place a few flags myself, though I'm not much a fan of them.

Thanks for the comment!

dn