Adams: Stagman Ridge Loop

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

Adams: Stagman Ridge Loop

Post by Chip Down » October 23rd, 2020, 5:19 pm

No, I didn't accidentally post in the wrong forum; I did a trail hike today :D

Forecast called for snow starting late morning, so I was looking for something quick and easy. Stagman Ridge looked like fun.

It was a cold clear night of car camping after my previous day's hike. At 5am it was 26F under starry skies, so I optimistically wolfed down a big bowl of oatmeal and started up the trail.

The day got off to a weird start, maybe about an hour up the trail. I saw something illuminated up ahead. But no, that can't be. Has to be something reflecting my headlamp, right? Nope, turns out it was a flashlight. How do you drop an illuminated flashlight on the trail and walk away not realizing it? I think I was alone at the TH, but it's a loop road, so I can't be positive. But I think it must have been dropped Thursday, presumably by somebody heading down. I see it retails for less than $20, so maybe not worth returning, but I will if the owner wants to send me a PM.

Just a few minutes later, I reached the big meadow below the Graveyard junction. I wasn't expecting that. Good timing, as it was just getting light enough to see the mountain. It was mostly visible; maybe the top couple thousand feet were in the clouds.

The loop was pretty much as expected. Found a big meadow, which I realized had to be Horseshoe. There were no views of the mountain after that first meadow at dawn. Snow came sooner than expected, about 9am I think. Unfortunately, it was mostly graupel, but there were some flakes, which was fun, but just a tease. Eventually (lower) I got rain, but not bad, an intermittent light drizzle.

The loop clockwise from Lookgglass Lake to Graveyard was hard to follow at times, but not terrible.

On the way down, I took the spur ridge that drops from 5200'. Straight, open, beautiful, fun. When it started getting a little brushy, I dropped off crest and wandered off in search of the trail.

Felt weird to leave a TH at noon, but in a good way, like sneaking out of work early. I had a long hard hike the day before, so I didn't feel like I was cheating, especially given the weather.

Overall, this hike exceeded expectations. Recommended. You have to be okay with fire damage though. I endorse the FG advice to do the loop CCW, so you can deal with the difficult stretch early, when you still have time to recover and re-evaluate if it doesn't go well. You don't want the anxiety of searching for your trail at the end of the day.
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I was surprised Lookingglass Lake wasn't frozen over.
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Horseshoe Meadow
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On spur ridge.
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Spur ridge, offtrail.
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The horrible bushwhacking from spur ridge back to trail.

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retired jerry
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Adams: Stagman Ridge Loop

Post by retired jerry » October 24th, 2020, 5:58 am

I've been reading all of your reports, and Don's, and others. Great area. Thanks

But circumstances keep conspiring against, like Mt Hood opened up so I had to go there.

Maybe I'll have an opportunity yet. All that snow doesn't look too bad.

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TwoPaw
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Joined: July 28th, 2013, 10:30 am

Re: Adams: Stagman Ridge Loop

Post by TwoPaw » October 24th, 2020, 7:28 am

How is the road up to Stagman TH? Sedan worthy, or....?

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Don Nelsen
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Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: Adams: Stagman Ridge Loop

Post by Don Nelsen » October 24th, 2020, 9:17 am

Chip,
That grassy ridge looks great. I'll have to try that next time I'm up there. Too bad about Lookingglass lake. In years past, it was such a scenic spot. Thanks for the TR, too.

dn
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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

Re: Adams: Stagman Ridge Loop

Post by Chip Down » October 24th, 2020, 11:32 am

TwoPaw wrote:
October 24th, 2020, 7:28 am
How is the road up to Stagman TH? Sedan worthy, or....?
Our Field Guide says it's rough for a brief stretch, and indeed it was, but that was just, oh, maybe a hundred yards, and the road is wide, so I imagine a normal sedan could wind through just fine. There's a stretch where it's getting a bit overgrown. If it doesn't get trimmed, it could be a paint scratcher in another year or two. There are spots where somebody will have to back away if two cars meet, no room to pass.

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Chip Down
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Re: Adams: Stagman Ridge Loop

Post by Chip Down » October 24th, 2020, 11:33 am

Don Nelsen wrote:
October 24th, 2020, 9:17 am
Too bad about Lookingglass lake. In years past, it was such a scenic spot.
I rather liked it. Have you been to Bird Lake (Yakama) since the fire? Now that's ugly!

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