Mt. Adams, Divide Camp Tr., Mystery Footprints 102220

This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
Post Reply
User avatar
Don Nelsen
Posts: 3858
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA

Mt. Adams, Divide Camp Tr., Mystery Footprints 102220

Post by Don Nelsen » October 23rd, 2020, 6:28 pm

I’m slowly working my way around Mt. Adams, hiking trails in the clockwise direction. Yesterday was my turn on the Divide Camp Trail, emulating Chip Down’s recent forays.

I got my usual leisurely start, starting out from the TH at 11:30. The roads were icy or snow covered above about 3,500’ so the final 15 miles or so went slower than normal. I put on my spikes at the car and found them most useful once I reached both the steeper grades but also crossing frozen puddles on the trail.
Image

Though it was 30 degrees at the TH and the air temperature never got more than a degree or two above freezing, with no wind and mostly brilliant sunshine, the conditions were perfect.

Once I left the Divide Camp trail, I was on the PCT for a very short distance and lost it once I reached the boulder strewn area of Adams Creek

Where the PCT crosses Adams Creek:
Image

Image

Now cross-country, the way was relatively easy and the scenery was great:
Image

Image

Image

Approaching High Camp, what is this!? Fresh footprints - Someone else is up here.
Image

There were no cars at the Riley trail and I was the only one at Divide Camp trail and no other prints in the snow there either. A mystery, for sure, especially since these prints were from earlier in the day. I crossed the prints two more times later.

Continuing on, my goal was to see what was at High Camp and to generally explore the area around Divide Creek, maybe taking in the area around the headwaters of the Lewis but this last I had to postpone as I was running out of daylight.

High Camp views:
Image

Image

Image

On the way back I decided to take a slightly different route, seeing another trail on the map that ran down to the east side of Adams Creek. The map showed it came out on the road only 6/10 of a mile from where I parked and was 4/10 of a mile shorter than how I came in. Well, that was the plan! I could see where a trail led down to the creek but once across, I could not find a trail. I wandered about for over 20 minutes, crossing and re-crossing where it should have been but not even a trace of trail could I find. It was a tough go with lots of trees down and much brush so admitting defeat, mostly due to the fact it was only a few minutes until sundown, I made a beeline back to the main trail. Crossing Adams Creek right at sunset, I spotted a nice waterfall a few hundred feet upstream from my crossing point. Maybe I'll go back sometime and check it out.

Image

Glad I didn't have to cross this in the dark!
Image

Once on the main trail, the light from the first quarter moon and the faint remnants of alpenglow assisted me and I made it back with only natural light, arriving 50 minutes past sunset.

Another beautiful day in the woods, 10.0 miles, 2,547’ EG

The map: Arrows show where I crossed the mystery footprints:
Image

The north section of map showing where the waterfall is and my off-trail misadventure:
Image
"Everything works in the planning stage".

User avatar
Chip Down
Posts: 2177
Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: Mt. Adams, Divide Camp Tr., Mystery Footprints 102220

Post by Chip Down » October 23rd, 2020, 7:58 pm

Don Nelsen wrote:
October 23rd, 2020, 6:28 pm
...emulating Chip Down’s recent forays.

I got my usual leisurely start, starting out from the TH at 11:30.
I think I've detected your problem ;)

pcg
Posts: 362
Joined: May 31st, 2011, 7:46 pm
Location: Chehalem Mountain

Re: Mt. Adams, Divide Camp Tr., Mystery Footprints 102220

Post by pcg » October 23rd, 2020, 8:55 pm

In the photo with the prints, are those all the mystery tracks, as in two sets of mystery tracks, or are some of them yours? Any more photos?

User avatar
Don Nelsen
Posts: 3858
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: Mt. Adams, Divide Camp Tr., Mystery Footprints 102220

Post by Don Nelsen » October 24th, 2020, 9:43 am

pcg wrote:
October 23rd, 2020, 8:55 pm
In the photo with the prints, are those all the mystery tracks, as in two sets of mystery tracks, or are some of them yours? Any more photos?
The tracks in the photo are all from the mystery Mt. Adams Yeti. I crossed the tracks three times, more-or-less at right angles and could see that the two sets continued to the limit of my visibility, at least a hundred yards or so. They were definitely made by one hiker, going in both directions. Here are the other too photos of the tracks I saw:

Image

Image

I should have crossed one more set, and am reasonably sure I didn't miss any. Looking at my track on the map I wonder how that could be. There is a possibility, however: Here's a map with a possible route that would explain it if they had arrived via the High Camp Trail. Coming in from any other trail, would have been a very long day.

Image

What do you think?

dn
"Everything works in the planning stage".

Post Reply