Planned on another coast range outing but woke up this morning more feeling ambitious and decided to hike Cool Creek to the Devils Peak Lookout. The drive up from Portland was uneventful, although I was driven away from a planned donut stop at Joe's by a line up the sidewalk.
Still Creek road is in better shape than last year; with only avoidable potholes and no civic-eating craters. Only three cars at the trailhead.
The trailhead is at ~1850 feet and the first snow patch came at 2,600 or so. Between roughly 2,500 and 3,300 there were a dozen or so spots which need a saw crew; ranging from single 6"ers to:
and this beast:
Boot prints generally followed the trail, but there are also sets heading the wrong way in multiple locations. I was happy to have had a good GPS track to quickly fact check the boot prints. It was also challenging in a few spots to follow the prints while moving into and out of shadows.
Visibility was amazing today, with Rainier clearly present. My cell phone photo is a little sad and doesn't do it justice:
Looking up at the last few hundred vertical feet. There is a section just to the windward side of the upper crescent of snow in the following photo that would be hazardous without some form of traction on your feet if you catch it iced up. Ugly snow slide for life potential.
The summit snow drift is 8 feet or so at it's highest:
I arrived at the lookout to find a party of three who were planning to spend the night. They had a fire going (invited me in to warm up) and an amazing spread of food on the table. Shooting out the lookout doorway:
This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
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