Vista Ridge to McNeil Point (Sept 23)

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Splintercat
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Vista Ridge to McNeil Point (Sept 23)

Post by Splintercat » October 7th, 2021, 5:53 pm

It's crunch time for fall hiking up on the mountain! Low snow levels came early this year, and while we'll still likely have some more snow-free hiking in the weeks ahead, this (my favorite!) time of year moves quickly!

Started at the Vista Ridge TH and hiked to McNeil Point via Cairn Basin a couple weeks ago -- fresh snow on the mountain and summer temps, the very best hiking conditions! Some photos from the trip:

Mount Hood from Cairn Basin:

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Some big Mountain hemlock that came down in the September 2020 windstorm -- tough to lose these giants after they survived the 2011 Dollar Lake Fire:

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Glisan Creek and Mount Hood from just off the McNeil Point trail:

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Fall color in one of the hanging valleys along the McNeil Point trail -- look closely and you can see one of the blowdown areas from the September 2020 wind storm at the center of this photo:

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Mount Hood and some Whitebark pine skeletons above McNeil Point:

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Close-up view of Mount Hood's summit from McNeil Point:

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Close-up view of the Sandy Glacier headwall and upper reach of the glacier from McNeil Point:

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The Sandy Glacier caves are still intact -- the cave on the left even has an ice arch at the entrance!

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I stopped at Lolo Pass on the trip home for some sunset/alpenglow photos -- always a gorgeous view of the mountain from a humble logging road:

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...a few minutes later...

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This was also my inaugural (and late) first trip with a new 40 liter "summer" pack that's quite a bit lighter than my main day pack -- picked it up on Amazon for $35! It held up nicely and was a noticeable relief for my old bones, as it forced me to edit some of the junk I'd been carrying around in my old 50 liter pack... :?

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-Tom :)

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Vista Ridge to McNeil Point (Sept 23)

Post by Don Nelsen » October 7th, 2021, 6:12 pm

Tom,

Thanks for the TR and the gorgeous photos! I hope to get up there too, before the onset of serious snow.

dn
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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Splintercat
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Re: Vista Ridge to McNeil Point (Sept 23)

Post by Splintercat » October 7th, 2021, 7:00 pm

Thank you, Don! It's that magical time of year when there's fresh snow on the mountain and the trails are still clear for hiking!

-Tom :-)

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drm
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Re: Vista Ridge to McNeil Point (Sept 23)

Post by drm » October 8th, 2021, 10:16 am

40L for a daypack? Fengdong? Oh, I guess you have a ton (literally?) of camera gear. We do love your excellent photos.

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Re: Vista Ridge to McNeil Point (Sept 23)

Post by Webfoot » October 8th, 2021, 4:43 pm

drm wrote:
October 8th, 2021, 10:16 am
40L for a daypack? Fengdong? Oh, I guess you have a ton (literally?) of camera gear. We do love your excellent photos.
According to the metadata his primary kit is quite light: OM-D E-M10 Mk III and OLYMPUS M.12-50mm F3.5-6.3, at 22 ounces combined. I sometimes wish I had a Micro 4/3 setup as my APS-C standard zoom weighs more than that by itself.

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Chip Down
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Re: Vista Ridge to McNeil Point (Sept 23)

Post by Chip Down » October 8th, 2021, 6:36 pm

The Sandy Glacier caves are still intact -- the cave on the left even has an ice arch at the entrance!
I'd be inclined to go check it out, but I don't know when my next chance might be, and it might be collapsed by then. Besides, I've been there a couple times, and not eager to do the hike again. Somebody else want to volunteer?

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naturallog
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Re: Vista Ridge to McNeil Point (Sept 23)

Post by naturallog » October 8th, 2021, 9:11 pm

I love this angle of Hood, which you captured so beautifully! Though, I find myself loving your photo of the fall colors with the generic Cascades the most. Thank you for sharing!

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Splintercat
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Re: Vista Ridge to McNeil Point (Sept 23)

Post by Splintercat » October 10th, 2021, 2:07 pm

Thanks, naturallog! My favorite time of year on the mountain -- though it is fleeting..!
According to the metadata his primary kit is quite light: OM-D E-M10 Mk III and OLYMPUS M.12-50mm F3.5-6.3, at 22 ounces combined. I sometimes wish I had a Micro 4/3 setup as my APS-C standard zoom weighs more than that by itself.
Good sleuthing, Webfoot! The only thing I'll add to the list are 40-150mm Oly zoom lens and a pouch with three neutral density filters + step up mounts. All very light and compact, as well. My "winter" pack is 50 liter, and the main difference is the amount of winter clothing that can fit inside. For both packs, I have enough clothing, shelter and food to last me two unanticipated nights out in the woods. Fortunately, that has not happened in 40 years!

Tom :-)

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Re: Vista Ridge to McNeil Point (Sept 23)

Post by Webfoot » October 10th, 2021, 3:16 pm

Splintercat wrote:
October 10th, 2021, 2:07 pm
Good sleuthing, Webfoot! The only thing I'll add to the list are 40-150mm Oly zoom lens and a pouch with three neutral density filters + step up mounts. All very light and compact, as well.
You put them to good use. Do you carry a GorillaPod?

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Splintercat
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Re: Vista Ridge to McNeil Point (Sept 23)

Post by Splintercat » October 10th, 2021, 5:41 pm

No, I carry a regular tripod -- with the tripod in my right hand and trekking pole on the left. I think my right arm is a bit longer, as a result, Don... :lol:

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