Nesmith Point in the snow(!) First tracks on Nov. 3rd.

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Don Nelsen
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Nesmith Point in the snow(!) First tracks on Nov. 3rd.

Post by Don Nelsen » November 4th, 2022, 5:30 pm

I've been Jonesing to get back to Nesmith for a couple of weeks since I learned that the trail is open again. Closed since the 2017 Eagle Creek fire, I was curious to see how it has fared and how some of my favorite old-growth forest icons were doing. Sadly, none of my favorite oldest and gnarliest trees survived.The good news, however, is that the trail is in decent shape, all but a couple downed trees are gone from the route, and it's been brushed out in its entirety.

I got an early start, leaving before sunup (take note Chip!)
Proof:
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One of those old-growths yesterday:
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Here it is in better days:
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Here's another one that was really magnificent in the day. A ten-foot diameter cedar now reduced to a broken stump:
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The Nesmith Trail always was rocky and also steep in many places and that hasn't changed but there are a few new stone steps here and there and that's an improvement.

The trail has burned up to about the 3000' level and after that it's just as it was before the fire.

I was expecting a little snow over the trail higher up but was surprised to see it starting at under 2k'. Coverage was intermittent until about 2400' and continuous after that, reaching a depth of 7 or 8 inches by the time I reached the summit. I wished I'd thought to bring my micro spikes for traction, but I survived, even on the return when I really needed them. It was about 40 degrees at my start time of 8:15 and just below freezing at the summit at noon with a light breeze, just enough to make me zip up my jacket.

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It's rare to see snow covered still-green leaves:
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Trees at the summit:
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Three people were close behind me all the way and they caught up right at the top. I ran into another guy coming up as I descended.

Most if not all of the snow is probably gone right now with these warm temperatures and heavy rain but if the forecast holds, it will be back with a vengeance later tomorrow.

9.1 miles RT, 3920' EG, hike # 103
Last edited by Don Nelsen on November 4th, 2022, 7:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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rubiks
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Re: Nesmith Point in the snow(!) First tracks on Nov. 3rd.

Post by rubiks » November 4th, 2022, 5:55 pm

Great report, thanks for posting! I was wondering how that trail was. I saw that Nesmith and Wyeth both recently reopened, but I opted to check out Wyeth instead.

I was trying to save Nesmith for a day I might get to enjoy the views, but now I might be waiting until spring.
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Bosterson
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Re: Nesmith Point in the snow(!) First tracks on Nov. 3rd.

Post by Bosterson » November 4th, 2022, 6:36 pm

Great work DN! I've been curious how the reconstructed trail is. Did they reroute it much? I can imagine sections of it higher in the box canyon slumping pretty badly without the trees to anchor it, though it looks like a lot of them are still standing even if they're dead charcoal now. How was the summit tree where the sign used to be? I imagine the sign is long gone (it was partly gone before the fire) but I heard the tree itself was dead now.
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Don Nelsen
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Re: Nesmith Point in the snow(!) First tracks on Nov. 3rd.

Post by Don Nelsen » November 4th, 2022, 6:53 pm

Bosterson wrote:
November 4th, 2022, 6:36 pm
Great work DN! I've been curious how the reconstructed trail is. Did they reroute it much? I can imagine sections of it higher in the box canyon slumping pretty badly without the trees to anchor it, though it looks like a lot of them are still standing even if they're dead charcoal now. How was the summit tree where the sign used to be? I imagine the sign is long gone (it was partly gone before the fire) but I heard the tree itself was dead now.
There were two minor realignments of switchbacks that were truncated by rock slides but I didn't see anything more. The tread is cut in better where there were some problem areas, but it is hard to see details with the snow. I think the crews did a great job.

This tree? Look closely and you can still see part of the sign.
Image
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retired jerry
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Re: Nesmith Point in the snow(!) First tracks on Nov. 3rd.

Post by retired jerry » November 5th, 2022, 6:05 am

nice snow pics

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Chip Down
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Re: Nesmith Point in the snow(!) First tracks on Nov. 3rd.

Post by Chip Down » November 5th, 2022, 2:40 pm

Don Nelsen wrote:
November 4th, 2022, 5:30 pm
I got an early start, leaving before sunup (take note Chip!)
In honor of my birthday? :D

Yeah, snow on green leaves in November is weird.

I especially like your penultimate pic. Very inviting.

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bobcat
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Re: Nesmith Point in the snow(!) First tracks on Nov. 3rd.

Post by bobcat » November 8th, 2022, 7:43 am

Good trip, Don! I guess I missed the window. Everything's going to freeze over now.

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Nesmith Point in the snow(!) First tracks on Nov. 3rd.

Post by Don Nelsen » November 8th, 2022, 10:24 am

Chip Down wrote:
November 5th, 2022, 2:40 pm
Don Nelsen wrote:
November 4th, 2022, 5:30 pm
I got an early start, leaving before sunup (take note Chip!)
In honor of my birthday? :D

Yeah, snow on green leaves in November is weird.

I especially like your penultimate pic. Very inviting.
Chip,

Thanks for the comments. November is an interesting transition month. I remember a couple of Novembers when we had a significant arctic blast ('55 and '85) but both those years it happened near the end of the month, not the beginning. This isn't a "significant" event yet, but one can hope.

There was snow down to below 800' yesterday on the east side of Vancouver and I bet in parts of the Portland hills, too.

Your birthday - really?
Last edited by Don Nelsen on November 8th, 2022, 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Don Nelsen
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Re: Nesmith Point in the snow(!) First tracks on Nov. 3rd.

Post by Don Nelsen » November 8th, 2022, 10:34 am

bobcat wrote:
November 8th, 2022, 7:43 am
Good trip, Don! I guess I missed the window. Everything's going to freeze over now.
I'm heading out today to do a short hike or two. Looks like an east wind in the gorge and Crown Point's getting 50 mph gusts. Should be interesting.

dn
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bobcat
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Re: Nesmith Point in the snow(!) First tracks on Nov. 3rd.

Post by bobcat » November 15th, 2022, 6:56 pm

Went up to Nesmith Point yesterday with a friend. We were prepared for 30 mph winds ("strong breeze") but they were a lot more than that ("strong gale") above Corky's Corner. The snow began once into the defile and we put on traction. It was almost 2 feet at Nesmith Point, very cold, with the wind whipping through, so we didn't stay long. There were a few other hikers, but most turned back in the defile when the snow got deeper. However, the defile and all the switchbacks were nicely sheltered and felt quite warm! There are tracks all the way, at least until the next snow.

There's a new slide at the upper end of the defile, necessitating a little scramble. On the way down, on the lower end of the trail, there was a tree shattered along the trail that wasn't there when we started out in the morning.

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