Ruckel Ridge - PCT Loop 07-Oct-2010

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VanMarmot
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Ruckel Ridge - PCT Loop 07-Oct-2010

Post by VanMarmot » October 8th, 2010, 3:38 pm

Having been lead to believe that it might rain today, I arranged to switch work days so I could hike yesterday. I wanted to get a good hike in before spending next week in China in meetings (as well as many hours on a plane). My choice was up Ruckel Ridge from the fish hatchery and then back via the PCT. It didn’t rain but (oh, the irony) today’s weather was better than yesterday’s. On the way up the ridge, it was almost sunny,

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and I managed to coax a grouse into view with some soft clucking sounds.

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However, by the time I reached the rock outcropping with a view at 3200’, the weather was closing in – good-bye Tanner Butte.

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It’s late in the water year, but I was still surprised to find Ruckel Creek little more than unconnected puddles.

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Then it was on to Hunters Camp to meet the Benson Way (405B) trail and follow it along the rim to the PCT. The informal campsite near where the 405B joins the PCT is starting to look like the OK Corral.

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The PCT back to Cascade Locks is in good condition; it just seemed long. Surprisingly, Teakettle Spring was still putting out water - enough to fill a water bottle. There were some nice flashes of Fall colors,

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but it was mostly dreary (not helped at all by the gloomy clouds overhead and the light mist that started falling). I can see why folks are using Eagle Creek as an alternative to this section of the PCT – the trail is just as good and it’s more scenic, with more water and campsites.

The last bit back to the TH was along the old highway (400 trail) and it was this stretch that said “Fall is really here.” Not having to rake these leaves was the bonus part of this hike – which was a good one, despite the uncooperative weather. It’ll hold me till I get back.

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drm
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Re: Ruckel Ridge - PCT Loop 07-Oct-2010

Post by drm » October 9th, 2010, 9:12 am

I did Ruckle CK - PCT loop last year, and the PCT does seem endless there. It's pretty, but so much of it parallels the highway and crosses roads in the last few miles.

I've also been told that most PCT thru-hikers use Eagle Crk. The PCT exists separately there I think mainly because of the equestrian requirement. I'd like to see a horse try and get past Tunnel Falls.

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MarkInTheDark
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Re: Ruckel Ridge - PCT Loop 07-Oct-2010

Post by MarkInTheDark » October 10th, 2010, 2:19 pm

great report, love that area!

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mayhem
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Re: Ruckel Ridge - PCT Loop 07-Oct-2010

Post by mayhem » October 10th, 2010, 3:52 pm

Yes, great report. I loved the first pic. I do not believe I have ever done this ridge.
Shoe Shine Boy Has Left The Building!

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Ruckel Ridge - PCT Loop 07-Oct-2010

Post by Don Nelsen » October 10th, 2010, 6:48 pm

Hi Vanmarmot - amazing conjunction - we were only one day apart on this one! - I was up there Wednesday getting some GPS tracks locked in for my maps and hiked up Ruckel Ridge too. I crossed the Benson four times to get everything into my data base and then, running out of time, went down Ruckel Creek instead of the Rudolph Spur trail as planned.

Your pics are great and thanks for the trip report!

Here are the maps I've finally finished for the area:Image

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"Everything works in the planning stage".

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VanMarmot
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Re: Ruckel Ridge - PCT Loop 07-Oct-2010

Post by VanMarmot » October 11th, 2010, 3:22 pm

Don Nelsen wrote:Hi Vanmarmot - amazing conjunction - we were only one day apart on this one! - I was up there Wednesday getting some GPS tracks locked in for my maps and hiked up Ruckel Ridge too. I crossed the Benson four times to get everything into my data base and then, running out of time, went down Ruckel Creek instead of the Rudolph Spur trail as planned.

Your pics are great and thanks for the trip report!
Don -

Thanks and thanks for posting your tracks. It's always interesting to see how the "real" trail diverges from the mapped one. Another justification for my getting a new GPS.

Bruce

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