Mini Report on Timberline

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keithcomess
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Mini Report on Timberline

Post by keithcomess » August 11th, 2019, 9:37 am

Returned Friday from a standard clockwise loop of Mt Hood on the Timberline Trail. I last completed this loop in 2016 prior to the "new and improved" crossing of Elliot Creek.

Since this topic is as well-worn as the trail, I'll only note the salient points from my perspective:

1) There was an abundance of biting flies on the trail from Ramona Falls to Elk Cove. They were also prevalent at Elk Cove campsites. According to a couple of people we chatted with on the trail, the appearance of hordes of black flies was a "new" development. In any event, I didn't experience them a couple of years ago. There were mosquitoes, but they were less prevalent and less aggressive.

2) As others have noted, the Elliot crossing remains problematic once the newly established trail approaches the creek. We witnessed another hiker lose footing as a section of the bank collapsed and slide downhill, only to be stopped by a boulder about 10 feet downhill. The log itself appears to have moved a couple of feet downstream on the west side and perhaps a bit more water was going over the top at that end. The trail resumes on the east side and was easily located.

3) In 2016, water was available from a tap at Cloud Cap Campground. The USFS has turned off the water supply. According to the sign affixed to the faucet, that's due to "contamination of the spring used as the water source, requiring disinfection." Whatever the reason, water can be found at the nearby Tilly Jane Creek Campground and there's a cut-off trail that returns to the TT. As another poster noted, the USFS charges $21/campsite but staying there (or Tilly Jane) would be a matter of desperation, anyway. Both sites are unattractive and have special nothing to commend them.

4) Daytime heat was tolerable, but encourages early morning (vs. mid-afternoon) movement.

5) Very many day hikers (mid-week) between Ramona and Elk Cove. Even more between the two ski lift areas. Backpackers camped at all standard sites.

6) Strangely, there were multiple bags of dog poop (I assume, given the labels on the bags) placed at various points along the trail. I picked up a fair amount of litter from campsites, but not that. We encountered several hikers with pets along the route.

Keith

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adamschneider
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Re: Mini Report on Timberline

Post by adamschneider » August 11th, 2019, 1:29 pm

keithcomess wrote:
August 11th, 2019, 9:37 am
1) There was an abundance of biting flies on the trail from Ramona Falls to Elk Cove. They were also prevalent at Elk Cove campsites. According to a couple of people we chatted with on the trail, the appearance of hordes of black flies was a "new" development. In any event, I didn't experience them a couple of years ago.
The first time I ever hiked to McNeil Point, in 2006 or 2007, the flies were horrific along the Timberline Trail. I think they were bad in 2010 or 2011 too. I haven't noticed them much since then... maybe the Dollar Lake Fire affected things?

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retired jerry
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Re: Mini Report on Timberline

Post by retired jerry » August 11th, 2019, 2:40 pm

There's about 1 month when the biting flies are really bad, like July. Probably depends when the snow melts off.

I've experienced them on Mt Hood and Three Sisters.

At higher or lower altitude they can be better.

They don't mind DEET. The only solution I've found is a head net.

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dmthomas49
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Re: Mini Report on Timberline

Post by dmthomas49 » August 11th, 2019, 5:16 pm

I hiked McNeil Point on July 31 From McGee Creek trailhead. Started at about 7:30am and there were no flies or mosquitos on the way up. On the way back on the TT, they were really bad. They liked landing in my arms. They were slow at flying off and I must have dispatched at least 50 of then.

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Chip Down
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Re: Mini Report on Timberline

Post by Chip Down » August 12th, 2019, 4:45 am

I hate everything about that new Eliot crossing.

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TwoPaw
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Re: Mini Report on Timberline

Post by TwoPaw » August 12th, 2019, 4:19 pm

Bags of dog poop are good for flies too. Honestly, why aren't dogs banned from Wilderness areas? In the Portland area Metro bans dogs from most of their natural spaces. We need the same policy on Mt. Hood. Funny thing is, just got back from Mt. Adams Wilderness - didn't see a single pooch - not sure why!

As to the Elliot Crossing, well isn't that a story - build several miles of new trail instead of a proper bridge.

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drm
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Re: Mini Report on Timberline

Post by drm » August 12th, 2019, 9:23 pm

I don't think there is a stable enough bank for a good bridge. You have to have something solid to anchor it on. They could probably do a seasonal/temporary log bridge like they used to do on the Sandy. But I don't think anybody likes dropping 500 feet down to cross and then just come back up.

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retired jerry
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Re: Mini Report on Timberline

Post by retired jerry » August 13th, 2019, 5:48 am

they've tried multiple times to build a bridge across Eliot, but it keeps getting washed out. Like, 100 feet of vertical feet will get washed away.

They could make a suspension bridge where the original trail was. They have something like that on Mt Rainier. But Mt Hood is just a National Forest, not enough funds, not so many people to justify it.

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Chip Down
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Re: Mini Report on Timberline

Post by Chip Down » August 13th, 2019, 6:38 pm

I once saw evidence of a bridge way up near the Eliot terminus, which is odd, because up there it's braided and easy to cross. I don't know for sure it was a bridge footing, but it was the only plausible explanation I could come up with. Wish I could find pics. Buried in some folder on my PC.

Re funding: Government always finds a way to fund what's in alignment with their ideology/agenda. Don't be fooled by the "we can't afford it" excuse.

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drm
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Re: Mini Report on Timberline

Post by drm » August 14th, 2019, 6:16 am

Chip Down wrote:
August 13th, 2019, 6:38 pm
Re funding: Government always finds a way to fund what's in alignment with their ideology/agenda. Don't be fooled by the "we can't afford it" excuse.
That's true, so I take it that such a bridge is not in the ideology of the ones who actually disburse the funds. Now if there was a wildfire that needed fighting, they would just find the money.

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