Arnaud from France

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Arnaud from France

Post by nono303 » November 21st, 2019, 8:17 am

Hi @all!

I’m Arnaud 38yo From Lille - France. Nature lovers, hiking and photographing mountains over the world!

I’m currently planning an Oregon trip from 10 to 20 June 2020 around Mount Jefferson & 3 Sisters.
As a "French hiker", I’m not aware about snow condition at this period of the year and would like to know your point of view about the availability / probability to do some high altitude trail without "heavy" snow or climbing equipment - ice ax, crampon, helmet, harness...

I’m quite regular on end of spring difficult snowy hike in French Alps and my request is more about objective terrain danger than technicality.
Here is what I would like to do:
- Mount Jefferson south ridge, not to the summit but nearly Waldo Glacier (9000 ft.)
- Mount Washington, North ridge - without summit pitch climbing (7500 ft.)
- South Sister, normal way - south ridge (10300 ft.) at least until Lewis Glacier (8800 ft.)
- Broken Hand (8400 ft.)
- Broken Top (9200 ft.)
- Tumalo Mountain (7800 ft.)
- Mont Bachelor (9000 ft.)

For Other preselected hikes, highest altitude would be not more than 7500 ft.:
Olaliee butte, Belknap Crater, black Crater, Tam McArthur Rim, Three Fingered Jack Saddle viewpoint.

In advance, thanks a lot for your feedback; it’ll help me to find well positioned base camps for theses ten days!
If I had overlooked major hikes on this area, I would be delighted with your suggestions :)


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Re: Arnaud from France

Post by teachpdx » November 21st, 2019, 8:53 am

Welcome to the forum!

These areas will most likely still have a significant amount of snow. It honestly varies every year, but I don't count on anything in the central Cascades above 6000' being snow-free until early July.

I'm sure other folks can give you more relevant details on each of the individual hikes you've mentioned, but I think at minimum you'll be crossing snowfields where crampons and/or an ice axe would make your journey faster and safer. Some destinations, such as Broken Top, verge on technical climbing without snow... let alone with snow and ice in the mix.

Another concern is weather. It may be beautiful, or it may not. I'd advise having a plan B or C or D if the mountains are socked in fog/clouds.
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Re: Arnaud from France

Post by Bosterson » November 21st, 2019, 11:00 am

Most or all of those mountains will still have significant snow at lower elevations in June. (That is also a very ambitious itinerary to accomplish in only 10 total days here!) I would recommend crampons and an axe just for safety if you go up onto steeper/higher slopes. A harness is not useful if you'll be solo, and you can leave the helmet behind if you're just going to do walkups. (South Sister is basically a big hill, and you should go all the way to the summit if you bother to get up onto its slopes in the first place - the view of the whole Cascades is excellent.)

Broken Top will likely be too technical with snow on it at that time of year to go solo without a belay. The N Ridge of Mt Washington is not very interesting by itself and there's no point in going up there if you don't plan to climb the summit pinnacle, which obviously is already technical and would be even more so with snow.

Another thing to keep in mind is that unless something miraculous happens, the Forest Service plans to begin charging an access fee for most or all of the areas you've mentioned beginning in May 2020. There will also be a quota on how many people can get access permits to those areas. Unfortunately, right now no one knows how these permits will even be administered, how many will be available for walk-ups, where you'd get them (can you only get them online?), etc. All the areas will have very restrictive quotas and fees for all overnight use if you want to backpack in there. Be prepared to not be able to get a permit to some of the areas you're looking at, as this is the reality of trying to access the Central Cascades in the future! :(
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Re: Arnaud from France

Post by Aimless » November 21st, 2019, 11:56 am

It occurs to me that, if Arnaud were to lack the proper permits for his planned hikes and climbs, that the enforcement mechanism for collecting the resulting fines would be rather ineffective for a resident of France. I am pretty sure the US government is not well-integrated enough for unpaid fines under a newly-instituted and somewhat experimental program, issued by the local district office of an agency within the Department of Agriculture to register with the US State Department as a reason to deny an entry visa and preclude Arnaud from entering the USA in the future. I think he could safely ignore them. ;)

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Re: Arnaud from France

Post by nono303 » November 22nd, 2019, 2:02 am

Hi folks,
Many thanks for all your very interesting feedback!

I noted the global abundant snow, technical difficulties on Broken Top and disinterest of the northern ridge of Mount Washington.
I specify that I do not intend to do everything but I prepare in advance hike opportunities to enjoy fully once there, depending on weather conditions ;)

I do have a plan B (but no C...) around Crooked River National Grassland and Ochoco National Forest, where the weather seems more lenient at this period.

I will dig on this famous hiking permit, not particularly wanting to be outlaw even if risks seem actually limited for a Frenchie
I will share on it if I had more information.

Thank you again for all your advice!

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Re: Arnaud from France

Post by retired jerry » November 22nd, 2019, 6:49 am

I just went to Ochoco National Forest and drove through Crooked River National Grassland.

I haven't seen a lot of potential for Crooked River but maybe I just haven't looked right.

I went to Mill Creek Wilderness in Ochoco. Good plan B for June. The "mountains" are tree covered with a few rock outcrops. About half of the wilderness contains an old volcanic crater although I didn't realize that the first time I was there. Some of the outcrops are remnants of that crater. Not too many people in June.

Are you backpacking, tent camping from car, staying at hotels?

If I was in France I would pay any fees anyone said to pay :) It's a new program next year so many of us are not happy about it.

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Re: Arnaud from France

Post by oldandslow » November 24th, 2019, 1:23 pm

A few suggestions on your Central Oregon Hiking trip.
Comments about snow on the ground and possible adverse weather are quite correct. As an alternative to trying an early season hike on Mt. Jefferson, you might hike up Bachelor Mountain which is on the opposite side of the North Santiam Canyon. It has good views and should be accessible in mid June.
In my opinion Mt Washington never was a worthy destination for anyone but a technical climber but a recent fire has consumed most of the forest around the mountain. It is very depressing.
The road to the South Sister climbing trail will almost certainly be open but the climb will probably be almost all on snow.
The road to Tumalo Mountain and Mt. Bachelor is open all year and hiking for both is likely to be on snow. Tumalo Mountain would provide excellent photo opportunities for your panorama photography. Mt Bachelor has a hiking route to the top but it is home to a large ski development and there is a lift almost to the summit. Under past ownership there was skiing until 4th of July but now they close in late May, although several recent years they have run out of snow at the base in late April or early May. Excellent views from the top of Mt. Bachelor which I have seen only as a result of riding the lift and then climbing, carrying my skis a relatively short distance to the top.
Probably quite difficult to even get to the start of the climb of Broken Top or Broken Hand in mid June.
When the weather is inclement in the Central Oregon Cascades, the mountains are shrouded in clouds but it is often sunny on the east side of the mountains. Some alternative hikes:
I gather from your initial post that you want to climb things rather than just walk along so some of my suggestions might not be what you are looking for but I will offer them anyway.
Smith Rock is a renowned rock climbing area but it has some nice trails and good weather. Grey Butte is nearby.
Also nearby are several trails into the Deschutes River Canyon.
South of Prineville on the Lower Crooked River Scenic Byway is the hike to Chimney Rock--a short hike in a very scenic area.
The Deschutes River Trail starts in Bend and goes upstream for about 15 miles in very nice forest and passing several waterfalls.
Further to the south is Newberry Volcano National Monument which offers a hike to the top of Paulina Peak (almost 8,000 ft.), a hike around Paulina Lake, a hike up a very large obsidian flow and a hike along Paulina Creek.
If you would like to go further afield, the Blue Basin and the Painted Hills offer very scenic hiking in interesting geological areas.
Good luck. Let me know if you have questions about my suggestions.

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Re: Arnaud from France

Post by nono303 » December 4th, 2019, 2:44 am

Thank's again for your complete and detailed feedback!

@retired jerry In France no fees all free! Just take a plane ticket and mountains are yours ;)
@oldandslow I will take a close look at your 'gold mine' information to rework copy and B plan ^^

Fyi, Still no news on 2020 season Central Cascades permit from U.S. Forest Service - Willamette National Forest…

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Re: Arnaud from France

Post by jessbee » December 6th, 2019, 9:58 am

Most others have said this already, but June is a tough time of year to plan ahead for snow conditions. You'll probably be dealing with a lot of snow and route-finding at that time of year in those places. You will most certainly need traction and poles/ice axe for many of those objectives. That being said, if you want to get high elevation in Oregon have you thought about visiting the Wallowas, Strawberry Mountains or Steens Mountain? These are further east and may offer more reliable weather that time of year.

The sticky situation regarding permits in Central Oregon will probably take months to resolve and potentially be a headache for you, whereas basically all other parts of the state are essentially free to access.

Whatever you decide on, check back closer to that time frame for up to date conditions and information (as I'm sure you will). We'll have better and more specific advice for you next year in late May. Happy trip planning!
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Re: Arnaud from France

Post by nono303 » December 27th, 2019, 11:29 pm

Hi folks,
We finally book our trip according your advice ;)
Having no choice of period (taking advantage of a business trip for an IT conference early June in Portland) we decided to spend only 6 days in Tumalo to hike (as it could be possible...) in Central Cascades and 4 days to the east discovering Wallowas & Strawberry Mountains (around Dayville & Haines).

Concerning the 2020 permit, here is summarized the feedback I received mid-December from Willamette National Forest Service:
  • What will be the price of this 2020 permit?
    > We have proposed a fee of $5 per person, per night for overnight trips. However, we are still in the middle of the comment period on this fee so it might change between now and next summer
  • Can we "reserve" this permit now?
    > No, there isn’t anything you can do now. As of right now, our plan is to make a portion of permits available starting Tuesday, April 7, 2020. The remaining portion will be released on a rolling basis, a few days before a trip would begin.
Also,this link which that’s seems up to date ... 903695002/

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