12/30/19 Epic End of year hike Table Mountain, WA 3rd Summit

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Solofemalehiker35
Posts: 20
Joined: November 10th, 2019, 10:14 pm

12/30/19 Epic End of year hike Table Mountain, WA 3rd Summit

Post by Solofemalehiker35 » December 31st, 2019, 9:43 am

12/30/19 WA 9.49 miles with 3404ft elevation gain in 11hrs 54 mins total time, 7hrs 28 mins moving time and 4hrs 26 mins stopped time. (1438ft elevation gain in 1 mile on west way!!! To true summit from West Way TH) I seriously wonder why West is called the easier of the two!!! Every time I hike up West!! I would never go down west!! But I could def go up and down πŸ’”.
5hrs to go up west and down πŸ’”. Up west (begining of the rocky area was so icy (iced over rocks)!! Had no shame crawling on my hands and knees on west with my giant pack to avoid being caught by the overgrown bushes in the steep areas of west. Solid snow started maybe halfway up West and was about a foot deep on the true summit. But everything was much better with micros on). 3 false summits on West, but the true summit was windy cold with no views, just watched the clouds rolling by on the west sideπŸ’–. Had a great lunch spot in a wind break area and sat in the soft snow, on the side of the trail that connects west to South side. Snow in the Forrest between west and south views was the same amount as last year at this time of year, there was also more snow this year at lower elevations. South side views were pretty socked in. We were in the clouds! Headed down πŸ’” the snow was crunchy (snow and frozen ground until right before the final steep descent to πŸ’” TH), the travel was pretty nice with the snow being crunchy like it was. Boulder field was intimidating as always, but also not as bad as it is without any snow. Most of the rocks were frozen to each other, there was snow covering the gaps, but we took care with every step and both of us did not have any sketch moments there and took our time. Saw our first and only person for the day heading up West from the Boulder field, across the way. My partner yelled over to him πŸ€£πŸ˜‚, but we got no response, later he passed us on πŸ’” during the super steep final descent to πŸ’” TH (think he was a trail runner! Dude had a tiny pack and was booking it!!) Super steep descent was also my partners least favorite (her first time on the mountain) favorite part and also broke her heart and her knees literally... To me it's usually a rough spot but because the ground was frozen, it was not as bad as it usually is.

Make sure you carry a power pack for your phone if you are relying on your phone to guide you or have a paper map as there are a lot of trails that veer off the main trails with no names especially on West Way trail.

Bring plenty of water or have a Water filtration system to filter water before you make the summit attempt. There is a stream crossing the PCT year round before πŸ’” TH. You will drink a lot of water on this trail.

Summit (West Way and πŸ’”) trail is not children under 8 friendly or handicap accessible as the trail is un even with steep trail, steep drop offs, rocky terrain several overgrown areas, small stream crossings and blowdowns on trail.

There is a large camping area by Cedar Creek/Aldrich bypass trail, but accessing the creek may be tricky as it will be a bushwack. There are also camp spots on the summit as well as false summit spots on West trail you might be able to camp at, but you will have to pack in your water or snow camp and melt snow.

Park at Bonneville TH for this hike right off highway 14. Parking will be on the North side, you need an America the beautiful parks pass ($80), Northwest Forrest pass ($30) or day pass ($5.00 I believe) which you can aquire at this TH. Toilets are vaulted and can get pretty stinky. Lots of other hiking in the area as well. Parking area is large and right next to the train tracks.
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First false summit on west looking forwards the Columbia
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West Way
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West Way
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3rd false Summit West side
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Hiking through the Forrest before the summit
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True summit, beyond this is the north trail I believe
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Rolling clouds here were amazing to watch, but with the wind chill it was frigid up top!!
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Forrest walk in between the west side and south side. Snow was about a foot deep and powdery.
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Trail Junction to observation area and heartbreak and west side

cfm
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Joined: June 18th, 2008, 6:49 am

Re: 12/30/19 Epic End of year hike Table Mountain, WA 3rd Summit

Post by cfm » January 4th, 2020, 3:02 pm

Nice chunk of epic! Funny, I always go up Heartbreak and come down the Westway. Definitely prefer going up that boulder field. It's best with a few feet of snow.

You say you started at Bonneville TH on highway 14, but that mileage of 9 1/2 miles RT to the summit of Table doesnt seem right from that starting point. I think it's more like 16 miles and 3900 ft eg. Since the access from the hotsprings ended and the other spots below the powerlines are now verboten, the trails in this area are much less used, it's a quieter hiking area these days.

I think the PCT miles between Hwy 14 and Carpenter Lake are tedious and boring. One thing like minded folks might consider is riding their bike from Bonneville and then hiding it in the bushes somewhere near the powerlines. Very easy ride that cuts off about 7 or 8 miles of the boring part and you can focus your energy on the fun stuff!

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Chip Down
Posts: 1857
Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: 12/30/19 Epic End of year hike Table Mountain, WA 3rd Summit

Post by Chip Down » January 4th, 2020, 3:13 pm

Looking up at Table Mountain Jan 3, I was surprised to see no sign of snow. Nice to see there has been some up there, even if it's melted from the trees and steep open slopes.
cfm wrote: ↑
January 4th, 2020, 3:02 pm
I think the PCT miles between Hwy 14 and Carpenter Lake are tedious and boring. One thing like minded folks might consider is riding their bike from Bonneville and then hiding it in the bushes somewhere near the powerlines. Very easy ride that cuts off about 7 or 8 miles of the boring part and you can focus your energy on the fun stuff!
Or keep riding up, even if you have to walk occasionally, and you'll have an even easier trip down. Or drive your jeep up the road. Or carpool. Or just park along the utility road under the power lines, where I've never heard of anybody being towed. I'm nervous about it though. It really puts the damper on a fun hike when you're worried about your car all day.

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