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Jake Robinson
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PostFri Nov 29, 2019 8:01 pm 
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Attempted Big Snow Mountain today. Middle Fork Road snow free until the Dingford gate. Snow line around 2000'. Getting up to Lower Hardscrabble Lake was miserable, snowy bushwhacking and sketchy slippery snow covered talus. Many broken poles and bruised knees. Bailed a little before the lower lake. It took us 2.5 hours to cover the last mile before we turned around.
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Sky Hiker
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PostSat Nov 30, 2019 7:45 am 
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Not a surprise
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Nancyann
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PostSat Nov 30, 2019 8:59 pm 
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Had a super fun Thanksgiving Day hiking up to Lake Valhalla. Arrived at the lake viewpoint about 1:30, the same time as a couple with two dogs, no one else there on a bright sunny day. The trail had just recently been broken, so there was very little ice to walk on, but the most amazing icicles were hanging from the trees!

Valhalla 11/28/19
Valhalla 11/28/19
Valhalla 11/28/19
Valhalla 11/28/19
Valhalla 11/28/19
Valhalla 11/28/19
Valhalla 11/28/19
Valhalla 11/28/19
Valhalla 11/28/19
Valhalla 11/28/19
Valhalla 11/28/19
Valhalla 11/28/19
Valhalla 11/28/19
Valhalla 11/28/19

No trail had been broken down to the lake and we were too lazy to trudge through two feet of unbroken snow, so we headed up Mt. McCausland instead, on someone elseís bootpath.

Valhalla 11/28/19
Valhalla 11/28/19
Valhalla 11/28/19
Valhalla 11/28/19
Valhalla 11/28/19
Valhalla 11/28/19
Valhalla 11/28/19
Valhalla 11/28/19

That went well until we stopped for lunch. A breeze picked up and the wind chill quickly dropped below freezing. I had taken my fingers out of my mitts to eat, and they froze immediately. I could barely put my mitts back on, or even zip my pack closed. So, we high-tailed it off McCausland and headed back to the truck, enjoying gorgeous alpenglow as the sun went down.
I had been planning on getting home in time to throw a turkey in the oven, (even made a pie the night before) but due to the lure of the snow, sun and blue skies, that went out the window. Instead we had a special Thanksgiving dinner of chili, hot dogs and some high-end ramen I borrowed from my backpacking stash. But we topped it off with homemade pumpkin pie, and everyone was happy. biggrin.gif
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Kat
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PostSun Dec 01, 2019 7:46 am 
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Quote:
I had been planning on getting home in time to throw a turkey in the oven, (even made a pie the night before) but due to the lure of the snow, sun and blue skies, that went out the window. Instead we had a special Thanksgiving dinner of chili, hot dogs and some high-end ramen I borrowed from my backpacking stash. But we topped it off with homemade pumpkin pie, and everyone was happy

lol.gif  Spoken like a true hiker!   up.gif
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yukon222
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PostTue Dec 03, 2019 11:34 am 
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Quick hike into Snow Lake last Friday morning.  Not much snow at the parking lot, maybe 5" or so.  Only about 10" at the actual lake.
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Sky Hiker
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PostTue Dec 03, 2019 11:42 am 
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Thanks for that trip report I always wanted to go up there and check that out. Hopefully the light is good so I can get a good selfie!!
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostWed Dec 04, 2019 12:05 pm 
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Belated Black Friday TR.  Was at my parents' house east of Portland in The Gorge.  It had been cloudy but cleared up on Friday.  It was cold though.  Decided I definitely wanted to do something on the Washington side so I could soak up some rays (if you do much hiking in the area you know many of the hikes on the Oregon side are on the shady end of the spectrum).  Tried something new for me, ended up just about perfect.  Did the Labyrinth/Coyote Wall loop, started on the Rowland Lake end.  Lots of oak trees, don't see those usually on hikes.  Wind you way thru some interesting basalt formations.  Walking the edge of Coyote Wall in the middle is pretty cool.  Saw several ravens.  That area is multiuse, saw several mountain bikers.  No conflicts between user groups to report.

Went on Saturday as well.  I was purposely avoiding hiking near Multnomah Falls, figured it would be just a madhouse over the holiday weekend.  Tried something else new.  I've driven past Mitchell Point hundreds if not thousands of times.  It's kind of a beacon, lets me know I'm almost to Hood River, but I've never once stopped there.  Short, steep trail to the top of Mitchell.  From the parking area I then headed the opposite direction on the Wygant Trail.  Both hikes never really get out of range of hearing traffic on I-84.  Wygant was interesting in a few places along creeks, but I got bored with this one.  I got to a viewpoint (Adams was just poking out) about a mile or so from the top of Wygant Peak and called it good.  Coyote Wall I would do again but this one is probably on the Do Not Repeat List.  Although with Coyote I wouldn't try it in July or August probably, you would get roasted by the south exposure, not much shade and usually high temps in the area that time of year.  Supposed to be a good spring hike with flowers.  I did see a bunch of shriveled up balsam root near the top.  I realized I've never seen the plants before in late fall/winter, looked kind of skeletal.
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RichP
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Joined: 13 Jul 2006
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PostThu Dec 05, 2019 4:00 pm 
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Headed over to Anatone in the southeast corner of Wa today for a visit of Big Butte Lookout. I wonder what the plans are for this structure? Seems like it would make a nice nightly rental along with the others in the area but seems to be temporarily on the ground after the tower was damaged.

Big Butte, 5010,' on the eastern end of the Blue Mtns of Washington.
Big Butte, 5010,' on the eastern end of the Blue Mtns of Washington.
Headed up the slope.
Headed up the slope.
The Wallowas are visible in the distance.
The Wallowas are visible in the distance.
Flattening out near the summit.
Flattening out near the summit.
The lookout was on a tower but has been lowered. I heard the tower was damage by a fallen tree. It's good that they saved it before it collapsed.
The lookout was on a tower but has been lowered. I heard the tower was damage by a fallen tree. It's good that they saved it before it collapsed.
OK.
OK.
Big Butte Lookout.
Big Butte Lookout.
Even the loo is in good shape.
Even the loo is in good shape.
Could be a nice nightly rental.
Could be a nice nightly rental.
The Blues in the distance.
The Blues in the distance.
Anatone Butte on the right and the Wallowas in the distance.
Anatone Butte on the right and the Wallowas in the distance.
Barely enough snow for snowshoes.
Barely enough snow for snowshoes.
The Blues.
The Blues.
Anatone Butte.
Anatone Butte.
Looking east over the Snake River into Idaho. I believe the peak in the foreground is Wilson Butte on The Wa side and the forested bump below is Puffer Butte.
Looking east over the Snake River into Idaho. I believe the peak in the foreground is Wilson Butte on The Wa side and the forested bump below is Puffer Butte.
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Justus S.
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PostSat Dec 14, 2019 6:21 pm 
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(Skyhomelyish) Peak 4494 north of Skykomish. Drove up Becker River then up the FS road up Eagle Creek. My route choice was up the East ridge. I turned off the main road and drove up the switchback roads up the NE side (suv recommended). I stopped driving at the bend around 2200ft just to make sure I didnít get in trouble with some light snow on the road. I walked up to the hairpin at around 2800ft. You can drive to here if conditions permit (no snow when I got back down). I then headed a little south on a little cut road and went into the mature trees above. I then headed up and followed the ridge to the road above at 3840. You should hit an older spur prior to this road. Decent forest travel with mostly light brush. I would have used snowshoes for the road walk from here to 4300ft if I had them with me... about 12in of sinking in boots. At 4300, I then move to the forest for the rest of the hike to the summit. Hiking was easy in the forest for this last part. Summit has trees but much of the road walk is nice and open. Had the mtn to myself today not even snow machine tracks on the higher roads.
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Sky Hiker
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PostSat Dec 14, 2019 7:20 pm 
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What's Skyhomelyish?
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Justus S.
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PostSun Dec 15, 2019 4:17 pm 
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Just borrowed from this TR. Link
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Sky Hiker
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PostSun Dec 15, 2019 4:23 pm 
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Ok I see now, locals call it lower Klinger ridge.
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elpezzz
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PostSun Dec 22, 2019 10:14 pm 
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Snow levels looked very un-promising while heading east on 90, but it started snowing as soon as we crossed the pass and the snow at Cabin Creek was decent. It started slightly crusty and soft underneath around 10am and was soft and slippery when we ended after noon.  We stuck to the lower trails and had a lovely ~7-8 mile ski on a very grey day.  I might go back Tuesday with new skate skis - anyone want to join?

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kitya
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PostMon Jan 06, 2020 3:39 pm 
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Old Pass Hill, Cairn Hill (and back to Old Pass Hill), Roughhouse Mountain on 1/5/2020.

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/4405465511

There is very little snow frown.gif Eastern slopes are completely bare, though there is decent amount of very soft powdery snow on north-west slopes and especially in wind blown areas. So it is a mixed bag from falling waist deep in snowshoes to bare rocks.

New record for me: didnít take any photos during the snowshoe yesterday. None at all. Just carried the camera in the backpack and never took it out. Fascinating.

A funny thing happened on the way back. I descended steeply from Old Pass Hill to Old Blewett pass and accidentally trespassed through someoneís (quite fancy) house. After going up Roughouse mountain I was not in the mood to trespass again and scramble all the way to the Old Pass Hill again for the third time in one day (one time is more than enough for any of these mountains), so I went directly down to hwy 97 instead. Unfortunately, that meant 1.5 mile walk back along the highway back to my car. It was not pleasant. As Cookie and I were walking up it soon became completely dark too. Suddenly a police car stopped next to me and put all the flashing lights on.
- What are you doing?
- Walking back to my car a mile.
- It is not safe to do so.

And as soon as he shouted the last phrase, he turned off the flashing lights, turned around and drove away. So freaking helpful.
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RichP
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PostWed Jan 08, 2020 8:54 pm 
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Shoeffler Butte in Heyburn State Park, Idaho. 1-8-2020

The trail to this little summit is part of the Mullan Road which was a wagon route connecting the Rocky Mtns with the Pacific Northwest built by The US Army under the command of Capt John Mullan. This section was abandoned in 1863 after the completion of a more favorable route over 4th of July Pass, more or less paralleling modern-day I-90. The entire road was mostly abandoned after rail lines were built in the 1880s. A few sections of the 624-mile road remain intact.

Though short, the trail gains 1086' in 1.25 miles to the partially forested summit. There are some views out to the south end of lake Coeur d'Alene on the way up.

Chatcolet campground is closed for the winter in Nov. A trail leads up from the lake next to the picnic shelters or beside camp site 113.
Chatcolet campground is closed for the winter in Nov. A trail leads up from the lake next to the picnic shelters or beside camp site 113.
Beginning of trail in Chatcolet campground.
Beginning of trail in Chatcolet campground.
Mullan Rd.
Mullan Rd.
Blowdown.
Blowdown.
Signs along the way.
Signs along the way.
Mullan Road. This was part of the original route from the Rocky Mtns to the Pacific NW. This section was abandoned in 1863.
Mullan Road. This was part of the original route from the Rocky Mtns to the Pacific NW. This section was abandoned in 1863.
The trail gets narrower here.
The trail gets narrower here.
Nearing the top.
Nearing the top.
Summit area of Shoeffler Butte.
Summit area of Shoeffler Butte.
Summit view north.
Summit view north.
The summit of Shoeffler Butte, 3320.'
The summit of Shoeffler Butte, 3320.'
North from Mullan Rd on Shoeffler Butte.
North from Mullan Rd on Shoeffler Butte.
Good sized ponderosa.
Good sized ponderosa.
Floating homes on Hidden Lake.
Floating homes on Hidden Lake.
The southern end of Lake Coeur d'Alene. The St Joe River enters the lake here and has created the sand bars.
The southern end of Lake Coeur d'Alene. The St Joe River enters the lake here and has created the sand bars.
Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes. This 73.2-mile bike/pedestrian trail runs from Plummer to Mullan, Id. Here it crosses Lake Chatcolet, a southern arrn of Lake Coeur d'Alene.
Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes. This 73.2-mile bike/pedestrian trail runs from Plummer to Mullan, Id. Here it crosses Lake Chatcolet, a southern arrn of Lake Coeur d'Alene.
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