Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Top Secret Stealth Hike!

A top secret stealth hike on the Washington side of the Gorge :^)..

Archer Mountain to Aldrich Butte


Saturday 10/13/12 I set off with Peder, Eric & Mark to hike a route we had stitched together from High Valley, Archer Mountain to the Aldrich Butte trailhead making use of unofficial trails, the old Russ Jolley trail, old forest roads & even an old logging railroad grade. Originally it was going to be a peak bagging trip but because of the bad weather we just hiked the main route from end to end. It still came in at 22 wet & soggy miles with over 6500' of elevation gain! Mark & Eric made a couple of fun movies of the trip, here is Mark's & here's Eric's.

Exploring the Old Vista Ridge Trail


Sunday 10/07/2012 a group of us set off to explore whats become known as the Old Vista Ridge Trail. This is the original first 3 miles of the Vista Ridge Trail from the old Trail Head at Perry Lake to the current trail head. The trail fell into a state of disrepair & was almost lost but then a group from portlandhikers.org cleared all the fallen trees & opened it up again.
For some unknown reason some Kill Joy or Kill Joys in the Forest Service didn't like the fact that the trail was opened again & keep pulling down the directional signs that volunteers put up but the fact is it's open & thanks to Portland Hikers gaining in popularity again. Depending on how many of the side trips you take you can hike anywhere between 6 & 9 miles on this out & back hike. We tried to hit all the known points of interest along the way. They are: The Rock Pile, Owl Point, Alki Point, Perry Lake & the short bushwhack side trips to Kutsak PointRed Hill.

Mississippi Head & Illumination Rock


Saturday 10/06/12 I set out with Eric, Peder & Brad to hike a loop around Mississippi Head & up to the Illumination Rock Saddle at 9300'. We also checked out the old crash site of the B26 plane. It was a dry sunny day but in places we battled terribly windy conditions especially on the Zigzag glacier climb up to the Saddle. Nevertheless it was was great hike & my first trip up to the Illumination Saddle.

A Bushwhack (from Hell) up Opal Creek to Tanner Butte


Saturday 09/22/12 Don Peder & I set out to find the Waterfalls on Opal Creek, a tributary of Eagle Creek in the Columbia Gorge. It took us over 4 hours to travel the 3.5 miles up the creek to the falls! We then bushwhacked our way up to Tanner Butte & returned by way of the Tanner Butte trail. The whole trip was about 21 miles with 4500' of Elevation Gain. The 5.5 miles of bushwhack took us 8.5 hours & the whole trip almost 13.


A Search for Recession Lakes


Sunday 09/30/12 Eric, Peder & I headed out for another hike over the Eliot Glacier & around the Mooney Tarn. The Goal of this hike was to see if there was another high lake up on the mountain near the Mooney Tarn. The reason being there is a lake called Recession Lakes marked on Most Topo maps. After climbing about 1000' above the Mooney Tarn we can say that there is no second lake up in the area & the Mooney Tarn & Recession Lakes are one and the same place. It was a great day in perfect weather to be out on the mountain.

To Infinity & Beyond!


On 9/16 Eric, Mikio, Chiyoko & I set out on a great trip up the ridge that separates the Glissan & Ladd Glaciers. It's unofficially called "Gladd Ridge". We then crossed over the foot of the Ladd Galcier to Barrett Spur  & came back down by way of the ridge on the East side of Ladd Creek. A great off trail trip.