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Everything posted by PaulO

  1. Should still be good this weekend at least through Saturday.
  2. It took me 4.5 hours car to summit, but I am getting old....and don't get out enough, 3 hours down. Actually weekend before last there was practically no snow on the trail even way up the ridge. I kept hearing about icy conditions on top from folks descending but by 1pm when I arrived it was pretty well softened up. Looking at her now I would say there is more snow on the upper mountain than when I was there but that may be a good thing because the runoff from the summit snowmelt re-freezing on the water logged upper ash slopes at night was a might slippery before it melted later in the day. Walking on snow would be easier. I would guess the parking lot is still accessible since the 'volcano cam' shot on the other side shows no snow until well above Johnston Ridge which is 800' higher than the 3700' trailhead. Should be a great weekend to go after the weather Thursday/Friday moves by - 10K freezing level and sunny.
  3. Gnarl Fire

    Bad News: After midnight on September 16th a spot within the wilderness increased dramatically in fire intensity during a period of abnormally warm and dry night-time conditions. The weather conditions, combined with large amounts of dead and dry forest fuels, caused the fire to spread quickly to the north. The fire continues to burn actively at night as well as during the day. The 2375-acre fire has burned around the historic Cloud Cap Inn, but retardant drops helped keep the inn from burning. Tilly Jane campground has been burned over but, due to heavy smoke, the status of the historic Tilly Jane cabins is unknown.
  4. Gnarl Fire

    Flash Flood Watch *NOAA Issue Date: 11/12/2008 3:03 PM ...Flood Watch replaced by flash Flood Watch...in effect through late tonight... The National Weather Service in Portland has issued a * flash Flood Watch for a portion of northwest Oregon... Including the following areas...northern Oregon Cascades and upper Hood River Valley. * through late tonight * heavy rain is expected tonight...especially over the north Oregon Cascades...which may cause rapid rises on creeks and streams. From 3 to 5 inches of rain is possible around the Mount Hood area from 4 Pm this afternoon through early Thursday. The area of greatest concern is the gnarl ridge burn area near Mt Hood...and the white river drainage also near Mount Hood. Creeks of most concern in the burn area are poallie creek...tilly jane creek...elliot creek and newton creek. Minor debris flows have occurred in lighter rainfall events earlier this fall. * landslides and debris flows are possible during this flood event. People...structures and roads located below steep slopes...in canyons and near the mouths of canyons may be at serious risk from rapidly moving landslides. a flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation. You should Monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued.
  5. Gnarl Fire

    Letsroll, I agree but... If you go to the map the entire road and surrounding area are in the closed aread clear up to above TJ and Cloudcap. As for what they would do... Not sure how harsh they would be but the 'official' post reads: MOUNT HOOD NATIONAL FOREST HOOD RIVER RANGER DISTRICT ORDER Effective at 0001 hours on Friday, October 10, 2008 and pursuant to 36 CFR, Sec. 261.50 (A) & (B), the following acts are prohibited on the area shown in “exhibit A” and including sites as described in “exhibit B”. This is designated as the Gnarl Ridge Fire Closure Area and remains in effect until rescinded. 1. Being in or upon a closed area. [36 CFR 261.52(E)] 2. Use of vehicles off National Forest System Roads [36 CFR 261.56] Pursuant to 36 CFR 261.50 (E) the following persons are exempt from these prohibitions: 1. Persons with a permit, waiver or contract specifically authorizing the prohibited act or omission. 2. Any Federal, State or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or fire fighting force in the performance of an official duty. This order rescinds and replaces Order # MH-2008-10 signed on September 29, 2008. Done at Sandy, Oregon this 9th day of October, 2008. ______________________________ GARY L. LARSEN Forest Supervisor Mt Hood National Forest Violations of these prohibitions are punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both . (16U.S.C. 551, and 18 U.S.C. 3559 and 3571)
  6. Gnarl Fire

    Sounds to me like FS plans to keep the Cloudcap Rd closed well into next summer: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/mthood/news/2008/gnarl-fire/Needs-assessment.pdf Needs Assessment for closure on the Gnarl Ridge Fire Area (MH-2008-11) There is a continued need to limit public access and use to various portions of the Gnarl Ridge Fire area. The ‘Closure’ Area (see MHNF FS website) is needed: 1) To provide for public safety during Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation (BAER) operations which include helimulching, hazard tree falling, and road work; 2) To provide for protection of soils resources – close to 600 acres of severely burned soils are within this area and there is a need to limit disturbance, to the extent possible, until soils stabilize; and 3) To provide for protection of heritage resources – new sites have been discovered within the Cloud Cap Tilly Jane Historic District because of the removal of vegetation that screened these sites from the casual eye. The ‘Restricted’ Area (see map) prohibits use of motorized vehicles within the designated area. This restriction is needed because there are a number of existing dozer firelines that will not be decommissioned until summer of 2009. There is a need to prevent the establishment of motorized use (and potential subsequent damage and spread of noxious weeds) on these disturbed areas.
  7. N. Sister Conditions

    Though the traverse is not really visible in the picture above I can see enough snow showing at the near edge to say it very likely is still covered. Never completely melts until at least September most years. This weekend will be a soft sloppy mess up there with the extreme freezing levels 24/7 several days.
  8. Mt. Jefferson conditions

    I asked Detroit RS on the 15th about getting up towards Marion Lk trailhead and was told there was still five to six feet at Marion Forks and still snowing! It will be a while before you get off the highway on any roads up that way this year.
  9. North Face of Hood

    Heck the mud with the Sentra was a fun descent. Hey, did there used to be a shorter way up there than the 12 miles of dirt? My GPS always wants to turn up the gated 'do not enter, wrong way' road (I guess it is) at the ski area? It shows it several miles shorter that way before I pass it by. I had never been up the road before this summer.
  10. North Face of Hood

    I would call by close of business day today and ask specifics. With the forecast for 15" - 20" of snow by Sunday at 6K (and lesser amounts as low as 3500') I'll bet they shut the gate today. Even if they do not the road may be impassable anyways. Just the mud made it interesting in spots last Sunday for my old Sentra. Hood River Ranger station Phone number is 541-352-6002
  11. North Face of Hood

    It was perfect conditions and truly a windless, beautiful day. We wasted an hour at one point when I decided the somewhat snow covered main trial looked better than the ridge and ended up kicking steps through some REAL hard snow for a hundred feet or so while hanging on to Savio but we still made it to top of the hill in about 4 hours. He is a real trooper. Of course the 5 cup thermos of cocoa he packed helped a lot!
  12. North Face of Hood

    A bit of the North Face and Cooper Spur from Sunday the 14th:
  13. ORE 242 - McKenzie Pass Highway - Mile Post 65 - 83.71 (10 miles East of Intersection with McKenzie Highway ORE 126) Seasonal Closure AND Upcoming Construction Closure Lanes Affected: All Lanes , Shoulder Comments: Snow gates on east and west ends remain closed to all motor vehicles. Bicyclists and pedestrians allowed prior to 6/15/07 when construction starts. A Forest Service Construction Project beginning 6/15/07 will close the road to all traffic, including bicyclists and pedestrians, between MP 65.8, Alder Springs, and MP 71.4, Obsidian Trail. Closure in effect through August 30, 2007, possibly longer. Access to PCT, Obsidian Trailhead, etc. will be from the East (Sisters) side Only for the entire summer.
  14. McKenzie Pass Hwy Construction - Oregon

    REOPENED YESTERDAY! Published: Saturday, September 1, 2007 Eugene Register Guard: Old McKenzie Highway reopens after road work McKENZIE BRIDGE - The west end of the McKenzie Pass Highway will reopen at 8 a.m. Sunday, the state Department of Transportation said in a news release. The west gate of historic Highway 242 been closed since late June to allow for the installation of a new grade at a switch-back curve and new pavement just east of the Alder Springs snow gate. The snow gate is 11 miles off of Highway 126. A U.S. Forest Service contractor completing the work had anticipated finishing Sept. 4, but will complete the job and open the highway for motorized traffic two days early. Vehicles longer than 35 feet are prohibited on Highway 242. The highway typically closes in late October or early November when snow begins to fall.
  15. Not only preferred but required to get your permit. Bob up there on our 'climb' last year: BTW: I still have 2 undated permits from last year the nice lady at the store gave me when 3 of our party backed out and she sold only one of the three during the day for me. I wonder if they are still good?
  16. North Sister route conditions?

    Hey, when ya'll go up from Pole Cr this time of year what route do you take up onto the N Sister ridge? Do you go up the trail to the creek then up and through the gap between the N and Middle on the glacier and turn up onto the ridge from there or is there an easier way onto the ridge? Seems the glacier route east side is mighty busted up by this time of year. Do you find it an advantage to approach via Pole Cr rather than Obsidian TH?
  17. Totally agree with Letsroll's assesment especially that crampons ease the travel a lot if you are early. Don't forget your permit http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/willamette/general/passespermits/recpasses/wilderness.html if you are going in from Obsidian TH. For some reason they don't require it to pass through the restricted area on the PCT but they do to pass through on your way up the mountains. Plus the highway is only open from the Sister's side due to construction.
  18. McKenzie Pass Hwy Construction - Oregon

    Now may be mid Sept. til it is done... Details: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/willamette/general/conditions/hwy242.html
  19. McKenzie Pass Hwy Construction - Oregon

    Now Open: Old Mckenzie highway now open to all traffic from snowgate east end to the Obsidian trailhead only. The remainder of highway remains closed for construction
  20. Mt. Adams conditions

    Windy, wet at times and near 8000 ft freezing level. Bundle up.
  21. McKenzie Pass Hwy Construction - Oregon

    UPDATE: Road still closed, construction put off a few days. "Snow gates on east and west ends remain closed to all motor vehicles. Bicyclists and pedestrians allowed prior to 6/19/07 when construction starts."
  22. Pictures are in your gallery (some cool shots): http://www.cascadeclimbers.com/plab/showgallery.php?mcats=&si=&what=allfields&name=Mountain_Shots&when=0&whenterm=&condition=and
  23. Never been very far up Jeff. Always wanted to but since I turned 50 last winter and know very few other people who climb I am resigned to easier solo trips...doubt if I'll even get up Hood this year. From pictures the Jeff traverse looks longer but I don't think it really matters. Both are rotten dinner plate loose junk and if it takes off under you there is little time to stop before it is too late and I am sure either would be equally deadly. My family and I were camping on the west side of Middle / North Sisters about 8000' where there are some rock shelters 5 or 6 years ago when a chopper kept landing, ferrying in 2 well equipped climbers at a time. Turned out they were recovering a person from a few days ealier...slipped on the traverse. It is a long way down. Anyways great try and I am sure you will get it next time! I have several old pictures of the dry traverse from a few years back somewhere. If I get a chance I will scan and post some.
  24. Thanks. Your (much clearer than my) picture, taken slightly to the right of mine, shows it better and you answered my main question as to this being the point to cross over to the west side. Other than some of the worse choss in the Cascades getting to that point is not too difficult. When I got there last fall and looked down the exposed scree covered little ramp down and around the hump combined with how I felt was what made me turn back. It seems to me there used to be much more rock on the east side at that point many years ago and there was no exposure passing through there. I have been up there once in later June when only the portion before the alley was still snow covered (like your last pic) and the alley was dry. There was practically a sidewalk wide path across the exposed part then. I agree with John on the alley. I am not much of a rock climber but going up it in dry conditions does not bother me. The other 3 or 4 times I made it were in late summer/fall and there is sort of a 'path' across the dry traverse but still quite exposed as there is little room to stop before the edge if the loose stuff takes off. It is one rotten mountain.
  25. Great Try!!! Had a question as last fall when I was up there I was having difficulty recalling the exact route from the east side of the upper ridge across to the traverse. This shot is where I got sick and burnt out and turned back: It is basically the same shot as your first pic minus the snow. Is the red line I marked on it the correct route to drop down around the first (left) hump and cross over to the west side to the start of the traverse? And the bowling alley is at the back side of the green arrow drawn to the left of the summit, right? I hate that pile of rocks too. Thanks!