Daily Archives: July 18, 2016

31-May-2016, A second hike of the weekend – Dog Mountain!

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31-May-2016, A second hike of the weekend – Dog Mountain!

Monday, 31-May-2016 (Memorial Day)

 

What’s the best way to celebrate Memorial Day?  How about doing a long hike with a heavy pack?  Especially a day after doing an even longer hike, but with a much lighter pack.

 

Yeah, I think that’s a slightly nuts way to spend Memorial Day too… but what can I say? I’m slightly nuts.

I didn’t get up early, as one should expect from me, but I did get up and get myself moving. I loaded my pack with a standard kit… not light, but not excessive or training weight or anything. Just enough to keep it interesting, you know?

 

Then a drive, a hunt for a parking spot. A short walk from the spot I finally found, and the start of the trail.

Soon enough, a test appeared.  A split, with one arrow pointing toward the “less difficult” section, and another one pointing toward a “more difficult” section.  Obviously I took the more difficult… I figured that I’d do it as a loop, and that tackling the more difficult section first would make life a bit simpler… right?

Meh, I can’t say much toward ascending the less difficult side, but the more difficult one wasn’t anything special.  The hard part was (opposite to most Gorge trails) near the end, after the two reconvened.  That part was steep.  But the payoff was worth it… Wildflowers!  

 

The trail dumped me into a steep meadow, going as far as the eye could see… even onto some of the other peaks and ridge lines in the distance.

It. Was. Glorious!

 

So I rested up top, read a bit (until the bugs got too much), and headed down the “less difficult” section.  Really… the pictures here are the story.  Not the writing.  So enjoy!

30-May-2016, hiking Nesmith point as a training run (walk) ((hike))

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30-May-2016, hiking Nesmith point as a training run (walk) ((hike))

Sunday, 30-May-2016

 

So yesterday (Saturday) I did basically nothing.

And it was glorious.

 

But this was a long weekend… and while lazy days are definitely acceptable and recommended, they shouldn’t become the standard.  So I packed up my little mini camel-back, got in the car, and tore down I-84 with the top down toward something I’d been looking at doing…

Nesmith Point, a training hike for alpinists.  It’s been in use for years, and all the guidebooks rank is as an ideal training hike, due to the elevation and length of the hike.  It’s pretty unique in the Gorge, as far as I can tell, since most of the hikes I’ve done there are high elevation gain but short.

Nesmith is:

Distance – 10.6 miles round trip, trail head and back.

Elevation – Starts at 72ft, gains 3,800ft

 

So… steep and long, but not high elevation, so altitude wasn’t an issue to battle with for once… too many hikes on Mt. Hood!

 

The hike itself was… sustained.  Honestly, I didn’t have any really breathtaking vistas, which was kind of a bummer.  You’d think that, with all the elevation, there’d be at least a few good views… right?  But not so much – trees were thick, and while they did lead me to some interesting little partial viewpoints, there weren’t any of the huge ones that I’ve gotten used to in the gorge.

But it was a really good training hike, so I can’t fault the guidebook, can I?  And it was a pleasant training hike – it was sustained elevation gain, instead of the usual “Ohh my god how many switchbacks can I do?  And how is this trail still going up?”, so it’s definitely got that going for it.

 

Score: 10/10, if you’re looking for an alpine training hike.  Toss on your Mt. Hood backpack, lace up your boots, and get up there!