Category Archives: Hiking

Stories about simple dayhikes that I’ve been on

Snowshoeing up the White River Glacier


Saturday, 26-Feb-2023

It’s been a while since I’ve done a friend-hike up the White River Glacier… I think this is becoming a lovely tradition for my friend Ben and I, though. Even if it’s not super frequent, it’s lovely and a great chance to get out of town for a short adventure.

See, we work together. More accurately, we work in the same building but in different groups. Same department… but we don’t have any regular overlap. So we don’t get to chat in the office that often, and stories and ideas and thoughts always build up.

By the time we finally get a hike in, we basically just talk for seven hours straight about almost literally everything. Like, I legitimately have a whole page of notes about work ideas we had… and we didn’t talk about work the whole time (thankfully!). It’s lovely to decompress, and get to blather with someone else who understands on multiple levels.

So… yeah.

Breakfast at Best Baguette (yep, it’s accurate. They’re that good).
Then a drive to Mt. Hood through the snowbound Portland (you thought Wilsonville was hit by the storm?)
A hike up the glacier, to the lovely little spot that I camp (for lunch, don’t’cha’know)
And finally, a gloriously relaxed and well-tired drive back into town.

A good day, by any and every metric.

A visit from back home – A last hurrah at Wahclella falls, White River Sno Park, and Timberline Lodge!


Monday, 06-Feb-2023

My Mom and Steve came to visit!!

It’s been a hot minute since they’ve both been here to visit, explore, and catch up… 2019, if I’m remembering right, from when we went out to Seattle? Yeah… that sounds right, and sounds like long enough that we’ve got some adventuring to catch up on!

With all the beauty that I experience here in Oregon, I’d have been remiss to not take my Mom and Steve out into the wilderness!

The goal was clean – we’d do a lovely loop around Mt. Hood, starting in Portland having breakfast with Bri, and then we’d loop around the mountain clockwise, doing a short hike in the gorge and then having dinner at the Timberline Lodge!

It was lovely, if I may say so myself, and I’m definitely happy that we got the chance to get out into the mountain air!

Out breakfast spot was a lovely location in Ladd’s Addition, called Upper Left roasters… logically named, since it’s at the upper left side of Ladd’s! We ate, we chatted, and my Mom and Steve finally got to meet the legendary Bri from all my climbing and adventure stories. Nicely fed, we packed into the car, and headed into the Gorge!

Our target was Wahclella Falls, a lovely hike in the gorge that end at, unsurprisingly, a nice little pocket waterfall. We arrived, headed in, and made our way into the gulley that lead to the falls. It was short, but surprisingly rough, hiking… and Steve ended up making the safe call and heading back to the car a bit earlier than the rest of us – but we pressed on for the waterfall, enjoying a quick view before heading back and making our way toward the rest of the adventure!

From Wahclella falls, we made a quick stop at the White River Glacier, since I’ve posted so many stories and photos from that one spot. I had to show it off, right?

This time we didn’t go in far – just deep enough onto the snow to explore an amazing (multi room!) igloo that someone had made previously… and get a bit of chill into our bones so that we’d be able to adequately appreciate the warmth and light of our next stop – the Timberline Lodge!

The snowbound Timberline Lodge was, as always, absolutely gorgeous.

We shook off the cold, had an amazing dinner… watched the sunset over Mt. Hood. We actually got a perfect table, too! One of only two or three times that I’ve actually gotten that table!

You know, there’s advantaged to bringing the whole crew, I guess!

It was a lovely adventure. Not long, but great views and an excellent last hurrah to send the trip off, back home to New England.

The first climb of the year… at 18 Deg.F


Sunday, 29-Jan-2023

How long has it been since I’ve climbed at Smith? Let’s see…

According to my photo record, It’s… been a really long time. We’re leaving it at that.

Jess and I left Bend early-ish… and by “early-ish” I mean “not even remotely early”. The dawn had broken over a solidly single-digit temperature, with thick snow and ice covering both the truck and the world around us. We slept in, relaxed, and took our time showering and getting packed up.

It wasn’t like the world would thaw before noon, anyways.

A quick breakfast in Terrebonne helped us rally and energize, and gave the world a little bit more time to dethaw and start warming up to more bearable temperatures. By the time we left the truck behind and began our descent into the gorge it was a (relatively) balmy 18 Deg.F by our thermometer.

The rock, of course, helped reflect the heat of the sun back into us. By the time we’d roped up and I’d started climbing, the rock face was legitimately warm – literally warm to the touch. I didn’t feel the need for a jacket, despite the cold, and even ended up rolling up my pant legs to help vent some of the heat that climbing generated.

What did we climb?
Five Gallon Buckets, 5.8, Sport, Lead then top rope.

Yep, just the one…

We got two runs of the climb in when we realized the danger – While the Sun wasn’t hitting the horizon for another two and a half hours, it didn’t need to hit the horizon. The Smith Rock cluster was in the path of the sun, and the shade was creeping up on us surprisingly quickly. There were only two other teams nearby, and of them only one was climbing… and that climbing team was rapidly packing up to avoid being plunged into darkness and cold.

(As a quick interesting note – there were three teams climbing this Sunday at Smith. Ourselves, climbing a 5.8. A team to the East, climbing a 5.12c and a 5.13a. And a third team of 12, re-bolting a handful of routes. Yep – we hang with super cool folks!)

With the shade fast approaching, I took a quick final run of the route to clean the anchors. We had warm gear with us, of course, but nothing that I’d be comfortable leading in… so instead of continuing the climbing, we started into the exploring. We hikes around, checked out Asterisk’s Pass, and got the chance to appreciate the sun dropping down lower.

We packed up our gear, and headed out. The desert passed, the trees grew, and we stopped to take pictures of a beautiful sunset.

We dined at a small restaurant in Rhododendron, and continued our way home. The snow gave way, then the trees followed suit. The city grew up in their place, and soon enough we were unpacking the truck once again after a very good weekend!