Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 5:30 am Post subject: TR- Beautiful Oregon 6/29-7/2 (dialup warning)
Better late than never – been a bit busy catching up this past week. Yet another Adams TR, which was new to me.
So the Tri-Ungulette had a workshop to attend in Portland, and that was the excuse I needed to load up the Posermobile™ and head west with the dog to bring her back. Got a late start Wednesday night, and was slightly delirious by the time I reached Baker City around 4AM. I had hoped to do some skiing in the Wallowas, as OnBendedKnee had been posting some tasty looking trip reports the previous weeks. Others were planning on being there as well, though it appeared that our schedules would just miss overlapping. After a quick nap, I awoke to unsettled weather, and almost kept going west on I-84 at La Grande. But I was on a super-secret mission as a denizen of the seedy underworld of the highly lucrative hay smuggling business.
Arriving at the Wallowa tramway, I was very disappointed to find they wouldn't allow dogs. And, it was $20 for a single lift. And, it was raining. And, visibility up high didn't look too promising. And, I hadn't had the presence of mind to plan ahead enough to contact OnBendedKnee or tele_rancher to meet for turns (Sorry!) And, wickstad wasn't due to arrive 'til later in the day. So, after making the 75-mile detour, I took the dog for a very pleasant walk around the environs:
and headed back to lovely Enterprise.
For the real mission:
They'd just opened for lunch for the season, and I was the first customer of the day. The vibe was mellow, the food was good, the beer was great.
The drive back to I-84 was very picturesque, in a moody, Wuthering Heights kind of way.
Arrived in PDX that afternoon, cleaned up and gave bjz and heather a call. We eventually met up with Gwen, heather and bjz at the Lucky Lab Brewery (which does allow dogs, imagine that) purveyors of a killer IPA. A great time was had by all present, and it's always nice to meet new folks from the board and find out they're just as wacky and fun as you imagine them to be. Something I really liked was that the PDX Ttippers really seem to be a friendly tight-knit bunch, and once they get their hooks into Gaper Jeffy and Kris, the coterie will be complete.
Many pitchers of SuperDog later, we were back at our hotel by the river, woozily realizing that Oregon beer is a tad stronger than what's on tap in Salt Lake City. The Friday was to be spent heading to the coast and the Yamhills wine country, but we were both a touch hung over, and there was a blues festival within walking distance of the hotel, so we took it easy and stayed local.
The next morning was spent packing up whilst watching the Ingurr-lund v Portugal match, then east to Hood River then north to Mt. Adams. We signed in and paid our fee at the Trout Lake ranger station; based on their report, this was the busiest weekend of the year, with several hundred parties expected to be crawling up the southern flank of the volcano. Nonetheless, we were lucky enough to score a great campsite at the Cold Springs trailhead and spent the lazy afternoon sipping beer and relaxing. During a quick reconnoiter up the trail with the Tri-Ungulette and the dog, we encountered several parties ending their day heading back down, including several friendly TAY-ers, notably (little) Kam and Kelvin of skibuilders.com fame (Kam was on Bangers and Mash and Kelvin riding the 'Bitchin' Camaros, reminding me of the old tune…
I actually have this album
After dinner, we turned in early only to be awakened at 3AM by the local Search-and-Rescue noisily preparing an evacuation of a presumed injury up on Lunch Counter ridge. At daybreak, I spied Gaper Jeffy at the TH, and after re-introducing ourselves (we'd last skied together on Rainier a couple of years ago) we headed uptrail.
In beautiful weather and good supportable snow, we made good time uphill. We made our way up the winter route, heading up the South Butte with occasional portages, that led us to the base of Pikers.
A nice shot of St. Helens from atop Pikers.
GJ, quite remarkably, skinned the entire way up Pikers, then kept the skis on 'til we reached the top of Adams proper. He'd warned me in advance that he'd be going slowly once he hit altitude seeing as he lived at sea level, but I had no similar excuse to draw upon once the leaden legs set in. Nonetheless, we made it to the true summit about 6 hours in, just before noon.
As GJ mentions on his TR in the PDX thread, we made our way down the East Ridge back to Pikers, then dropped into the SW Chutes.
I'd been wanting to ski these for awhile, and everything I'd heard about the SW chutes was true – a beautiful wide-open consistent pitch running for an uninterrupted 1000m. Cloudy weather on the up had kept the slope from getting too rotten and soggy. There'd been massive wet sloughing the week before when Gwen, bjz, et al had hit it, and even the day before, people were mentioning loose sloppy surface conditions. Although GJ pronounced that he'd had better snow on previous visits, it still was plenty good corn to open it up.
And 4000 feet later, looking back:
The hike out required some GPS-ing and intuition to hit and stay on the Round-the-Mountain trail (still mostly covered in snow), but we managed to make the slog out without too much trouble.
After wishing GJ well, on his way, I took a nap, then we packed up the PoserMobile™ and headed east, only making it to Baker City before we were too tired to go on. Got back to SLC the next day, with blisters the size of silver dollars on each heel, courtesy of the new bindings.
Great meeting the PDX crew, wish I'd been able to get together with a few others, including mav, and The Dude, Duder, His Dudeness, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing. Also wish I'd been able to meet up with the Eastern Oregon folks, but maybe next time when I'm in your beautiful neck of the woods. _________________
Joined: 03 Feb 2006 Posts: 632 Location: NE Oregon
Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:22 pm Post subject:
Sounds like you had a great whirlwind trip TriU. We were waiting for you to arrive at TG, but then found out you had eaten lunch, chased by an ale then headed out. The weather did suck, but it was all sunshine the next day. I'd imagine the snow was soft though, as it never cooled down at night after the storm passed. Maybe next time we all will get our sh*t together and rendevous properly. At least the Portland crowd came through for you. _________________ Cowdogs are the best ski buddies. They keep up and don't drink all your beer.
Joined: 06 Dec 2004 Posts: 220 Location: in the right spot
Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:26 pm Post subject:
Fun reading TR TriU, glad you had such a fun and eventful time in Oregon. I need to get up Adams soon, he is calling me every morning when I'm looking out the window in by bedroom. (making all you guys and gals jealous )
Joined: 12 Nov 2005 Posts: 974 Location: Where men are men, sheep are scared, and cowpoke's a verb.
Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 6:09 pm Post subject:
Good to see you had afine time--but sorry we missed you at TG! Fortunately, Wickstad and T_R and I were able to drink your share....
It's too bad about the dog restrictions at the tram (should'a asked) and TG--but there's good reason for both!
One of my best ski buddies--CK from my last TR--had a great old dog of the really large, white, possibly a little Arctic wolf-type that was just about mellow as it gets... she'd let little kids crawl all over her and pull her ears and whatnot and was our mascot at Ferguson Ridge Ski Area... but that mellow had it's limits when it came to squirrels!
A bunch of us including CK and Shasta (the afore-mentioned big white dog, rest her soul) unloaded at the terminal on top of Howard one sunny June morn, looking for some corn. The tourists were out on the porch, and their kids were enjoying feeding the mostly tame ground squirrels... until Shasta saw the critters... she rushed through the gate before anyone could stop her (stopping a 100 lb+ sled dog ain't that easy)... kids went flying and the squirrels never had a chance... one chomp and a gulp each was all it took... the carnage was awful, screaming kids, screaming parents, blood and little bits of fur everywhere... you get the picture.
For some reason, Shasta was never again welcome on the tram. _________________ If gravity is my friend going down, is levity my friend going up?
We were waiting for you to arrive at TG, but then found out you had eaten lunch, chased by an ale then headed out.
Sorry about that. I needed to get to Portland before it was too late, and there was still a lot of driving ahead of me.
Beautiful Oregon? I'm not usually one to get hung up on technicals, but when you crossed the bridge at Hood River wasn't there a sign that said Welcome to Washington?
I must've missed that sign. Too bad we weren't able to get some turns in together, maybe next time.
Can't wait to meet up again this winter during the whirlwind 2 week ski-a-thon with BJZ!
Looking forward to you guys heading east this winter!
Ps. Nice Mountain Hardwear Epic jacket! Its tough to beat a 14oz hardshell.
Yet another item snagged from SAC
Good to see you had afine time--but sorry we missed you at TG! Fortunately, Wickstad and T_R and I were able to drink your share
....For some reason, Shasta was never again welcome on the tram.
Again, my apologies for not sticking around longer or leaving you guys a message - next time! And my dog, while also just about mellow as it gets, is also a really large, white, possibly a little Arctic wolf-type creature - the ticket booth lady was probably having unpleasant flashbacks when she saw him. _________________
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