Posts Tagged ‘snowshoeing’

Cooper Spur / Tilley Jane Area 1/22/2011

Garmin Interactive Map

3.91 miles

Elevation Gain:
1,401 ft

Min / Max Elevation:
3,803 ft / 5,213 ft

Kristin, Dexter, Myself

Cooper Spur is located on the Eastside of Mt Hood. Cooper Spur is a smaller resort (hotel/cabins) with one ski lift. The last few winters the resort itself hasn’t had the greatest snow winter with having to be closed much of the season. This side of the Mountain is a nice escape as it is much less busy compared to Highway 26 side with Timberline Lodge, Ski Bowl, Summit and Mt Hood Meadows traffic coming from Portland.

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The trailhead is just above Cooper Spur Resort off of the Cloud Cap Road. This trail is popular for snowshoers, cross-country skiers, snowboarders, and climbers. Typically most people hike to the Tilley Jane Cabin area, which is about a 5 mile RT hike. During the winters the conditions beyond Tilley Jane toward Cooper Spur (Top of Spur – 9,000 ft) can be wicked windy. During the summer time the trail is heavily used by hikers as it accesses the Timberline Trail#600 (Loop around Mt Hood).

 

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[Trail is well marked]

This area has changed dramatically over the last few years due to major wildfires. The Gnarl Ridge Fire burnt many acres leaving behind limbless trees. Prior to the fire the forest was dense and cozy feeling – now the terrain is much more open with just burnt trees standing behind. With the help of mother nature the forest’s openness provides much clearer views of the Cascade Mountain Range.

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[Looking into the Valley through the burnt trees]

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[Mt Hood]

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[Mt St Helens]

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[Mt Adams]

Sadly, there wasn’t any fresh powder or really any snow. I had packed our snowshoes thinking we may use them on a few steep parts, but it wasn’t necessary as other hikers had imprinted the trail with their large snowshoe prints creating a stairway to Tilley Jane.

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[Snow Hiking]

I was surprised how little snow there was and how many bare spots lay at 5,000 ft in the dead of winter! It definitely made hiking less tiring minusing out the extra weight of snowshoes on the feet.

 

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[Dex & I]

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[Kristin & Dex]

This is a popular trail for dogs. Most of the dogs (huskies) we saw were more winter-fit compared to our short-haired friend Dexter. Dexter definitely got a workout in sprinting up and down hills investigating the trail ahead. We discovered afterwards that Dexter’s paws were a little raw due to the ‘ice’ so it might be wise to get some booties for these types of conditions in the future…

 

 

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[Cloud Cap Cabin]

We decided to turn back before making it to Tilley Jane due to the sun setting. I tried reassuring Kristin that I had headlamps and it would be doable – needless to say we turned around and headed for Hood River. We hit up Big Horse Brew Pub in Hood River for a quick burger and brew before making the trek back to the city..

Snowshoeing – Government Camp Area 12-29-10

Garmin Interactive Map

2.89 mi

Min/Max Elevation:
3,971 ft / 4,328 ft

Andrew, Cole, Dexter & I

Huge winter storm had rolled through the Cascade Mountains dumping massive amounts of fresh white beautiful snow leaving us with no other choice but to go play in it. It was hardly a secret as we noticed everyone and their mom heading up to the mountain. The snow covered areas heavily as low as Sandy, Oregon. The drive up was slow as many rooky-mountain-goers pushed the limits of their unsavy-unsafe-mountain mobiles.

Many people hate chaining up, myself included! However, the problem is many people don’t chain up until they absolutely need to – usually when their mountain mobile starts to slip or even worse when they loose control. This was somewhat the case as we headed up. This created a mall of traffic going up highway 26.

IMG_2490[Highway 26 – before the dead stop traffic jam]

As we approached the ‘silent rocks’ there was a large icy patch causing the ill-equipped cars to completely loose control – sliding ever which way and even doing 180s. Before reaching this area we saw one hell of a brave sole out braving the conditions on the unthinkable – a bicycle. Stupid or brave at this point he was probably moving just as fast as the cars heading up to the mountain.

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[Hardcore, Brave, and stupid bicyclist]

Partly due to time constraints, the stubbornness of not wanting to pay to literally go the extra mile for gas and the urge to drink good beer at the Mt Hood Brewing Company we started from Summit Ski Resort / Government Camp.

Andrew and I have had a few snowshoeing adventures that have started from this point (Gov Camp) and that have barely and miraculously somehow ended here as well. Our last adventure was snowshoeing from Government Camp to Timberline lodge … and back 😦  – a steep 2,000 ft elevation gain! Somehow we survive this one.

IMG_3214 [Near Timberline Lodge w/ the Mt just barely visible behind us]

This outing was much different. Cole was a first time snowshoer and was promised no near death situations.

There is a multitude of trails in this area and many are even marked. We usually parallel the ski run then veer off into the untracked powder. I really enjoy snowshoeing because it brings more solitude than hiking – especially if you are bush-waking sort of speak.

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[Cole, Andrew and Dexter – Dexter was our trailblazer]

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[Crossing over a bridge… barely visible]

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[Dexter and I – Dexter has icicles hanging from his mouth]

This was Dexter’s first time in the deep white snow and he loved it. He is still a puppy and doesn’t understand pacing so he was out for the count even a few days after.