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Silver Star: Grouse Vista, Indian Pits, Ed's Arch

8.5 miles of hiking • 3250' elevation gain •

Late start at Grouse Vista, up to Silver Star summit, then Star 2, then down the north jeep road to make an Ed's mini loop to see the arch and scramble up the rocks, cut over to the Indian Pits via Sturgeon Rock / campsite trail, bushwhacked down the Indian Pits ridge to connect to the lower jeep track, which we followed back up to the Grouse Vista ridgeline, lost the track in heavy alder growth, bushwhacked high to Pyramid Rock (checked out the fortified campsite on the north side), scrambled down to the Grouse Vista trail, then back to the car. No photos, but it was a gorgeous afternoon for wandering around the complex. We saw a doe and a tiny fawn, all the mountains, lots of flowers, a few beargrass stalks, and a couple of people.

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June 9, 2014

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Heart_bw

Silver Star: Ed's + Sturgeon Rock

7.5 miles of hiking • 1750' elevation gain •

Early flower show is looking really nice on Silver Star. Lots of paintbrush, wood violet, avalanche lily, bistort, spirea, etc. The peak will be in two weeks or so. The beargrass is almost non-existent.

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June 7, 2014

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Heart_bw 3

Trinity Alps: Four Lakes Loop

35 miles of hiking • 11000' elevation gain • 4 nights

A glorious 5-day trip through the high alpine areas of the Red Trinities. It's been a very low snow year, so all of the high country is accessible. We went in via Swift Creek, spending nights at Granite Lake (buggy), Summit Lake (x2), and along Swift Creek. Highlights included nice flowers, two bears at Diamond Lake (mom and cub), great weather, solitude, excellent stars (almost no moon), and a fun thunderstorm with lightning and hail. The Four Lakes loop is always fun but I particularly enjoyed Black Basin and Bear Basin too. We wiped out the dogs.

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May 31 – June 4, 2014

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Heart_bw 2

Navajo Knobs (Capitol Reef NP)

9.5 miles of hiking • 2750' elevation gain •

Super fun slab hiking to two sandstone knobs that provide 360-views of the park and beyond. We were racing a rain/snow storm the entire hike and it was very blustery. Beautiful!

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April 26, 2014

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Heart_bw 1

Golden Throne - The Tanks (Capitol Reef NP)

7 miles of hiking • 1750' elevation gain •

A quick jaunt up to see the Golden Throne and then over to see The Tanks, some water-filled potholes, in Capitol Reef National Park. The hiking is fun all throughout the Capitol Reef!

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April 24, 2014

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Heart_bw 1

Little Wildhorse Canyon - Bell Canyon Loop

8.5 miles of hiking • 500' elevation gain •

Hike 2 of the Utah Hiking Week - Little Wildhorse Canyon - Bell Canyon. Super fun slots, no technical sections, really interesting geology. Popular!

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April 22, 2014

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Heart_bw 4

Little Death Canyon - Wolverine Canyon Loop

26 miles of hiking • 1000' elevation gain • 1 night

We were dispersed car camping on BLM land about a mile from the Little Death Canyon trailhead, so we did this backpacking loop from there. It's all cross-country travel, down the Little Death Canyon drainage to Horse Canyon, up Horse Canyon to Wolverine Canyon, up Wolverine Canyon (and its various drainages) back to camp. The geology in this area is stunning! We were camped on/in the Wolverine Petrified Forest area, and saw numerous petrified "stumps". Some of the largest logs and sections were in the southern/easternmost drainage of Wolverine Canyon.

The slots of Little death Hollow were amazing. The narrows themselves were about 5 miles long, but the slots (about 2 feet wide) ran on for about 2 miles. Incredibly fun hiking! There were quite a few cow skeletons in the canyon from where cattle had been caught in flash floods and washed into the narrows.

We camped under a ledge in Horse Canyon, where there was a tickle of clear water for filtering. After setting up camp and resting a bit, we walked down Horse Canyon to the Escalante River, which was full and running quickly. From here, you can hike up or down canyon to some other amazing canyons, some requiring technical skills to navigate.

The following day we hiked up Horse Canyon a few miles to the mouth of Wolverine Canyon and then back to our camp. Wolverine Canyon had a short section of narrows, but no slots. We wandered around our camp area after unpacking from the backpacking trip and found the most unusual sandstone lumps, like Gooseberry Mesa near Zion. We wandered around on the lumps for a while, where I found an arrowhead! Incredible find!

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April 22 – April 23, 2014

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Heart_bw

Crack Canyon (San Raphael Swell)

6 miles of hiking • 500' elevation gain •

Hike 1 of the Utah Hiking Week! Crack Canyon - three sections of slots, some fun little boulder problems, beautiful canyon walls.

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April 21, 2014

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Heart_bw 2

Goblin Rocks

2 miles of hiking • 0' elevation gain •

We stayed the night at the Goblin Valley State Park, which was a very cool experience. Quiet, desolate area. After we set up camp and had some dinner, we walked around the Goblin Rocks for an hour or so and watched the sun set. This area got some attention a few months back after a few Boy Scout troop members toppled one of the goblins and posted the video on Facebook. It's not a huge or spectacular area, but it's fantastical and very interesting. You're allowed to walk amongst all of the goblins, which is very cool.

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April 21, 2014

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Heart_bw

Catherine Creek - Coyote Wall Loop...Again.

14 miles of hiking • 3500' elevation gain •

This loop never gets old.

Ok, it may be getting a little old. I might head up there one more time to check on some stuff later this month. But here's the flower low-down:

balsamroot: gangbusters on the top of Coyote Wall and in small pockets throughout the Labrynth camas: everywhere on Catherine Creek syncline, stunning! lupine: another week or two desert parsley: prime, on the way out chocolate orchids: dense pockets in places, sporadic in others shooting stars: mostly flamed out, a few good pockets on Catherine Creek syncline lots of other stuff: good and getting better

We started from the Catherine Creek TH, hiked up the east side of Tracy Hill, crossed the creek at our favorite crossing spot up high, hiked Atwood Road to the top of Coyote Wall, nearly blew away along the Wall, dropped into Little Maui, crossed over into the Labrynth, climbed back up to Atwood Road and then x-c'd it down the Catherine Creek syncline back to the car.

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April 15, 2014

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Heart_bw 2

Ruckel Ridge - Benson - PCT - 400 Loop

16.8 miles of hiking • 4750' elevation gain •

What a fine day to climb up Ruckel Ridge to "the Platter" (source: Pablo), skirt along the Benson Way to the PCT, and drop down to the 400 to finish the loop. Lots of calypso orchids and glacier lilies on Ruckel Ridge. One or two chocolate lilies. The only snow was a quarter-mile section along the Benson Plateau, otherwise it's green and springlike up there. Quite beautiful!

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April 11, 2014

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Hardy Ridge-Hamilton Mountain Loop

12 miles of hiking • 3750' elevation gain •

Loaded up the backpacks with bear canisters filled with brown rice for a training circuit up to Phlox Point and Hamilton Mountain. Used the XC "short-cut" north of the powerlines to make the loop from the Hamilton Mountain TH. Phlox Point had enough glacier lilies to elicit some cooing and we found a treasure trove of calypso orchids down lower near the cabin. The trillium were in fine form, especially between the horse bridge and Don's Cut Off. Great mountain views, including a dramatic double lenticular cloud over Mt. Adams. A beautiful sunny day.

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April 8, 2014

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Heart_bw

Siouxon Creek Trail

8 miles of hiking • 1000' elevation gain •

T'was misty and beautiful on this Sunday afternoon hike.

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April 6, 2014

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Heart_bw

Tracy Hill - Coyote Wall Loop

11 miles of hiking • 2500' elevation gain •

Up Tracy Hill, dry-footed crossing of Catherine Creek, traverse along Atwood Road to Coyote Wall, down Little Maui, up Hidden Valley, past the Indian Pits, and back around. A glorious day of sunshine, rainbows, and desert parsley.

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April 4, 2014

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Heart_bw

Catherine Creek - Coyote Wall Figure 8s

10 miles of hiking • 2750' elevation gain •

Up and then down on switchbacks fun for mtbers, not hikers, and then up, up, and up past private property to the top of Coyote Wall, then down, down, down Coyote Wall, then down Little Maui, up Hidden Valley, then Indian Pits, then up and over the Catherine Creek syncline, then a bunch of off-trail wandering on that big flank-o-hill west of Catherine Creek. It was drizzling 84.7% of the time, but it was a great day to be in this area. Only saw one other person and their dog waaaaaaaay in the distance. The desert parsley is going gangbusters. The balsalm root is about 1-2 weeks away, the lupine is starting to burst in some places, and there are prolific shooting star colonies all over. Two more weeks! The dog only had 5 ticks.

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April 1, 2014

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Heart_bw

Pittock - Lower Maclay

6.5 miles of hiking • 1000' elevation gain •

Glorious spring day! So many people on the Wildwood! So many "good mornings!" and "hellos!". So awesome that we have this incredible place in our city.

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March 23, 2014

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Heart_bw

NYC hiking

15 miles of hiking • 500' elevation gain •

Extreme urban hiking. I explored the canyons of Midtown, the rolling hills and meadows of Brooklyn's Prospect Park, and the vast wildness of Central Park. The best stretch was the Highline, in Chelsea's Meatpacking District. This is an incredible piece of public infrastructure! I've seen photos and presentations about it, but the attention to design detail and the landscaping is phenomenal! Put it on your "must see" list if you find yourself in NYC.

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March 22, 2014

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Heart_bw 3

Smith Rock

5 miles of hiking • 750' elevation gain •

A quick hike between rain squalls. Hoping for a rainbow or two, but just got some good light and a nice hike.

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March 14, 2014

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Heart_bw

Sandy River Delta / DOGLAND!

5 miles of hiking • 0' elevation gain •

Sunny, warm romp through the Sandy River Delta. Very little mud! Great views of the mountain(s). The Sandy and the Columbia are quite full.

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March 12, 2014

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Heart_bw 2

Cedar Mountain - Table Mountain Figure 8 Loop

12 miles of hiking • 4250' elevation gain •

A pretty wet day. No photos.

No snow until the north ridge of Table Mountain, where a few feet mingle with the slide alder to create a post-hole hell tunnel to the powerline jeep track. I'm taking loppers next time through. There is about 6 inches of snow on the PCT for about 3/4 of a mile from the jeep track.

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March 8, 2014

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Heart_bw 1

Catherine Creek - Coyote Wall Loop

13 miles of hiking • 2750' elevation gain •

The grass windows are out! The grass widows are out!

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March 7, 2014

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Heart_bw 1

Twin Lakes - Palmateer Loop

9 miles of hiking • 1500' elevation gain •

What a weird weather day: low 30s and freezing rain in Portland, 31 and a total ice palace in Troutdale, 37 degrees in Sandy, 35 at Government Camp, 41 degrees at the Frog Lake Sno-Park. The forecast called for snow then rain, but it was reversed. It was raining when we started and snowed throughout the tour. Big, white, hamster-sized flakes. Met A LOT (about 25) of snow campers coming out of the Lower Twin Lake basin, apparently a youth group. There was only one set of day-old tracks for the rest of the loop, and nothing in the Palmateer basin.

We did the loop counter-clockwise, deviating from the trail at the pass just after Upper Twin Lake. We tried following the summer trail to Palmateer Point, but lost it in a beautiful meadow and had a hoot route-finding over to the swamp and Palmateer Point. I pity anyone who follows our tracks. No views at Palmateer, but a nice ski through the basin up to the PCT and then back to the trailhead along the this trail.

No wind, beautiful, fast snow, a little rain. A really nice loop.

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March 2, 2014

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Heart_bw 2

Silver Star (Grouse Vista)

8.5 miles of hiking • 2750' elevation gain •

Silver Star was making its own weather, so we went up to check it out. No snow on the road to the trailhead. Snow coverage starts around Mile 1; we switched to snowshoes around Mile 2. Made a loop of it by returning the Sturgeon Rock / Tarbell Trail. A great hike!

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February 28, 2014

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Heart_bw 1

Polallie Ridge - Cloud Cap Loop

9 miles of hiking • 2500' elevation gain •

Finally, some snow! Started in the Cooper Spur Ski Area lot because all of the spaces below were filled at 9AM. Skinned up the cut-off trail to the Polallie Ridge trail, over to Cloud Cap, and then straight down the best lines to the last dog leg of Cloud Cap Road. The weather was a mixed bag: sun, clouds, wind, very light snow, low 40s.

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February 22, 2014

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Heart_bw

Mt. Tabor Ski

7 miles of hiking • 750' elevation gain •

I walk this route at least once a week, but don't add the mileage here because it's a "city hike" and not a true hike. But I was able to ski the whole route thanks to "Winter Blast 2014" so I thought it qualifies because of its unusual condition. The trees on Tabor were flocked with new snow and the east winds were ripping over the summit, pummeling us with horizontal snow. It was like being out in the wild, in the heart of Portland. It was just lovely.

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February 8, 2014

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Heart_bw

Tri-Country (Ghost) Ridge - Palmateer Point Loop

6.5 miles of hiking • 1500' elevation gain •

A socked in Super Bowl snowshoe Sunday on Mt. Hood, still better than sitting around and eating fake cheese all afternoon. Started at the Barlow Pass Sno-Park and headed south on the PCT. Cut up at the high point to Tri-Country Ridge (Ghost Ridge) for some stunning non-views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson. Continued south along the ridgeline to (literally) the point where Wasco, Hood River, and Clackamas County meet and then headed down the Wasco/Hood River county line across the PCT into the basin between Palmateer Point and Tri-Country Ridge. Lots of shrub walking and creek avoidance down here, over a paltry 2" - 6" inches of snow. Intersected the summer trail to Palmateer and climbed to the top for an epic non-view of Mt. Hood and the Barlow Creek drainage. Back on the summer trail to the PCT and then back to the TH. Still, a great hike! There just isn't much snow up there.

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February 2, 2014

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Heart_bw

Hardy Ridge-Hamilton Mountain Loop

11 miles of hiking • 3500' elevation gain •

My new favorite route through Beacon Rock State Park. Started at the Hamilton TH, cut through the campground to Little Beacon Rock, and then XC at the powerlines to the cabin and up through wet Oregon Grape to meet the road near its intersection with the Hardy Ridge trail. Up and over Hardy Ridge (6" of snow and settled thickly in a cloud - snow started around 2,200'), climbing briefly to the first viewpoint (no views), before dropping down to the horse bridge and up to Hamilton Saddle via Don's Cut-Off. Up and over a snow-less Hamilton Mountain, where the afternoon sun shone strong and warm. We got a little of everything: graupel, rain, fog, puffy clouds, sunshine, no wind. A great hike! Ran into a lot of people on both routes.

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February 1, 2014

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Heart_bw 4

MSH Restricted Area #3 Loop

16 miles of hiking • 3750' elevation gain •

A glorious circuit over mixed terrain (mostly snow/ice above 4,000') from the Hummocks, past Coldwater Lake, under the brow of Coldwater Peak, up to the saddle for a look-see at St. Helens Lake and Large Marge, down to scare some elk to the Boundary Trail, rambling along the JRO ridge back down to the Hummocks. It was a short sleeve and SPF 50 kind of day. Carried snowshoes, but only used MicroSpikes. Perfect as perfect could be, except for blowing out both heels on my favorite socks from Sweden and realizing that my partially broken camera was now fully broken.

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January 26, 2014

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Heart_bw 1

Cedar Mountain Loop

9 miles of hiking • 2500' elevation gain •

Checking out some of Don Nelsen's "trails" in the Table Mountain complex. Started at Aldrich Butte, and went clockwise to Cedar Mountain, up and over to the saddle, and then down to Hamilton Creek on a nice connector trail. Back to Aldrich Butte clockwise, making a miss-shapen figure eight around Cedar Mountain and Aldrich Butte.

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January 24, 2014

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Heart_bw 1

Cape Horn

8 miles of hiking • 1500' elevation gain •

Snuck in this hike after coming off Cedar Mountain and finding a text message that relieved me of my city duties. This is the first time I've done the whole loop. The lower section is vastly more interesting than the upper section, especially with the 100 MPH wind gusts. I was (literally) blown away.

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January 24, 2014

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Heart_bw 1

Cedar Mountain - Table Mountain Loop

10.5 miles of hiking • 4000' elevation gain •

A classic figure 8 loop: up Cedar Mountain to the PCT, up Westway Ridge to Table's summit, descend on Table's north ridge to the PCT for a return to the TH. Sunny in PDX, cloudy and VERY WINDY in the Gorge. Once we climbed above the inversion layer, it got warmer and calmer, giving us a front seat row to the crazy weather brewing in the eastern Gorge. Beautiful frozen fog on the summit of Table Mountain, lending a magical fairy-like feeling to the mountain. This was the first time I've descended off the north ridge and I wasn't sure what to expect. We had white-out conditions and "snow" due to a stubborn cloud bank, but it wasn't overly treacherous. It was warm and sunny (out of the wind) on top of Table, but in the high 30's and windy at the trailhead. A great day!

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January 21, 2014

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Heart_bw

Lower Salmon River

5.5 miles of hiking • 0' elevation gain •

Leisurely afternoon hike along the Salmon River with out-of-town friends. Saw many hipsters.

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January 20, 2014

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Heart_bw

Ramona Falls

5.5 miles of hiking • 750' elevation gain •

A short jaunt up Ramona Falls with some out-of-town friends.

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January 18, 2014

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Heart_bw 2

Birthday Ridge*

5.5 miles of hiking • 1750' elevation gain •

A short but incredibly great way to spend an inversion day on Mt. Hood. Snowshoed from the HRM lot, across Clark Creek (sketchy snow bridge), and then cross-country up the ridgeline, basically following the Wilderness boundary. This is like Gnarl Ridge but shorter and much narrower.

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January 16, 2014

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Heart_bw

Table Mountain - via Hamilton Creek Vortex

12 miles of hiking • 4500' elevation gain •

Intended to hike to Table Mountain via Cedar Mountain. Instead, hiked to Cedar Falls and then got turned around and ended up hiking along Hamilton Creek for about three miles. Bushwhacked up to the PCT (overshot the Cedar Mountain / PCT junction) and headed south to the Heartbreak Ridge Trail to ascend Table. The sun came out as we summited and provided perfect views up and down the Gorge and to all of the snow-capped mountains. Very little snow on top of Table. Made the Table Top circuit and descended on the western ridge. We wanted to return along the North Ridge but dinner plans in Portland made us beeline along the PCT and the Table Mountain trail back to the car and a glorious Gorge sunset.

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January 14, 2014

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Heart_bw 1

Eagle Creek (Clackamas)

13 miles of hiking • 1500' elevation gain •

A nice ramble through primordial old growth in the mist. Photos stolen from Karl.

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January 10, 2014

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Heart_bw 2

Silver Star - South Ridge approach

9 miles of hiking • 3500' elevation gain •

Birthday hike to the summit of Silver Star via the South Ridge (Indian Pits). Got a little turned around with all of the logging road options, but eventually found the old jeep track that ascends the ridge. Gained the ridgeline and waded through beargrass and talus to the top of the Indian Pits ridge before summiting Silver Star and having a little party. Glorious sunshine, little wind, virtually no snow. Returned via Grouse Vista for a spell, and then ducked back over to the South Ridge. Did not display Disco Pass in the gravel pit "trailhead" and returned to find a ticket.

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January 4, 2014

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Heart_bw 1

Two Summit Hardy-Hamilton Loop

14.5 miles of hiking • 4250' elevation gain •

The perfect start to 2014 - sunny skies, warmish temps, and no snow or mud on the trails. Started at the Hamilton trailhead and wandered over to Little Beacon Rock before heading cross-country to the "cabin" and then up the ridgeline to gain the Hardy Ridge trail system. Climbed up the west side to Phlox Point (cold, windy, beautiful!) and descended on the east side to the mega bridge. Turned north to follow the jeep track to the Hamilton ridgeline and followed that to the summit, where it was also cold, windy and beautiful. Really nice sunset. Descended "More Difficult" trail to the car. A fantastic loop!

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January 1, 2014

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