Section F Oregon

September 3, 2011

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The PCT was from 242 to 20 was closed today at 3 due to the Shadow Lake Fire in the Mt. Washington Wilderness. Big Lake Youth Camp was evacuated. An alternate route has now been posted, taking users on forest roads to the east of the Wilderness and re-joining Hwy 20 near Santiam Pass.

August 22, 2011

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Hiked from Mckenzie Pass to Olallie Lake from August 15th-18th.

Not much snow to worry about.

I used my crampons once, and my ice axe twice, but no one else who was out there had these tools. The first obstacle was a 10 foot high vertical snow wall that wouldn’t be too hard to go around or over without tools. The other obstacle was a dozen foot long very steep snow field. Having proper tools made me feel safer. It’s steep enough that a fall could easily result (but most people were just taking the risk).

Otherwise, there were a good number of blowdowns but no navigation issues. The trail is easy to follow, even through the little bit of snow.

The most snow that I was was just north of Jefferson Park. It was not hard to navigate through.

August 14, 2011

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We hiked 9 days Southbound from Cascade Locks (I84) to Hwy 20 (Big Lake), finishing 8/8. We hit snow at every big mountain (Hood, Jefferson, Jack). Most of it was off and on snow that made it difficult to stay on the trail. We were following tracks on a GPS so didn’t have a problem but ran into many people that were getting lost. Footprints in the snow were not very reliable to follow. We were happy to encounter the leaders coming through from Mexico, first Markus, Blood Bath, and the 2 Aussies. We thoroughly enjoyed our first sectional through hike on the PCT.

We were happy to encounter the leaders coming through from Mexico, first Markus, Blood Bath, and the 2 Aussies. We thoroughly enjoyed our first sectional through hike on the PCT.

August 2, 2011

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07/30/2011 I hiked in to take a look at the Milk Creek crossing. It is a impressive avalanche. It is about 50 feet wide and 30 feet deep of very solid avalanche packed snow. It ends about 150 yards past the trail crossing and I could not see how high up the valley it goes.

It was easy to cross and very solid. The hardest part was kicking steps in the ice/snow. Even if it does get weak latter on in the year, walking around the end of the avalanche is an option.

July 20, 2011

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Just finished the 17 mile hike from hwy 242 “McKenzie Hwy” to hwy 20/22. WARNING… Lots of snow.. up to 5-6 ft drifts. We had a GPS and a map and made it with not to much trouble. We lost the trail for about 45 minutes once, but we knew where it was going “to the end of the lava flow” and hooked up with it again. About 1/3rd of the way through we lost it again, but found it up high after we got through all the snow. About half way through we lost it again but others had attempted it going south and turned back, we just followed their tracks. All the snow was passible with no extra equipment and not to slick except at the beginning where it was very slick for a couple of snow fields. Mesquito’s were horrilbe for 3 miles before hwy 20/22. Good luck.

July 14, 2011

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Hwy 242 is open to vehicles as of 7/15/11. The PCT still has plenty of snow on it, of course. Don’t forget that there are length limits for trailers on 242.

July 13, 2011

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From Windigo pass to White Pass, the PCT is really holding snow this year. In general, snowmelt is about 3-4 weeks later than normal. As of mid-July there is still snow cover on well over half the trail. We expect snow cover to remain at the highest elevations and the northeast facing slopes until mid-August. If you venture out, please be prepared with the appropriate navigational tools. If you are looking for snow-free hiking we suggest the Columbia River area, or the Clackamas Lake/Warm Springs area.