RSVPs open 9am Wed Jan[masked]
We will continue our series of long-distance day hikes by starting from Herman Creek Trailhead on the Oregon side of the Gorge and hiking south on Herman Creek Trail #406 for a distance of about 9 miles as we explore some the largest surviving forest of old growth fir, cedar and hemlock left in the Columbia Gorge. We shall pass a parade of waterfalls and moss carpeted creeks on a steady but comfortable incline.
A short while after passing 7-and-a-Half-Mile Camp, we will make a right up Tomlike Mtn trail (#406g) to the summit point at 4555 feet elevation. There will be snow on Tomlike Mtn. I don't know how much - we will find out when we get there and turn around if snow levels are too high. The summit views should be incredible. Saturday's weather forecast at the summit is calling for partly sunny skies with chance of snow showers and a high of 37F.
Please bring traction devices for your boots (microspikes or chains) as the ascent to the summit will be slippery. I may decide to go offtrail from Tomlike summit to Herman Creek trail to do something different and have fun in the snow.
This will be a long day. An adventure of this distance requires an early Meetup time (6am!). We shall start hiking at 7am, hoping to finish between 5:30-6pm.
Our moving pace will be brisk (2.5mph) with short 5-minute breaks and a 20-30 minute stop on the summit (hopefully!). I hope to finish right at dark.
Difficulty: VERY DIFFICULT (due to elevation gain, distance, and weather)
Total Mileage: 20-21 miles
Elevation Gain: 4555 feet
Estimated Hiking Time: 10-11 hours
Permit Required: NW Forest Pass
Dogs: Just mine, possibly (see below)
$8 for the drivers
NOTE: I am seriously considering bringing our household Cocker Spaniel dog Rigby. He has hiked over 100 hours with me (on and off-trail) and has been qualified to hike 17 miles. He has hiked with a number of NWW Meetup folks already on some long hikes. I am not allowing other dogs on this hike (I can't qualify them right now), but would gladly entertain emails/feedback on allowing dogs for specific NWW hikes I host in the future. If he poops out after 17 miles (very unlikely), I have made preparations to carry him (22 lbs) in a front harness which I have yet to employ on previous hikes. He stays on trail, stops at trail junctions and scouts ahead about 5-8 yards - that's his thing. Can't ask for more than that. I am still considering this, so it isn't a done deal. Just FYI.
Things to bring:
Gaiters are a good idea.
Must bring a headlamp.
Bring the ten essentials.
We will likely stop someplace to grab a bite to eat on the way back (Think: pie).
My Hiking Style:
I have three basic rules for hiking: 1) Be safe 2) Respect the environment and 3) Have fun! I do not consider myself a "fast" nor "slow" hiker. We will take a number of short breaks, as well as a lunch break, keeping in mind to try and finish the hike before dark (unless otherwise noted). At the end of the day, my hope is that the hiking group feels they have had an adventure for all the right reasons.
THE FINE PRINT:
- The 'ten essentials' to always have in your pack generally include: Map/compass (and advance understanding of where you're going!), sun protection, extra clothes, extra food, extra water, headlamp/flashlight (and spare batteries), first aid kit, matches/firestarter, knife/tools, and a whistle if you need to signal for help. You should always be prepared in case you get separated from the rest of the group and/or have to spend a night on your own in the wilderness.
- As a Meetup organizer, I'm an unpaid volunteer. While I always try to ensure a safe and enjoyable outing for everyone, by signing up for this event you assume full responsibility for your own health, safety, and well-being for its entire duration, including while traveling to and from both the meeting place and destination.
- I welcome other NW Wilderness Organizers to sign up for and join my events; it's always great to have you guys along. I do, however, reserve the right to move you to the Waiting List if I decide to move qualified and Waitlisted non-organizers to the YES list.
- I also reserve the right to remove anyone from my events if I'm concerned that their ability or fitness level will slow down the rest of the group. If there is a waiting list, I may remove anyone with multiple past 'no-shows' to the 'no' list to make room for those who may be more reliable.