This trip is for experienced snow campers only.I’m limiting the group to a maximum of 6. If you are interested in going, please send me an email that includes a brief rundown of your snow camping experience. Hopefully we'll have a team together by January 11th.
I’ve got a three day weekend to take advantage of over Martin Luther King Day weekend, January 19 – 21, 2013.
So an exploratory three day - two night mini expedition to Badger Lake seems like a good idea! Badger Lake is accessed from the Bennett Pass sno-park off HWY 35.
Note that Badger Lake is in a topographic depression. Cold air settles in depressions, so they can be much colder at night than the surrounding areas. Also, please be ready to melt snow for water, the lake and other surface water will be frozen.
Here’s the plan.
On Saturday the 19th (day one), meet at the meet up location and head to Bennett Pass Sno-Park. Bennett pass sno-park is accessed from the same off ramp as the Mount Hood Meadows main ski area parking lot. So we'll be fighting ski resort traffic.
From the sno-park we’ll hike about 7- 8 miles to Badger Lake where we’ll set up a base camp in the same area as the developed Badger Lake camp site.
On Sunday the 20th (day two) we’ll have an approximately 5 mile day hike around Badger Butte, and we’ll tag the summit of the Butte and then return to the base camp.
On Monday the 21st (day three) we’ll pack up, hike back to the trailhead and head home.
If the weather looks like it’s going to be a blizzard, I’ll cancel this trip and reschedule to a later date (probably President's Day in February). Like the large mountaineering club in Portland does, I'll make the final decision by Friday afternoon on January 18th and notify folks via email.
This trip will include a mandatory pre-meeting on Tuesday January 15th, at a location to be determined to discuss snow camping, set up a meet-up location and arrange carpooling.
I talked with the USFS about this trip today (Dec. 26th). They said it is accessible by snowshoe, but may be a lot of work. The route will follow the Bennett Pass road out of the sno-park to the cut-off with Grasshopper road at about 5 miles (location of Camp Windy). From there we follow Grasshopper Road to the cut-off to Badger lake, where we go off trail (actually there is a trail but it will be under about 10 feet of snow!).
Depending on how long it takes to get to Camp Windy (or how awesome the view there is) we may settle there and make our day hike from there on Sunday (a six mile distance). If we make camp at Camp Windy, we'll be melting snow for water, for sure, and maybe building wind breaker walls! The USFS reminded me that over the X-Mas weekend experienced snow travelers got lost near Mt. Hood and had to be rescued, we all saw it on the news, so BE PREPARED.
General Hike stats:
DISTANCE: Day one about 5-8 miles from the car to the camping site (Depending on camp site.
Day 2 about 5-6 miles loop hike. Day three, repeat day one in the opposite direction.
Total miles for the three days should be about 20 miles or so.
ELEVATION GAIN AND LOSS (approx): Day 1 and 3, about 1100 feet elevation gain and loss. Day 2 about 1500 feet elevation gain and loss.
PACE: 1 - 2 MPH walking speed.
DIFFICULTY RATING: This should be a really challenging camping trip due to the cold weather and deep snow.
ESTIMATED TRAIL TIME: Three days.
PERMITS: Oregon Sno-Park Pass (November 1 – April 30)
DRIVE DISTANCE: About 125 miles round trip. (At 10 cents/mile that equals about $12 / person for gas. Negotiate fuel with your driver)
******** IMPORTANT ********
CARPOOLING: Car pooling is discretionary. If carpools aren’t available, attendees SHOULD be prepared to drive themselves to the destination. ODOT has some auto preparation recommendations if you are interested. http://www.oregon.gov...
The snowplows plowed our cars in at Frog lake sn0-park a few weeks ago (3 foot deep berms behind the rigs). USFS recommended we take snow shovels to dig ourselves out if we are plowed in at Bennett Pass.
Round trip driving for this trip is approximately 125 miles on pretty good roads. The most dangerous part of the trip may well be the drive home, so please consider carpooling for safety and take a nap (stopping first) if you need to. Passengers should do their bit to help keep the driver entertained and awake on the way home.
We'll figure out transportation at the pre-meet.
Waiting List Notice: There is no waitlist now, but there may be one later.
Stuff you should include in what you take:
A good 4-season tent.
A warm sleeping bag (I’m taking a zero degree bag)
Extra gloves and hand warmers
The winter 10 + essentials
A sense of humor
A book to read in the tent
Three days in the snow can be brutal. Frost Bite and Hypothermia are real threats on this trip. Please be prepared with proper equipment (gloves, warmers, face guards, zero degree sleeping bag, etc).
Remember, no one wants to end up like Sam McGee!
The 10 essentials and Winter backpacking gear. REI has a good winter backpacking rundown at:
PARTICIPATE AT YOUR OWN RISK; Northwest Wilderness Group organizers are volunteers. We come prepared to lead you on a trail or off trail hike but assume no liability for your safety getting to or from the trailhead or on the hike. In case of accident, illness, or other incapacity, hikers must pay for their own medical and/or evacuation expenses, whether or not the hiker has specifically authorized them.
We’ll talk further at the prehike meeting.
· I-pods/personal music devices – It is better to hear (as best you can) what is going on around you for safety and social interaction.
· Bad attitudes.
· Dogs, cats, snakes, fish, etc.
This is a three day two night trip, so plan to spending two nights in the woods.