This event is co-organized by Portland Hiking Meetup Group and Wilderness Skills PDX. (Total event size includes the spaces from both listings.)
Silver Star Mountain is one of the best 360 degree summits within a day's drive of Portland, offering views of five major Cascade volcanoes. Lots of rocky outcrops too. This moderate hike takes us up the more difficult route, but also the most scenic. It entails a couple of short stretches of scrambling (i.e., requiring hands), so it's not recommended for children, dogs, or those uncomfortable with some climbing. With such great views, we'll play at identifying our location and features in the landscape with our compasses, maybe even opting for some off-trail and practice following bearings. Given that, a stop for food/beverages on the way back, and an overall relaxed approach, we won't have a target return time.
For this hike, you should be in good hiking shape, be able to picture what the mileage and elevation gain is like and be comfortable with it, be properly geared, have some experience with hands-required hiking, and not have tickets to the Boy George world tour comeback extravaganza.
RSVP note: I've opened an initial number of spaces right away. I'll open more and the wait list at 6 p.m. on Friday the 8th, so that those particularly interested in the trip have a good shot at getting a spot by checking the page at that time.
Total mileage: 5.7 mi.
Elevation gain: ~1240 ft.
Pace: ~2-3 mph
Difficulty: Moderate, but note scrambles per above
Weather: Will update closer to date
Estimated return: ?
Maps: Will be provided
Round-trip driving mileage: ~84 miles (suggested $8 donation per person to drivers, but no one turned away for inability to contribute)
4WD: Not essential, but the last 8 miles is on a rough road notorious for potholes, channels, and washboards. The last 3 may be very difficult--will get up-to-date information closer to the event.
Suggested gear: 10 essentials*, layers, lunch, snacks, at least 2 liters of water, hiking poles, cash for drivers (exact change helps), post-hike change of clothes/shoes.
Electronics: Feel free to bring a GPS or phone, but only for emergency use or to quietly gather data, make maps and such. We're in the wilderness! This hike is for those who can roll with being independent in and experiencing the relative isolation of the backcountry.
Wilderness ethic: Leave No Trace**
Please arrive on time. We'll shoot for hitting the road in about 10 minutes. Call me at[masked] if you are cutting it close and we'll wait for ya!
Late cancellations/No shows/Surprise shows
OK, there are generally a lot of people on the waiting list for our hikes! And we have a lot of too-late-to-fill late cancellations and no-shows. That's a bummer. So here's the deal:
If you cancel late, or no-show, you'll get on the Late Cancellation/No-show List. You can cancel up to 11:59 p.m. on the day that is TWO DAYS before the trip without it being considered a late cancel. (For example, if the trip is Saturday morning, you can cancel before the very end of Thursday.) A couple of entries on the Late Cancellation/No-show List and you may get bumped from future trips. Yes, explanations may help. Sorry to have to have a policy like this!
If you don't get a spot, please do not just show up, unless you are willing to take a chance that there is a spot and will not be mad at me for sticking to the planned group size limit.
My trip style
Let's have a good time while keeping our act together and working as a team. Unless stated otherwise, we'll use an informal point and sweep system. Whoever is hiking in front is "point" and should wait at the next trail junction or other designated spot to regroup. You don't have to remain point. If you are hiking last, you're "sweep" and should maintain awareness that no one in the group is behind you. You don't have to remain sweep, but it's good to offer support for any group member you come upon who may need help.
I will guide the group, but won't make decisions for you. All participants are ultimately responsible for themselves in the backcountry. If you disagree with what the group is doing, you can break with the group (but holy hiking boots do not do that without letting me know!).
* The "ten essentials" include: compass, map, sun protection, extra food, extra water, extra clothing, headlamp or flashlight, first aid, fire starter, and a knife. The idea is to be able to comfortably handle basic emergencies and at least one unexpected night out. In my view, one of the most important pieces of safety gear, which is not included in the ten, is a whistle, an effective signaling device. Many hiking incidents begin with getting separated, either by getting a little lost or becoming injured. In both cases you want to be able to get help before your comrades are out of reach.
** For more on Leave No Trace principles see my summary in the Files section.