RSVPs start on Friday June 28th at 9am.
Please read the entire description before signing up.
The leadership group at NW Wilderness worked overtime in order to bring you this gem of a scramble. Do you enjoy offtrail hiking scrambles? Exactly what is it like to scramble up an entire mountain face?
Yeon Mountain is the 3400 ft mountain just west of Nesmith Point. Yeon has no maintained (nor unmaintained) hiking trails, but there must be a way up the north side, right?
Turns out there is a way up. On the NE "buttress" of Yeon Mtn, there exists a slight path allowing one access to the steep forested face of the mountain. This almost seems impossible when faced with the near-vertical rock face on the "front" of the mountain. However, there was a small group of stout hikers that has proofed this out (thanks Barb and Nicholas!). See our detailed trip report on portlandhikers.org: http://www.portlandhikers.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=15675
We are going to start out at the John B Yeon parking area and head west onto the washed out section of trail #400. After about 1 mile of climbing around/over/through the overgrowth on the #400 trail, we head north on an old forest road, then take the Tumalt Creek drainage system towards the base of Yeon Mtn.
We will follow the drainage to the NE corner of Yeon Mtn. We will scramble up the NE corner of Yeon, and then do a little "twist" near the top of the NE buttress of the mtn to get us onto the north edge of Yeon.
There is supposedly a "ridgelette" at this point offering fantastic views to the north and east. Ever wondered what it is like looking almost straight across to Nesmith Point to the east?
Some of the views on the way up:
One of the small plateaus we will visit on our way up the buttress:
Once on top of the NE buttress of Yeon, our journey has only begun. We must cross to the northern face of the mountain and scramble up, up, up (yes up!) the front of Yeon under forested cover. The scramble becomes constant hand-over-foot to the point you wonder whether it can get any steeper. Here, the terrain dramatically changes and begins to level out. At this point, we have reached the back half of Yeon mountain where we will have lunch right next to a 2000 ft dropoff, and then continue our pilgrimage.
We will follow the Yeon Mtn ridge south where it continues to level out, back to Horsetail Creek trail #425. There will be some great views of the Gorge from the plateau, weather permitting. Heading east on #425, we will glance by Nesmith Pt, and take Nesmith Pt trail #428 to the Corky's Corner offtrail section on the east side of Nesmith Ridge. This offtrail section is also called the "Prim Trail" within historic texts.
This offtrail section down Nesmith Ridge can be a "difficult" grade hike in itself. The descent has some steep sections, requiring good route finding skills. Poor decision-making down the ridge causes one to end up traversing some rather dicey sections (my bad Rick!), so it will be important to stay together. We shall watch the late afternoon sun (hopefully) cast shadows over Nesmith Ridge as we continue down the offtrail section to Elowah Falls, where we get back on-trail, then back to the cars.
Bring: 2-3 liters of WATER (no water source on Yeon, except at bottom), TEN ESSENTIALS, good hiking boots, gators, gloves, good hiking poles (for the descent). I will bring a rope, just in case. However, we should not need it.
We will meet at the NE 99th Ave Gateway Center and arrange carpools to the hike start point.
Hike Start Point: John B Yeon parking area
Hike Type: Loop hike
Distance: 11 miles (approximate)
Hiking Time: Approximately 10-11 hours.
Total elevation: 4000 ft
Difficulty: VERY DIFFICULT (Bring your "A" game folks) due to steepness, length of scrambling and mostly offtrail travel.
Permits Required: NW Forest Pass
Distance is 80 miles round trip.
Carpool cost is 10 cents per mile, per person. Please bring exact amount ($8.00)
Please do not ask to be back at any specific time. We will consider stopping for dinner afterwards.
If the weather forecast for this event calls for rain, we may postpone this event for safety reasons.
I need to limit the group size, once again for safely reasons. Due to the very difficult nature of this hike, I may email folks to obtain additional information regarding their hiking experience. If I do not receive a response to these questions, I shall remove you from this hike for the safely of the group.
This is not an easy hike. Both the ascent and descent could be difficult-grade hikes on their own.
This adventure appears in the "Gorge Classic Climbs" book by Tim Olsen.
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 finish before dark. At the end of the day, my hope is that the hiking group feels they have had an adventure for all the right reasons.
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 trail-head 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.