Before hiking Green Point Mountain ridge last weekend, I had a number of folks ask about doing this hike again. I said I would do it next year, but I lied! Let's do it this coming Saturday 11/23. Looks like one more stretch of dry weather through this upcoming weekend, so let's give it a go!
(I'm throwing down the gauntlet since you all asked :)
Please note the EARLY EARLY Meetup time! This is necessary to have any chance of finishing during daylight hours. This is a "fast" paced hike, with some trail jogging/running. You must have experience hiking 20+ miles in a day. This is a doable hike in the daylight hours, but requires a faster pace.
I am going to take a completely different route up to Green Point Mountain Ridge this time. We are going to park at the gates outside the Wyeth Campground and head up the Wyeth trail. This trail leads up, up up to about 3900 ft where we will leave Wyeth Trail and head west on Green Point Ridge Trail (#418). We should see 2-4 inches of snow on the ground, but it is hikable given my experience last weekend (bring gaiters!). From above, I hope we will see North Lake and Rainy Lake as we approach the summit point of the Green Point Mountain ridge (4730 ft) and gawk for a little bit. My hope is that we will see some STUNNING views of Mt Defiance, Mt Hood, Mt Adams, etc, with snow dusted lakes below us. We will head a little further south on the ridge, descend about 700 feet and loop around Rainy Lake and then North Lake. Once back on the Wyeth Trail, we will follow it back to the Wyeth TH. Seems easy? Of course it is!
Estimated Distance: 18.2 miles
Estimated ascent: 5306 ft
Difficulty: VERY DIFFICULT
Estimated Hike Time: 10-ish hours. NOTE: this is a fast hike!
I suggest $10 for drivers.
We will start hiking on later than 7am and hopefully finish by 5pm. We will take a handful of short 5-minute breaks. I expect some trail running/jogging on the descent.
There might be an interesting creek crossing. Bring an extra pair of socks.
IT WILL BE COLD ON THIS HIKE! PREPARE FOR MID-20F TEMPS!
Bring your best insulting layer and ear muffs or balaclava.
The day temps in the area call for mostly sunny and 50F on Saturday, but I expect 15F lower as we gain altitude.
This is a LONG DISTANCE HIKE, which means different precautions are suggested, the least of which are:
1. Lighter pack
2. Headlamp <- REQUIRED!
3. Food to be eaten during the hike rather than stopping for lunch, appropriate for endurance hiking.
4. Less water to carry - I will bring a water pump.
5. Comfortable hiking shoes!
We will try to keep up a pace around[masked] mph uphill and around 3.0 mph on the plateau. Consider this a "fast" hike. If you don't know what that means, you will be rather miserable on this hike. There is a possibility we could be descending a steep trail (Wyeth) in the dark. My hope is that won't be the case, but please be prepared.
Bring the 10 essentials as you see fit, but understand this is a long distance hike and minimize your hiking equipment.
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 try and 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.