Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Hiking- South Mollala River Loop

With our Mount Hood climb tonight after church and another overseas trip next week, it occurred to me that I haven't shared any of this year's crazy adventures here.  And we've done some INSANE things recently... some probably too irresponsible to share with impressionable readers.

But let's start with this uncharacteristically mellow hike I led for NW Wilderness last weekend:

The 10 mile loop I had planned for the South Mollala River area was already the second easiest hike I've ever led, and already more relaxed than the typical hike for NW Wilderness or any of the other expedition groups I'm involved with.  But trail closures and also being forced off-trail by obstacles shaved off 1.4 miles from my intended loop, unfortunately making it even quicker.

As I mentioned in my trip report, our group was game to venture off-trail and switch up the route at various points... whenever we ran out of options to "legally" complete the loop that I had originally intended.  As long as everyone is flexible and trusting, I'm eager to modify the route instead of backtracking when conditions surprise us.

A stretch of log hopping

Pushing through a series of trails to form a loop

Maynard waits for the group to catch up at the first creek crossing.

Lou takes a stab at the next creek crossing.

Rachael and Maynard carefully make their way down a steep embankment during an off-trail segment.

Lunch break at Annie's Cabin.

One of the closed trails we encountered while trying to continue our loop after lunch

A tranquil forest mini-lagoon was tucked away alongside our modified return route.

Distance: 8.6 miles (As mentioned, trail closures and being forced off-trail by obstacles shaved off 1.4 miles from my intended loop)
Total time: 3:03 (incl. all breaks except lunch)
Moving time: 2:19
Avg speed: 3.12 mph
Max speed: 7.76 mph
Elevation gain: 1,683 feet

Coming next week...

More hiking in Asia!


Susan Hamilton said...

Well, it sounds like you found a creative way to make the loop work for your hiking group. That doesn't surprise me because you were always a creative kid. :)

Garth Hamilton said...

It helped that I had an exceptionally good map of that region.

And I finally bought a GPS unit to use on yesterday's Mount Hood climb! As I tweeted a few days ago, the hikes and scrambles I lead are about to get a bit more creative.