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Northern Oregon section hike questions

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Northern Oregon section hike questions

Postby Shellback » Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:32 am

I am hoping to hike from Columbia river gorge south to sisters or crater lake. Any thoughts on timing this summer. When is the earliest I could leave without encountering major snow issues. I have also heard mosquitos can be pretty bad in August. I would appreciate any thoughts. Thanks
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Re: Northern Oregon section hike questions

Postby Terminator » Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:51 am

Looking at Postholer's snow chart shows an interesting year. Almost all of the peaks have above average SWE. A few peaks seem to be close to a record. Yet many of the valleys have below average. If you don't like walking on snow then you will have to wait later than usual. The real question is how much water will there be later in the year. I plan on hiking the state in September.

Maybe someone familiar with Oregon PCT will chime in and give you a guess at when a higher snow year will be snow free on the trail. I think most talk about late July and mid August being mosquito season and snow free. Maybe it will be more like Late August and into September. And of course if it is a dryer summer then we will have to carry even more water between stops around Crater Lake.

For me I would plan to hike later, if you can and or expect some snow. And of course planning on and training for a heavier load of water is always a good thing. If it turns out you don't need the heavy load because there is water everywhere, all you got was stronger. :o
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Re: Northern Oregon section hike questions

Postby postholer » Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:14 am

If I was going to hike only Oregon I would wait till the first week in August. This would be based solely on mosquitos. If you don't mind mosquitos, mid/late July would work well.

While there is above average snow in some areas, by late July it should be of no concern. Further, the postholer snow charts show near record in some places, that is based on the last 13 years, not 30 year data. This is due to the data source being used.

Hope that helps!

-postholer
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Re: Northern Oregon section hike questions

Postby ochocowalker » Tue May 03, 2016 11:06 am

Shellback wrote:I am hoping to hike from Columbia river gorge south to sisters or crater lake. Any thoughts on timing this summer. When is the earliest I could leave without encountering major snow issues. I have also heard mosquitos can be pretty bad in August. I would appreciate any thoughts. Thanks


Shellback

I'm doing a SOBO starting Cascade Locks in early July, through all of Oregon into NoCal.

I've sectioned parts of Oregon on and off (I'm from Portland) and mosquitoes are an issue even as far north as Olallie Lake sometimes, but are mostly a problem further south, from the lakes west and south of the Sisters and all the way south into the Sky Lakes wilderness. Mosquito season is affected by the snowmelt though; the sooner they come out, the sooner they peak.

If you are hiking only Cascade Locks to say Crater Lake, then the peak month is always August if that works with your schedule. But if you want to leave as early as practical, then it's all about tracking the snow melt on Mt. Hood's west side up to Timberline.

Snow all around this area is melting quite fast. The snow level in the Gorge is higher than normal already. It has been a record hot April here. So, it looks like an early melt. Once up to and past Timberline on Mt. Hood, things should be clear of any significant snow in early July, maybe sooner.A n option, if you have a tight schedule to start, and there's still significant snow around Timberline, is to start south of there at a lower elevation, say at the highway (26), since the snow will linger longest on Hood near Timberline.

Good source of info on conditions in the area is at http://www.oregonhikers.org/ where you can see the latest reports from folks hiking the Gorge and Mt Hood area.
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