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Oregon/Washington in May/June

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Oregon/Washington in May/June

Postby mattvct » Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:16 pm

My friend Amy and I are planning to drive cross-country to climb Mt Hood, Mt St. Helens and Mt. Adams this summer and are looking for recommendations on camping arrangements on our non-climbing days. For Hood we will either get a room or sleep in the car for a midnight start and then drive to St. Helens after and camp at the climbers bivouac. Depending on soreness we may proceed to climb Helens the next day or give it a day to heal, and then on to Adams where we will probably wait a day in either event. We will have a couple extra days buried in the trip for flexibility for weather conditions.

All told we expect to have anywhere from 7-9 days to do the three climbs and are looking for nice places to camp in the area, especially if they involve a shorter day hike out to a nice view by a lake or something. We're much more wilderness campers than campground types. Also, any breweries in the area or climbers bars are something we would LOVE to add to our itinerary.

I grew up in Oregon but have been away for many years so looking for some good local recommendations.

Matt
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Re: Oregon/Washington in May/June

Postby ExcitableBoy » Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:41 am

Hood River, Oregon is a wonderful town with great brew pubs, restaurants, art galleries, and shops. Well worth spending a rest day there. The visitor center at Mt St Helens is interesting. I can't really give a recommendation on campgrounds, I've mostly day tripped these peaks from Seattle. I will say that Mt. Adams is closer to Mt Hood, and it would make sense to climb that after Hood, and then do Helens last.
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Re: Oregon/Washington in May/June

Postby mattvct » Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:17 pm

I haven't been to Hood River in years, I had completely forgotten about that place, definitely added to the list.

The thinking on the route is that we may pop into Portland after doing Hood to see an old buddy, and in either case we would be swinging back East after the climbing. An extra hundred miles or so isn't that big of a deal with what we're already doing to ourselves with this drive :)
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Re: Oregon/Washington in May/June

Postby Relax » Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:25 am

May and June, good luck. 50-50 odds on the weather. If you do not mind white outs, storms, etc, then you will be fine.
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Re: Oregon/Washington in May/June

Postby Ben Beckerich » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:25 pm

Relax wrote:May and June, good luck. 50-50 odds on the weather. If you do not mind white outs, storms, etc, then you will be fine.


Once again... what is your point? Do you think there are BETTER months to climb Cascade volcanoes? May and June are THE two months out of the year when you're most likely to experience the best combination of weather and conditions.
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Re: Oregon/Washington in May/June

Postby dskoon » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:58 pm

Ben Beckerich wrote:
Relax wrote:May and June, good luck. 50-50 odds on the weather. If you do not mind white outs, storms, etc, then you will be fine.


Once again... what is your point? Do you think there are BETTER months to climb Cascade volcanoes? May and June are THE two months out of the year when you're most likely to experience the best combination of weather and conditions.


Actually, I'd have to agree with Relax on this one. . As the OP is flying all the way from CT to climb these mountains, I think most would agree that May/early June can be very iffy for climbing, and are not a sure thing, as far as the weather goes. If one lives here and can climb around inclement weather, great, but if one is flying here and planning on climbing at a certain time in May/June, I'd say, Good Luck!
The road to Adams, for instance,(standard route), might still be snow-choked and thus closed to traffic(as it has been for the past few years), thus adding quite a bit of time to the normal climb.
I've had many friends over the past few years, weathered-off of planned climbs throughout the Cascades, at this time of year. Yeah, if the weather cooperates, great, but if not, one might be sitting around for a bit.

Good luck, either way, to the OP. Just stuff to consider.
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Re: Oregon/Washington in May/June

Postby Ben Beckerich » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:23 pm

dskoon wrote:
Ben Beckerich wrote:
Relax wrote:May and June, good luck. 50-50 odds on the weather. If you do not mind white outs, storms, etc, then you will be fine.


Once again... what is your point? Do you think there are BETTER months to climb Cascade volcanoes? May and June are THE two months out of the year when you're most likely to experience the best combination of weather and conditions.


Actually, I'd have to agree with Relax on this one. . As the OP is flying all the way from CT to climb these mountains, I think most would agree that May/early June can be very iffy for climbing, and are not a sure thing, as far as the weather goes. If one lives here and can climb around inclement weather, great, but if one is flying here and planning on climbing at a certain time in May/June, I'd say, Good Luck!
The road to Adams, for instance,(standard route), might still be snow-choked and thus closed to traffic(as it has been for the past few years), thus adding quite a bit of time to the normal climb.
I've had many friends over the past few years, weathered-off of planned climbs throughout the Cascades, at this time of year. Yeah, if the weather cooperates, great, but if not, one might be sitting around for a bit.

Good luck, either way, to the OP. Just stuff to consider.


I guess for St. Helens (which I've never hiked, and can't imagine that I ever will) and the South Spur of Adams (which I also have never hiked, and likely never will), August will offer the best odds for weather. But Hood is only climbed by Hood locals after June, as it becomes a bowling alley after that and until the first storms of winter... As does any rock-exposed route on any of the volcanoes, once summer sets in.

So I guess the answer is more complicated than just "yes," or "no." But I'm definitely still saying "yes" for Hood. Why anyone ever does St. Helens, I'll never understand... and the routes on Adams will all depend on how things shape up.
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Re: Oregon/Washington in May/June

Postby EastKing » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:31 am

Weather maybe 50-50 but snow conditions on both Hood and St. Helens are usually prime this time of year. Actually Hood maybe April but May isn't bad. In most years the trailhead to Adams South Spur is not melted out until July, This year you might be in good luck because we are having a low snow year. Your plan seems very solid and you should have success with your trip. Continue with your plan but set a backup such as Camp Muir-Muir Peak; South Sister/Bachelor or Colchuck/Dragontail. If you need any help with your trip or any other ideas PM me.
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Re: Oregon/Washington in May/June

Postby ExcitableBoy » Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:42 pm

I agree with EastKing. If the weather is bad on the volcanoes, look at options east of the crest where weather can be better. The Stuart Range, like EastKing mentioned, can be a good option, and Smith Rock is a wonderful park, even if you don't rock climb it is a good place to spend a day hiking and sight seeing.
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Re: Oregon/Washington in May/June

Postby Snidely Whiplash » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:42 pm

I'll just add my two cents about Hood River. It is a great place to relax for a day or even two if the weather won't cooperate. Just south of Hood River there are great lavender farms and wineries with Hood in view the whole time. If weather continues to be a problem, you can easily spend another day loping around the Bonneville Dam and Locks museum. A fascinating area.
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Re: Oregon/Washington in May/June

Postby Brian Jenkins » Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:47 am

You may have spoken too soon about a low snow year. Over 12 inches in the last 24 hours on Hood.

Oh, and if you are in Hood River, go to Solstice Pizza for the best around and order their Country Girl Cherry Pizza. I know, stupid name, but they just moved to Hood River from the WA side a month or so ago and they had been voted best pizza in Washington. And they have good beer in large glasses!
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Re: Oregon/Washington in May/June

Postby Sunny Buns » Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:48 am

For backup, consider Mt. Shasta also. May be warm and sunny while farther north is gray and rain. 8 hour drive to trailhead from Porkland.

Best time for South Side Hog Back route on Hood is Mothers Day weekend. Best for south side Adams is July 4. Best time for St. Helens is whenever you can get one of the idiotic permits on the internet.

There's always the Sawtooth range in Idaho too. I'm guessing 10 hour drive from Porkland.
Last edited by Sunny Buns on Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Oregon/Washington in May/June

Postby ExcitableBoy » Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:57 pm

Sunny Buns wrote:For backup, consider Mt. Shasta also. May be warm and sunny while farther north is gray and rain. 8 hour drive to trailhead from Porkland.


Good suggestion, but I recall making the drive to Shasta City from Seattle in 8 hours, probably be closer to 5 hours from Portland me thinks.
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Re: Oregon/Washington in May/June

Postby Brian Jenkins » Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:42 pm

Dude, you were flying then! It's normally 5 hours from Portland to the CA border at about 70 mph.
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Re: Oregon/Washington in May/June

Postby ExcitableBoy » Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:26 pm

I never drive faster than 5 mph over the speed limit, maybe my recollections are faulty.
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