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 Post subject: 1/18/13 Not Another South Silver Star Post!
 Post Posted: January 19th, 2013, 1:10 am 
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Joined: January 4th, 2013, 9:35 pm
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I know this is the third post for this same hike this week, but the previous TRs (thanks Pablo and VanMarmont!) gave me the muse to go up myself and experience great views and warm temperatures from the pesky inversion.

Actually, I only made it up to Pt. 4060 (Indian Pits) due to limited daylight. The inversion made for truly balmy conditions. I would guess the temps were around 55 degrees from 2000 ft on up. I sat atop Pt. 4060 for half an hour in only a long sleeve shirt (pants included) with the wind blowing and never got cold. I was quite warm on the way up as I came straight up the south ridge, though. Still, conditions made it feel like April.

Now to detail one of the oddest animal sightings I've had in recent memory. A half mile from the trailhead on the way up, I spotted a coyote on the side of the trail that appeared to be playing as it was going in circles. On closer inspection its head was cocked to one side and the movements appeared jerky. I immediately thought "rabies" and unsheathed my ice ax not knowing what to anticipate. Even after announcing my presence with sharp "heys," the coyote would not react and kept spinning with its head cocked. As it awkardly ambled across the trail in front of me, I noticed that one of is eyeballs was protruding from its socket and its head looked ruffled up. The damage looked neither fresh nor bloody and the animal didn't look emaciated, but I knew that it had little time left in this world. My emotions moved from defensive to pity immediately as I moved past the coyote and continued up. I was left to wonder what had caused such damage.

The snow was very soft and there were only two other sets of tracks from Pablo and VanMarmont. A great day to be out in the sunshine and the warmth!

6ish miles, 2450 ft.


File comment: Even though it was clear in Portland when I left, there is still strong evidence the inversion is in effect!
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File comment: Sorry for the blurry foreground. Olallie Butte (barely), Jefferson, and the two of the Three Sisters (barely).
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File comment: Hood and low elevation company.
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File comment: Pt. 4020 and Adams.
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File comment: St. Helens and Rainier.
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File comment: Coast Range in the distance, Sturgeon Rock, and an interesting linear tree pattern in the foreground. Could it be from clear cut planting?
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File comment: Pt. 4020 and Silver Star.
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 Post subject: Re: 1/18/13 Not Another South Silver Star Post!
 Post Posted: January 19th, 2013, 8:44 am 
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The linear trees are from planting, but not after a clear cut, but after the great Yacolt Burn. I'm not sure why they didn't let it grow back naturally...

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 Post subject: Re: 1/18/13 Not Another South Silver Star Post!
 Post Posted: January 19th, 2013, 10:09 am 
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Joined: June 15th, 2009, 8:25 am
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Beautiful trip report! Do you have any other pictures of the (lenticular?) coulds near (the south side of?) Adams in your pics?

I about drove off the road in Delta Park staring at them on the drive home yesterday... fascinating!


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 Post subject: Re: 1/18/13 Not Another South Silver Star Post!
 Post Posted: January 19th, 2013, 1:19 pm 
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Beautiful pics. Crazy coyote encounter

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 Post subject: Re: 1/18/13 Not Another South Silver Star Post!
 Post Posted: January 19th, 2013, 2:37 pm 
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Joined: August 25th, 2011, 1:19 pm
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Awesome TR! and ditto about the coyote. Actually,on our way home from the hike yesterday while Sean was driving and about to pass exit 18, a coyote just whizzed by and passed the on coming traffic like crazy! :o

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 Post subject: Re: 1/18/13 Not Another South Silver Star Post!
 Post Posted: January 19th, 2013, 5:57 pm 
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Joined: April 16th, 2012, 1:41 pm
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Location: St. Helens, Oregon
Poor coyote. :( I really like them, too bad they often mix in too close with people and get into trouble. I would say maybe it was hit by a car or something, but that seems pretty rural for something like that. So sad. Almost makes me wish I'd just looked at the pics and not read the text.

Great photos though!

I remember seeing the lentricular clouds now. I was driving home and thinking "need to get a photo when I get home" but completely spaced it. D'oh!

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 Post subject: Re: 1/18/13 Not Another South Silver Star Post!
 Post Posted: January 19th, 2013, 7:21 pm 
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Thanks for the kind words, everyone. I wish I had taken more pictures of the lenticular clouds, but alas, I did not. They were pretty amazing to the south of Adams. There were some to the southwest of Rainier as well, but not nearly as striking as the former.

The coyote sure was a sad sight. I wish I could know what happened to it. I forgot to mention that I saw another (spry and healthy-looking) coyote dart out in front of me on the drive up Road W 1200.


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 Post subject: Re: 1/18/13 Not Another South Silver Star Post!
 Post Posted: January 19th, 2013, 8:23 pm 
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Joined: June 21st, 2012, 10:55 am
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Location: Salmon Creek
acorn woodpecker wrote:
I know this is the third post for this same hike this week, but the previous TRs (thanks Pablo and VanMarmont!) gave me the muse to go up myself and experience great views and warm temperatures from the pesky inversion.

Y'know what? It's changing up there every day! Nothing wrong with multiple reports. They actually drove two of us (me, and another group I saw who'd also read them) out there today! :D

All three of you offered a lot of inspiration, and (of course) some just drop dead gorgeous photos!

acorn woodpecker wrote:
The coyote sure was a sad sight. I wish I could know what happened to it.

I was thinking about this, as I came down, and might have a theory. It hit me that I needed eye protection on that forested part of the trail! There were just so damned many branches in the way, particularly as I tried to avoid the water hazards. So, I was wearing my sunglasses almost all the way down, well past sunset. I wonder if that crazy coyote was charging through the forest, and impaled himself on one? I have a feeling I might've done exactly that, if I didn't have a barrier in place.

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 Post subject: Re: 1/18/13 Not Another South Silver Star Post!
 Post Posted: January 20th, 2013, 10:55 pm 
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So, looking to add to the traffic in this beautiful area, how does one get to the South Ridge Trailhead?


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 Post subject: Re: 1/18/13 Not Another South Silver Star Post!
 Post Posted: January 21st, 2013, 8:22 am 
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Location: Salmon Creek
Noreaster wrote:
So, looking to add to the traffic in this beautiful area, how does one get to the South Ridge Trailhead?

Take SR-14 to Washougal River Rd (where the Pendleton Woolen Mill is), and turn north there. Then, follow this link.

The trailhead is at: N45.70433 W122.24071

On Saturday, there was snow/ice up to about eight inches deep in places along the last mile or so, with ruts for a single vehicle to travel within. Also some very icy spots along Washougal River Rd.

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