All Results for: Wallowas

Boulder Creek Basin Backcountry Ski

This route will put you on a ridge with several options, in some big and technical terrain. At the top, the NE side will have some cliffs and couloirs into the E. Fork West Eagle Creek drainage, the SW side is some lower angle tree skiing into Jim Creek, and the SE is an open slope and bowl into the Boulder Creek drainage. You can continue on to access the Copper Bowl deeper in. Continuing on the ridge from the terminus of the displayed route could get technical with cornices and some exposure as the ridge becomes more knife-like, so perhaps a safer approach to Copper may be a gentler slope just to the east of Boulder Creek, but then you will be abandoning some good ski terrain on the way...  
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Buck Check

I confirmed the Buck Creek area doesn't have much snow, but there is enough snow on the road to snowmobile, but no need to because it is driveable all the way to Buck Creek Campground. Some have been up there this week so it is pretty packed down and traction should be good as long as it stays cold. The inversion is going good so it is staying cold in the canyon but up top the snow has all melted off the trees and it is warmer snow. I ran into a lot of surface hoar up by Buck Creek Campground. Overall, nothing spectacular to report just that getting around with a vehicle and on foot is still possible at most elevations. Burger and China Cap didn't look much fatter and some ground was showing up high...  
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Red Friday Podcast 11-15-2017

Red Friday Podcast 11-15-2017
by Brian Sather — Wed, Nov 15, 2017 (Updated 3 weeks 5 days ago)

Brian Sather and Tesmond Hurd discuss topics such as nesting for winter, drones, D&B autographs, troutcam, welding skills, and more.

Big stuff coming

This cycle of snow every week or so hasn't quite built up enough in the high country to ski or snowmobile yet. It keeps getting followed by periods of warmth and sun that is melting it too much. However, more snow is on the way. I was up fairly high in the southwest Wallowas and there are some spots of 2-3 feet of snow hanging around but it is patchy and dirt is showing. Most southern slopes are completely snow free, even in the interior of the Wallowas, like on Eagle Cap. As of now, roads and trails are mostly clear up until about 7,000' but some of the northern aspects are retaining a little snow. The Taylor Green areas was mostly snow free. We're going to be amping up our backcountry snow reports from now on, so keep visiting to see all the updates...  
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Snow Reduction

by Brian Sather — Posted Wed, Oct 18, 2017

Despite mine, and others, beliefs the mountain snow might be here to stay it has been coming off this week. Right now, it looks like a little refresh will come but might be followed again by some mild temps to maybe open up some high trails again next week. I observed the snow up on Burger and it is mostly disappearing. There was a little snow left on the road around Buck Creek Campground but it is mostly all gone now with the warm south wind that has been blowing off and on the last few days. Also, the tamaracks are now on up high!
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Frances Lake Trail #1663 - Wallowa Mountains, Lostine, Oregon

The path up and over to Frances Lake is characterized by very long switchbacks and shallow gradients, too many to count. Some of the traverses hardly have any elevation gain, making for an excruciatingly long ascent that will be worth it when you get the view into this basin that is tucked in the Hurricane Divide. It is an awesomely barren landscape set in front of Twin Peaks and some really cool terrain that spills down to Frances Lake and some lower pools it feeds into. It is more common for stock to travel to the lake, probably because of the physical difficulty and length. Hikers will find it a difficult day hike to and from the lake...  
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West Fork Wallowa Trail #1820 - Wallowa Mountains, Joseph, Oregon

This is a trail fragment that will be finished later. West Fork is a super highway of trails. It perhaps gets the most trail users of any trail in the Wallowas with its close proximity to the ever popular Wallowa Lake. The first few miles get the most action and it serves as a route to access the Ice Lake Trail and some of the climbs of the high Wallowas. Parking to start the trail is at the Little Alps Day Use area at the very south end of the road. Trail Notes 0.0 mi. Start at Little Alps Day Use Area. The trailhead is on the east side at the end of the road. The East Fork Wallowa trail splits to the left right away. Stay right on the West Fork Trail. 0.3 Junction with Chief Joseph Trail to right. Stay left. 2.9 Junction with Ice Lake Trail. Stay left. ...  
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Ice Lake Trail #1808 - Wallowa Mountains, Joseph, Oregon

The trail is well built, and a popular ascent up to an alpine lake in the Wallowas. Other than a couple rocky sections, the trail surface is amazing and the incline is steady. It takes you up a beautiful canyon with a trip by a few cascades and waterfalls before it benches out in a basin. This serves as some brief respite before some climbing switchbacks on fabulous dirt up to a point where the trail wraps around a corner and you make a dramatic approach to a beautiful lake. The whole experience has a great awe factor if you can withstand the 8 mile, 3,500' climb from Wallowa Lake area. The trip couples the West Fork Wallowa and Ice Lake trails, which both have superb trail surfaces, and I was surprised what good time I was making running these trails...  
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Chief Joseph Trail #1803 - Wallowa Lake, Oregon

To add insult, after running Chief Joseph away they named a crappy trail after him. You would think a trail in such close proximity to a high-use area like Wallowa Lake Campground would be in better shape, but no one seems to be using it. It doesn't even take you to the top of the mountain that bears his name. Some locals must have disliked this trail so much they built an unofficial trail straight up the mountain and it crosses over this trail several times. This other one is a better option if you plan to climb the peak. The trail starts off of the West Fork Wallowa Trail about a 1/4 mile up and it in great shape up to a very nice footbridge across the river. Then it is still okay for a ways until you get to BC Creek, where it attempts to cross this rushing cascade...  
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Frances Lake Dispatch 10-11-2017

by Brian Sather — Thu, Oct 12, 2017