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Author Topic: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge  (Read 10775 times)
OldHouseMan
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #25 on: 02/02/16, 01:21 PM »

I don't think it is difficult to grasp the differences between climbing Mt Hood and backcountry skiing the few areas around the mountain. Even climbing a route other than the standard south route will reward you with solitude.
« Last Edit: 02/02/16, 01:36 PM by OldHouseMan » Logged
Koda
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #26 on: 02/02/16, 02:12 PM »

I think most all of us will agree that one of the main reasons to get into backcountry skiing is to get away from the crowds, that in itself is an expectation of some level of solitude. Otherwise, there is no reason to spend 3x the money on specialized gear and training and even risk of life to leave the resort.

I agree this isnít a new debate but I side with those that feel trip reports do add to the crowds in the backcountry.  The mere fact that this debate resurfaces annually is empherical evidence of that.

It doesnít bother me when I read a trip report from a popular tour like Newton or White River, but I just hope when those who do venture out farther or to lesser explored places consider the impact of trip reporting on locations worth returning.
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butteredstuffs
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #27 on: 02/02/16, 04:17 PM »

Well, I've definitely learned my lesson.  I've been cherry picking beta from these forums for a long time, but trying to give back has clearly gone over like a lead balloon.  I guess my secrets are safe with me Grin
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Skier of the Hood
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #28 on: 02/02/16, 07:19 PM »

...I stopped posting trip reports...

...Iím not giving up info to the masses who lurk here and there for an easy in...

You just described yourself as a lurker...

A good fisherman doesn't reveal his/her favorite fishing holes.† Same has to apply to BC skiing now days as the population growth, and growth in general of the BC crowd are congesting many of our older favorite areas.†

The Mt Hood area has very limited terrain within an hours tour from the trailhead.† Longer tours out are not as populated, but if the goal is a short tour and solitude the chances are slim.† I can remember when a weekend day on the newton face or trees would yield only a handful of skiers at most on a knee deep powder day.† Not anymore.†

The popularity of the sport has grown exponentially. There are going to be more people in the areas easily accessible with short tours in from the road regardless of what gets posted on this forum or any other forum. I shed no tears for those that complain that the low hanging fruit is no longer available for their exclusive enjoyment. If you want solitude all it takes is a little extra effort EVEN on Mt. Hood. Many of the comments on this thread are deplorable. Honestly what is the point of this site if not to post TRs and share the stoke? Should i instead post photos of dog poop and complain about how the stupid snowshoers once again ruined my skintrack?

And so what if some people that are new to the sport show up to an area that has had a TR posted? New BC skiers are going to find out about these places eventually JUST LIKE YOU DID! And let me tell you if you haven't noticed there are a lot of up and coming old crusties. Stop seeing them as a problem, use your extra experience and fitness to walk the extra 30 mins. If we came together and leveraged our sports new found popularity there is much we could accomplish just as the climbing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling communities have before us. Embrace those wayward newbies out there jumping on cornices and snowshoeing on skintracks! They are the future of this sport and with a little love maybe we can bring them into the ranks and finally have a solid voice to create new trail heads, ski specific trails, glading!, keep the Natl Parks from shrinking their operations budget, and get meadows to put in BC gates and open their boundaries (like the rest of the modern ski resorts).

Well, I've definitely learned my lesson.† I've been cherry picking beta from these forums for a long time, but trying to give back has clearly gone over like a lead balloon.† I guess my secrets are safe with me Grin

The silent majority appreciates your stoke.
« Last Edit: 02/02/16, 07:47 PM by Skier of the Hood » Logged

"As we all know, the true driving force behind every early morning wake up is not necessarily safety, but the overpowering drive to be sitting on a patio by 1 pm, intoxicated, and spraying loudly about the morning's adventure."

-Andrew Wexler 2011
water
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #29 on: 02/02/16, 09:35 PM »

Quote from: Skier of the Hood
Honestly what is the point of this site if not to post TRs and share the stoke?

There is plenty of talk about snowpack analysis, access issues/land management, gear, and partners. And TRs don't also have to spell out every last detail or even say where it is other than the state to share plentiful stoke, as someone who doesn't post any, I'll do so from my next trip to prove this.

I don't know your generation and mindset but I will give one albeit anecdotal story to give a little background. A few weeks ago plans and partners fizzled on me. As an out I reached out via Instagram to an individual semi-popular in the PNW instagram world to ask if they were hiking. Indeed they were and I was welcome to join. Well, the day consisted of driving in Gifford Pinchot National Forest, arriving at a location and schwacking/post-holing anywhere from .25-1mile to a waterfall, 8 people not including myself taking pictures of said waterfall from nearly identical perspectives, then heading directly back to the vehicles to repeat this non-aerobic exercise a few times. Pictures taken by individuals other than me between the car and said waterfalls: 0  And this was all so they could post on their accounts to the world to see. People were actually solid. But the modus operandi was straight up loco. I'm seeing beautiful mist in old growth and orange slime molds on a downed cedar.. but it might as well not have existed if it wasn't a waterfall. that could be posted on social media. This is a mindset that exists to a certain density, and something to consider for backcountry skiing.


Quote from: Skier of the Hood
And so what if some people that are new to the sport show up to an area that has had a TR posted? New BC skiers are going to find out about these places eventually JUST LIKE YOU DID! ....use your extra experience and fitness to walk the extra 30 mins.

Are you suggesting 15-20 years ago people googled "MT HOOD BACKCOUNTRY SKIING" and that is how they learned about cool spots to hit? Because I strongly disagree that people are going to find out about this places JUST LIKE YOU DID. Couldn't be more wrong about that. Many people found places by their own exploration and ingenuity, and of course, socializing and making friends and learning by word of mouth. Now you've got a nearly endless wealth of information from mapping and slope-analysis sites, satellite images at various times of the year, TR websites like this, and quasi-profit driven sites like outdoor project that 'aim' to have users generate content, sell ad space, and provide a 'one-stop-shop' to complete an outdoor adventure because the act of checking out a book, making a phone call, and maybe spending the time to talk to someone in a ski shop, or spending the time to explore yourself, is too time consuming or burdensome for people.

In my experience, an extra 30 minutes doesn't mean solitude or even better skiing, at least in derHoodwandland. If someone's there, your extra effort means at best a single run before tracks are followed and you're no longer alone. I do agree that in time, more people will be everywhere. Doesn't mean it needs to be ushered in. Comparing the immediate Mt. Hood area to terrain available in 2hr proximity of Seattle is like comparing Portland with its urban growth boundary and Houston or Phoenix when it comes to housing and sprawl.

Quote from: Skier of the Hood
If we came together and leveraged our sports new found popularity there is much we could accomplish just as the climbing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling communities have before us. Embrace those wayward newbies out there jumping on cornices and snowshoeing on skintracks! They are the future of this sport and with a little love maybe we can bring them into the ranks and finally have a solid voice to create new trail heads, ski specific trails, glading!, keep the Natl Parks from shrinking their operations budget, and get meadows to put in BC gates and open their boundaries (like the rest of the modern ski resorts).

Those are actually noble aims I hadn't even imagined. I have my doubts, but find your idealism refreshing. But I don't think turning over every last stone for the fore-everness of the internet is mutually exclusive with pursuing those goals.
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Koda
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #30 on: 02/02/16, 10:13 PM »

You just described yourself as a lurker...
no, I participate at times, like now. You cut/pasted my reply out of context of my comments....


Quote from: Koda
I enjoy sharing information with like minded individuals and would otherwise be happy to with someone here who already knows where they are going.....



I donít really care though, is there anything wrong with being a lurker?


to clarify my opinion I donít care if anyone posts a TR I just feel that it adds to the crowds in places. I do agree with you about helping newcomers learn and advocacy... I do think there are plenty of already well known and established places to report about that greatly help newcomers learn the ropes and etiquette. IMO a sense of exploration is part of the game and not paving the way helps them grow. If some newcomer or anyone has a question about someplace I've been Iím happy to share and help.... although I'd probably reply in a PM.
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Skier of the Hood
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #31 on: 02/02/16, 10:30 PM »

Are you suggesting 15-20 years ago people googled "MT HOOD BACKCOUNTRY SKIING" and that is how they learned about cool spots to hit? Because I strongly disagree that people are going to find out about this places JUST LIKE YOU DID. Couldn't be more wrong about that. Many people found places by their own exploration and ingenuity, and of course, socializing and making friends and learning by word of mouth...

In my experience, an extra 30 minutes doesn't mean solitude or even better skiing, at least in derHoodwandland. If someone's there, your extra effort means at best a single run before tracks are followed and you're no longer alone. I do agree that in time, more people will be everywhere. Doesn't mean it needs to be ushered in. Comparing the immediate Mt. Hood area to terrain available in 2hr proximity of Seattle is like comparing Portland with its urban growth boundary and Houston or Phoenix when it comes to housing and sprawl.

Yes you are correct indeed it will not be done like the good old days, but i disagree that people still dont find new places by their own ingenuity and through word of mouth. The main point still stands though, with the plethora of resources available i really dont think it matters what is said or isn't said. Even now all the touring spots on Mt. Hood can be fairly easily located by looking for open slopes near the road in google earth. It would be a simple two hour exercise to make a google maps of the notable gems of hood...

As for taking the extra 30 mins, yes you are correct it would not matter if you went to Newton Creek, but for many other locations I think you could escape the majority of the people. Or choose a place that simply takes more effort to get to in the first place. Or even better go for an overnight trip and you can have the entire west and north flanks of Mt. Hood to yourself.

Shaming people for posting does nothing to help prepare for a future that will be more crowded then it is now. You can either sit here and lament the bygone days of easy pow or help build a welcoming community that educates its members in a respectful manner and advocates for glading, access, ect. †

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"As we all know, the true driving force behind every early morning wake up is not necessarily safety, but the overpowering drive to be sitting on a patio by 1 pm, intoxicated, and spraying loudly about the morning's adventure."

-Andrew Wexler 2011
Jim Oker
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #32 on: 02/02/16, 11:06 PM »

IMO it's a better discussion to have in random tracks, separate from trip reports. I like the "no spray in TRs" policy of nwhikers.net - people who have a bone to pick that might be sparked by a given TR nonetheless take it to their equivalent of Random Tracks to start a new thread. Keeps a better vibe going in the TRs forum while still allowing robust discussion of things like the good questions raised in this thread.
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cascadekid
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #33 on: 02/03/16, 05:18 PM »

This discussion really took off while I was away.

I wasn't saying that we should be greedy and hide our ski spots. I was suggesting that posting a road map to them on the internet is not how that information should be shared. I have the guidebook in question next to me, and I think you'd be hard pressed to use the information in it to find your way to the main clearing. To those who have, bravo, but you'd probably have gotten there without the book.

Point is, there's not a lot of good sub-treeline skiing on Mt Hood, and there are two distinct user groups vying for it. One group has experience, understands backcountry etiquette, is educated about avalanches, etc. The other is lower on the learning curve, and you're calling them the Meadows crowd. The first group will find Pocket Creek on their own. They'll find plenty of places to ski in relative solitude, though likely not with the convenience of that place. The second group needs a roadmap, and that's what I don't want to give them.

I learned about Pocket Creek from a friend, who showed me how to get to the spot and encouraged me to keep the place on the DL. I've since taken two competent friends there over several years. They're the kind of people you wouldn't mind skiing next to. In my own media I've never called it Pocket Creek, I remove the location tags from the photos, and call it something vague, like Gunsight ridge (which is 7 miles long). Sure, if you want to you can piece it together from what I've published, but you'd have to work for it.

It makes me sad to go there now and see the place with six different skin tracks straight up the meadow and 7-person-plus-dog parties freeriding the snot out of the place. With farmed tracks, you can put 20-some fresh runs down the meadow, but a group of 3 with no sense of courtesy can screw it up in one lap.

I was wrong to poke fun at you for naming the place. Name away and post GPS tracks if you want. We can each decide our own comfort with sharing spots. That said, I'm going looking for more solitude and better turns, and when I find them, I won't be posting them here. 
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blackdog102395
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #34 on: 02/03/16, 08:06 PM »

There are a few things guaranteed for a revisit every season on TAY:1) snowshoeing in the skin track 2) an epic 30 page thread on whether someone has a high risk tolerance or is just ignorant, and 3) the ground covered in this thread.

People are going to share.† It's what we do as a society electronically these days.† The reasons for this are varied and evolving.† The answer for me is simple: go farther, go further.† Often times the objective just needs to be a ridge or clearing over.† Hell, sometimes it just means going further along the same ridge.† Both these things are true of Newton, White River and Pocket Creek.

Share if you want.† Don't share if you don't want.† I'll be too busy studying maps to care either way.
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Jim Oker
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #35 on: 02/04/16, 10:51 AM »

Seems† discussion comes up more and more both here and on nwhikers (which has "fragile alpine lakes routes" variant of this looping discussion) with increasing frequency, presumably thanks to the ever-growing firehose of skiers and hikers who might be directed by TRs, Instagram photos, Facebook trophy selfies, etc. As blackdog suggests, it's up to each of us to decide how we want to participate. In any case, I hope we won't see a trend toward hammering on folks in their trip reports.

Edited to add: one of the ironies of these sorts of discussions is that, when done in a trip report, draw massively more views to the thread than it would otherwise have gotten. Heck, more than once I've thought about going on a tour or a hike based on one of these threads. So if you want to draw attention to a particular touring destination, your best bet is to quibble with an author of a report to that destination as to whether they've given up more info than is prudent.
« Last Edit: 02/04/16, 11:12 AM by Jim Oker » Logged
Winter
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #36 on: 02/04/16, 04:31 PM »

Just speaking for myself here, but I think the "cool kids vs Meadows crowd" frame - "two distinct user groups" - isn't too helpful.  If folks are out in the backcountry mentally categorizing everyone they meet as either cool or lame (or maybe competent or gumbies - whatever), the whole experience will suck much worse for everyone.  I've had a lot of great days out with inexperienced people who ended up as good friends and good partners.  And I think a lot of us learned to ski in-bounds before transitioning to the B/C. 

If we want to improve our experience in the B/C it would be way more helpful to be cool to newer users and to get the word out about B/C etiquette.   

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cascadekid
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #37 on: 02/04/16, 05:04 PM »

I think the "cool kids vs Meadows crowd" frame - "two distinct user groups" - isn't too helpful.† If folks are out in the backcountry mentally categorizing everyone they meet as either cool or lame (or maybe competent or gumbies - whatever), the whole experience will suck much worse for everyone.†

I'm with you in spirit because we all begin learning somewhere, but nowhere outside of the Mt Hood backcountry have I ever been privy to such blatant ignorance of safety for self and others. I am forced to evaluate parties near me and determine whether they threaten my safety. Frankly, that judgement can be made with 95% success within ten seconds of encountering another group, based on gestalt and even more obvious signs.

My experience is better when I am surrounded by competent people. In an environment where mistakes can kill not only you but others, elitism is not just justified but preferable.
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blackdog102395
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #38 on: 02/04/16, 06:04 PM »

We are clearly past the days where areas like Newton, Whiteriver and Pocket are going to be uncrowded on a sunny weekend day in mid winter with fresh snow.† We have hit a turning point.† There is no return.† Once you accept this, your whole experience will change.† You won't care who posts what and you'll just have to decide if your willing to travel to these places and accept the aggravations and dangers that come with it.†
« Last Edit: 02/04/16, 06:12 PM by blackdog102395 » Logged
Skier of the Hood
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #39 on: 02/04/16, 06:25 PM »

Blackdog you can say in two sentences more then I can say in two paragraphs.

If you practice elitism on the skin track this is what you are going to sound like to me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yclC6TzhMms
Dont be the backcountry Alpha! If you want change a little respect goes a long way.

« Last Edit: 02/04/16, 06:30 PM by Skier of the Hood » Logged

"As we all know, the true driving force behind every early morning wake up is not necessarily safety, but the overpowering drive to be sitting on a patio by 1 pm, intoxicated, and spraying loudly about the morning's adventure."

-Andrew Wexler 2011
nexus6
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Re: January 24, 2016, Mt Hood, Gunsight Ridge
« Reply #40 on: 02/04/16, 07:53 PM »

I'm with you in spirit because we all begin learning somewhere, but nowhere outside of the Mt Hood backcountry have I ever been privy to such blatant ignorance of safety for self and others.

Spend a weekend in the Wasatch, makes Mt. Hood look like an empty wilderness inhabited only by the competent and courteous.
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