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12/18/17, 06:34 AM

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Author Topic: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.  (Read 1167 times)
cascadekid
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FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« on: 12/03/17, 06:48 AM »

Friends, after being approached by both a guidebook company and an app maker last year, both of whom wanted to recruit local expertise to create a paid guide to Mt Hood's backcountry terrain, I decided that it was in the public interest to make that information available for free. After significant personal investment, a free guide to Mt Hood Backcountry is now available:



Of course there will be griping from some about giving up 'secret' spots or facilitating beginner access to the backcountry, but in this age of GPS and 4G, both of these things are inevitable. I would rather that users discover the backcountry as I did-- using moderately imperfect information from a trusted source as a basis for personal exploration and learning. All of the information that I've provided is available elsewhere, but it's inconvenient, poorly written, or hard to find. By compiling this guide, I'm hoping to follow in the tradition of similar websites like Run the Volcanoes (RIP) that served as a touchstone for those entering this sport and the Mt Hood Backcountry with fresh eyes.

Features:

-The Map: Based on Caltopo and marked with common routes, features, and roads, so you can change layers, zoom, pan, print, and apply slope gradient maps.

-The Short Guide: A primer to the peculiarities of skiing in the Hood.

-Weather/Forecast Links: Easy access to NOAA, NWAC, and more.

-Backcountry Ski Routes: A detailed guide to common Mt Hood backcountry routes with photos, printable maps, and notes from personal experience.

Please share this guide with friends, email me through the Contact link if you have corrections/contributions, and get out there to enjoy the 2017-18 season, which is already off to a good start.

-Patrick Fink
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Blizz Mountain
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #1 on: 12/03/17, 11:32 AM »

Wow...thank you for the tremendous effort and the willingness to share!  Although I have not toured Mt Hood and, being from Seattle, may only 'visit' the area a few times, I certainly appreciate what you've done and the spirit in which it was done.... Good Karma to you!
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river59
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #2 on: 12/03/17, 11:56 AM »

I was checking your post history to see who you are and why you thought you should try your hand at guide book crafting, and I came across a few gems! See: http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=35571.msg145650#msg145650

Take a wild guess at who is being quoted here.

"Too many posts like this and the Meadows area crowds will be here too."

"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.
"

It didn't take too long for your opinion to change on this issue, eh? Just one short year ago, you were complaining that someone posted a trip report from Gunsight...and now this.

You wanted to make a guidebook, didn't want to get paid by an app maker, but did want to solicit donations from "Meadows area crowds."
« Last Edit: 12/03/17, 12:04 PM by river59 » Logged
rlsg
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #3 on: 12/03/17, 02:36 PM »

There goes the neighborhood...too many figure 11s down the hill as well as across..lots of chugach videos probably.. irresistable urge to want to be?

  Too bad turning is not in vogue...


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cascadekid
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #4 on: 12/04/17, 09:10 PM »

Hey river59,

I get your confusion, though I'm surprised that you get so much glee out of a gotcha on this.

As I mentioned, there are strong signals that this information is going to be available soon in a variety of forms, so I decided to make it available for free and in a format that fits my values. My view on providing this information has clearly changed in light of apps and books entering the space. In a perfect world, it would all be wilderness and word of mouth, but that's not where we are.

I put a donations tab at the bottom because web hosting is expensive, and I pay it all myself out of pocket. I could have gotten paid to give this information to a paid app. I don't NEED anyone's money, but the appreciation of strangers, like 'Blizz Mountain' here, is a strong motivator, and crowd funding is becoming a way of funding worthwhile efforts on the internet. So it's there. You, clearly, are not going to click it soon.

I urge you to make something useful with your time. It's rewarding. If you want to write one of the pages that has yet to be written, I'd welcome you to do so, and I'll credit you for it. The world is changing, and we can shape it how we want or get run over by those who are creating their own image of things.

Cheers. -Patrick Fink
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cascadekid
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #5 on: 12/04/17, 09:10 PM »

@rlsg

That makes no sense.
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cascadekid
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #6 on: 12/04/17, 09:11 PM »

Wow...thank you for the tremendous effort and the willingness to share!  Although I have not toured Mt Hood and, being from Seattle, may only 'visit' the area a few times, I certainly appreciate what you've done and the spirit in which it was done.... Good Karma to you!

Thank you! I hope that it's useful to you and to others.
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rlsg
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #7 on: 12/04/17, 10:19 PM »

Sorry...my apologies...
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river59
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #8 on: 12/05/17, 12:26 AM »

Hey Kid,

You shouldn't be surprised, I am always gleeful when pointing out hypocrisy!

As I mentioned, there are strong signals that this information is going to be available soon in a variety of forms, so I decided to make it available for free and in a format that fits my values. My view on providing this information has clearly changed in light of apps and books entering the space. In a perfect world, it would all be wilderness and word of mouth, but that's not where we are.

What caused you to update your values? If you have the time, go back and read through the trip report that I linked above. You stated that you learned about pocket from a friend that asked you to keep it on the DL. He or she obviously decided that you might be a good person to share a skin track and a few runs with, and you honored their gift of knowledge by creating a webpage with turn by turn directions. I will give you credit for reminding the faceless masses to preserve the snow for future groups. Your friend trusted that you would treat the place well, and now you apparently trust every internet user to do the same. 

I put a donations tab at the bottom because web hosting is expensive, and I pay it all myself out of pocket. I could have gotten paid to give this information to a paid app. I don't NEED anyone's money, but the appreciation of strangers, like 'Blizz Mountain' here, is a strong motivator, and crowd funding is becoming a way of funding worthwhile efforts on the internet. So it's there. You, clearly, are not going to click it soon.

I urge you to make something useful with your time. It's rewarding. If you want to write one of the pages that has yet to be written, I'd welcome you to do so, and I'll credit you for it. The world is changing, and we can shape it how we want or get run over by those who are creating their own image of things.

To quote a famous guidebook author, "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."  Roll Eyes

Honestly, I dig your site. You obviously spend a lot of time on it and it shows, but I am not here to direct strangers to every place that I love. I will leave that honor to you!
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KLW
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #9 on: 12/05/17, 08:41 AM »

Patrick,

Thank you for making the arbitrary decision that you know what's best for the entire Oregon backcountry skiing community. In the many, many trips I've made to Hood in the last 5 years I've always been left with the nagging question of "how can we get even more people onto that hill"? It seems you and you alone have the answer. I know, the decision was out of your hands. Someone dangled money in your face and your strict moral guidelines didn't allow you to accept it. I stand here in awe of the sacrifice that you've made for all of us.

I'll be looking forward to the next edition. Perhaps you'll have some suggestions  for the rest of us on the best spandex to wear while we attempt to break your latest speed record up the hogsback?


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rlsg
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #10 on: 12/05/17, 11:46 AM »

Priceless😂
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OldHouseMan
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #11 on: 12/05/17, 01:06 PM »

I can't say that I am happy to see this, but I am glad it is far from complete. I'm hopeful you keep it this way.
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Randy
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #12 on: 12/05/17, 03:39 PM »

Hey CascadeKid, 

I've been backcountry skiing in Cascades since 1970.  I find all the complaints about "secret stashes" being revealed to be pretty darn whiney.   Keep up the good work!
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rlsg
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #13 on: 12/05/17, 05:16 PM »

I've been BC skiing since mid 70s...I might be a little passive aggressive though...
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blackdog102395
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #14 on: 12/05/17, 06:55 PM »

Some topics on Turns will never be fully litigated in one thread and eventually reappear after a period of hibernation.  These include risk tolerance v. ignorance, snow machines v. wilderness, snowshoers v. skin track, and outing "secret stashes" v. keeping them on the DL (in thread or guidebook form).  So, here we are once again.

Has anyone driven through PDX lately?  It doesn't matter what time of day, you are going to hit traffic.  Have you tried to find a place to eat on Friday or Saturday night without reservations?  Do you enjoy standing in line at 5 to eat at 7?  People are moving to PDX in absolute droves and it is seriously jacking about the quality of life for PDX and the surrounding area.  This population boom is seriously pressuring recreational opportunities on Hood, as a  good chunk of those moving to PDX are young and interested in the outdoors.  A good chunk of those people ski and are naturally progressing to backcountry skiing given their outdoor interest and advances in technology.  There is no stemming this tide .

Hood presents a classic "scarcity of resources" problem.  Access is difficult and most users are funneled into 2-5 areas depending on conditions (snow level, visibility, avy danger, wind, etc.).  If you head to Hood on a weekend in decent conditions, you are going to run into lots of people.  There is no solitude on Hood for the weekend warrior.  It is best to accept this fact and move on. 

Patrick's guide may increase the number of people accessing Mt. Hood, but there was already too many accessing Hood to begin with.  Therefore, Patrick's guide has made an untenable problem only more untenable, but once you reach untenable, next level untenable doesn't really matter. In this way, I view Patrick's guide as doing very little to make Hood worse.  The guide is not moving Hood from good to worse.  Instead, It is moving Hood from worse to "worser." 

So, I say accept this reality and apply several solutions. Here are a few that I have utilized to make Hood tolerable:

1) not skiing on Hood
2) not skiing on weekends
3) Going farther and further than everyone else
4) Conversely, Changing my mindset and looking at backcountry skiing on Hood as opportunity to first and foremost make new, like-minded friends and turns second.

We have reached the point of no return.  A guide book doesn't change this fact in any meaningful way.
People are better off spending the time they use to complain about guide books to 1) find new stashes on Google Earth, 2) find a job that gives you Monday and Tuesday off, 3) work to make extra money to go to Shames, 4) increase their conditioning so they can further and farther in a single day. 5) work on their opening Hood pick up lines (i.e., "So, do you come to Hood often?")

In the end, post your trip reports if you want to or write a guide book.  I won't judge you either way.  I'll be too busy looking at maps, saving my money, and busting my ass on the stair climber to care.
« Last Edit: 12/05/17, 07:01 PM by blackdog102395 » Logged
Randy
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #15 on: 12/05/17, 08:08 PM »


Has anyone driven through PDX lately?  It doesn't matter what time of day, you are going to hit traffic. 


After living in Manhattan for two years, I find the complaints about Portland and Seattle traffic and other urban overcrowding problems to be hilarious.

Life in the PNW is gloriously uncrowded, polite, cheap and easy.  The Cascades are incredible.  Appreciate them.
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rlsg
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #16 on: 12/05/17, 08:23 PM »

Oh...now I have to appreciate the Cascades...dang😉
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OldHouseMan
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #17 on: 12/05/17, 08:26 PM »

Not every spot needs a road map to it, leave some to the imagination. One of the most enjoyable aspects for me is to just head out to explore. I've stumbled on some of my favorite spots with just a hunch, or in some cases, dumb luck.
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rlsg
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #18 on: 12/05/17, 08:31 PM »

Where are they at ?😋
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rlsg
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #19 on: 12/05/17, 08:34 PM »

There are lots of people that could use a road map😉
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blackdog102395
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #20 on: 12/05/17, 09:19 PM »

After living in Manhattan for two years, I find the complaints about Portland and Seattle traffic and other urban overcrowding problems to be hilarious.

Life in the PNW is gloriously uncrowded, polite, cheap and easy.  The Cascades are incredible.  Appreciate them.

Sure, everything is relative, but I choose to make PDX relative to PDX and Hood relative to Hood.  Of course both look better to Manhattan and Hunter Mountain, but both look considerably worse to the PDX and Hood of 20 years ago.

The Cascades are incredible and there are so many places to go without a sole to be found for miles if you are willing to put in the work.  There is just less and less of that than their use to be on Hood.  It's not a complaint.  It's fact.  Again, it doesn't stress me either way because I either  except the fact that I will be sharing terrain with lots of others, choose to go somewhere else or put in the extra distance to get away from the crowds. 

It's amazing how many people you leave behind by just moving 30 more minutes up a ridge or crossing one ridge over.  Newton is a great example of this in both ways.  Drop in at the main line on a Saturday and you are going to be descending on top of people and fighting for fresh turns.  Keep on heading up the ridge 30- minutes or cross over to Gnarl and you are likely to have multiple lines to yourself. 
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Randy
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #21 on: 12/06/17, 07:53 AM »

PNW skiers might want to let go of thinking they are totally unique and entitled to solitude within a short drive of a city.

Start learning share and behave in a way that allows other people to enjoy our mountains even when there are lots of them.

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rlsg
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #22 on: 12/06/17, 03:23 PM »

Thanks for helping me grow up!😋😉
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kamtron
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #23 on: 12/06/17, 04:09 PM »

Thanks for the incredible resource for us out-of-towners who occasionally come down to schralp on ol' Wyeast!
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Skier of the Hood
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Re: FREE Mt Hood Backcountry Guide.
« Reply #24 on: 12/07/17, 10:00 AM »

Man people on Mt. Hood are whinny. The whole west-northwest side of the mountain is still empty... I'm sorry you can't get solitude within 2.5 hrs travel from your car... Welcome to all touring locations within a 2 hr drive of a major metropolitan. I for one welcome Patrick's abdication from the position of top mt hood backcountry alpha. Perhaps this thread will reveal the new top mt hood backcountry alpha.
Accept the future my friends, weekend virgin slopes on Mt. Hood are gone unless you want to get up early or go camping. It is better to congregate and create community then to bicker about making skiing great again.
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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
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