Posts Tagged ‘mount’

P1000580By Cameron Consumption McKirdy

My dad and I have been planning this one for awhile. We hiked half of the Ramona Loop and lots more on Mount Hood in Oregon. It was brutal. The hike was almost 18 grueling miles. We crossed the Sandy River several times, and were on the epic Pacific Crest Trail.

First I will list the gear in my day pack. I rocked a black Kelty day bag with a new U.S.M.C approved 3 liter Camelbak hydration system. I recently got that at a Navy Exchange. Here was my checklist: compass with whistle, emergency poncho, Mylar blanket, Bear Grylls Gerber Ultimate Survival kit, Moleskin plus padding, Coleman biodegradable eipes, caffeine pills, lighter, various fruit and nut bars, GoPro Hero 3 Black on my head, Panasonic TS4 digital camera, Vibrams, Coast LED flashlight with with white and red light, extra socks, Chapstick with SPF, cash, mace pen, Coast Rapid Response 3.0 knife, 12 hour glow stick, Tillamook County turkey jerky, natural bug spray, and hand warmers. My backpack was on the heavy side with all the extra stuff. It weighed maybe 25 pounds.

To begin we hiked from our spot at Lost Creek campground. It was an easy climb along the Sandy river. We crossed it on a temporary wood bridge to get to Ramona Falls. I’d never been there. It was spectacular, and massive. I filmed the waterfall, and snapped pics.

Along the way I spotted several types of mushrooms popping up. Unfortunately, king boletes are a few months away from harvest. I did find out at the Ranger Station that they only give out 20 mushroom collecting permits per day, and commercial hunting is not permitted. Amanita Muscarias are in season. But of course those are hallucinogenic and poisonous. I found a few russulas too. In addition, I identified and tried huckleberries. They aren’t my fav, but were better than nothing when I ran out of aqua.

We met lots of people on the trail. Most were on day hikes like us. The route from Timberline Lodge to Ramona Falls was popular. I wish we did that, because our hike sucked. We were mobbing hardcore for 10 hours straight. We only had a few brief breaks, just long enough to catch our breath, check the map, and grab a snack.

Cameron McKirdy hiking on the trail

I wore new waterproof Columbia boots. They held up, and had lots of cushioning. My tall Nike Dri-Fit training socks helped too. They were dry at the end of the day, and shielded my legs as we bushwhacked the unpopular, overgrown trail. We almost didn’t make it back before nightfall! It was getting dark quickly in the forest. So we had to book it all day. I was dumping buckets of sweat. I went through my entire 3L hydration pack, plus 1.5 coconut waters.

The pain of hiking that much basically nonstop was draining. My feet hurt, knees ached, and balls were sore. Women complain about childbirth, but try hiking with a big pair. I stretched along the way, but my hamstrings were tight. If you plan on doing a trek like this, bring pain killers just in case. I will be sore tomorrow, but didn’t cramp up or anything. I managed.

It will be a day or so before I get back to civilization, and can upload pictures and HD video. I got great shots of the canyon, mountain, and river. The highlight of the day was when pops and I used sticks and hiking poles to cross the rapid Sandy river. It had a path of loose rocks and wet logs. We made it across fine, but my dad realized he left his boots across the river. I got a good laugh in and filmed him tip toeing to safety. So he had to cross 3 times then. He changed into sandals, and me the Vibrams, so we didn’t get our boots wet. More soon. Thanks for visiting the Survival Bros blog.
Sandy River and Mt Hood

Cam McKirdy at Mt Hood

Sandy River Canyon near Mt. Hood

Mount Hood Waterfall in Oregon

Dad crossing the Sandy River for the 4th time.  He won’t leave his boots behind in the future.

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(Survival Bros)
We did it. My dad and I drove from Redmond OR into the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness, and backpacked to Pamelia Lake. Here’s what I know.

The hike in was unforgettable. The trail ran along a creek most of the way. We got there late afternoon, but the thick forest sheltered us from the Sun. The trail to the lake is perfect. A little rocky, but easy. There’s campsites all along Pamelia Lake. We scouted around and found flat ground near the water. There weren’t mosquitos earlier, but they are buzzing now. Where’s all the dragonflies to regulate?

I’d take a picture of our loaner two-person tent, but it doesn’t look right. It must be missing some rods. I have to get a one-person tent. How am I supposed to get a good nights rest with an old man snoring in my face?

There’s several water sources within earshot. I’m going to fill up the bottles, and my hydration pack later. My Dad’s been boiling his water, and using an Aquamira filter attached to his hydration pack, courtesy of Survival Bros. I don’t want to wait for my water to cool down, so I’m using Aquamira tablets, or drinking it straight from the source. I packed in aloe vera juice, coconut water, and yerba mate too.

Tomorrow we go hard, and pack light as we trek 16 miles in a big loop. We’ll take Hunt’s Creek Trail up to The Pacific Crest Trail. I’m wearing Nike ACG boots VS my Vibrams, because we will be plowing through some snow fields. That’s where a few people got lost just yesterday. It’s not well marked, and the hiker’s footprints melt. However, we have the map I’m holding, an internal compass, and a good gut feeling.

There’s all sorts of wildlife here. Ducks, snakes, beatles, bears, frogs, and birds. There’s millions of skinny trees reaching. They are so thick, it’s mind boggling. Pamelia Lake is a gem. You’re missing a ferocious sunset, as pictured below. This is one of the nicest lakes I’ve ever stayed at. It’s certainly the most private. Minus the bugs. My friends.

My advice, make sure to travel in front of people with gas! My dad has been blowing up the trail. Sorry, butt payback is gonna be brutal. Really, you can’t avoid my dad’s gas. The wind are always changing.

The forecast for tomorrow calls for more odor. We just split a freeze dried Mountain House Beef Stew. Dad described it as kinda chewy. True. Still, nothing satisfies like a warm meal. In the morning we carb load on granola and oatmeal.

There’s an ounce of daylight left. My bed is made. I like my new regular sized, Kelty self-inflating sleeping mat. It’s good when your in a small area for a short time. I can’t wait to take my boots off and lay down. We just found out were NOT in a designated camping site, but it’s too late to move tonight. Maybe we’ll relocate tomorrow.

(Day 2 on lake)
We just got back to camp on Pamelia Lake. We left around 8:30 am, and it’s now almost 6:30. What a day! Both my Dad and I set personal bests, going 16 plus miles on foot. I set the pace. When we took breaks I stretched, so I don’t think I will be very sore in the morning.

Approximately 300 people backpack the full Pacific Crest Trail each year. Most brave enough to attempt the feat give up. This hike is no joke. We did just a small part, but I got a great sense of what it would take to go all the way. We met three hikers set on going the distance. They were friendly, and took the time to answer my dads million questions, and compare maps. Props to anyone hard enough to do the full PCT, from Mexico to Canada. It takes months, not counting all the preparations.

To get from the lake to PCT we took Hunt’s Creek Trail. It was overgrown, and wet. The climb was intense, but we took breaks to grub, fill up our water containers, and explore. I ate mostly fruit bars, nuts, seeds, and turkey jerky. Thank God for Starbucks instant coffee.

I took lots of great photos today. We passed maybe a dozen lakes around Mount Jefferson. On the way I got caught in countless spider webs. I ended up with a fair amount of bites, maybe 25, but I didn’t have to resort to Deet thankfully. I’d defiantly hike the PCT again. I can’t wait to show the bros this spot. I want to party up where all the crystal clear lakes are. Nobody’s around! There is still patches of snow in some areas, but I used it to cool off. I kept rubbing the icy snow into my hair, and even laid on it once. Dad thought I was crazy. Duh.

I just jumped in Pamelia Lake for the first time! Refreshing. It’s so cold though. I would have skinny dipped, but we have a neighbor tonight. Now I’m laying down after making another Mountain House meal. This time I toured Italy, and scarfed lasagna with meat. It was way better than the beef stew.

Dad wants to build a fire tonight. Sounds like a lot of work, and it’s still warm outside, but it’s been a few months since I’ve built one. I’m game. We may hike more of the PCT tomorrow, but this is our last night on the lake. I’m also planning on mountain biking the nearby McKenzie River Trail. It’s one of Oregon’s finest. Another update from our road trip coming pronto! Peace peeps.

Cameron McKirdy

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