This Winter/Spring has Fucking Sucked in the Pacific Northwest

There’s no way around it folks, this winter was a piece of shit.  This is the second wettest winter/spring on record with over 146 days of rain since last October here in Portland (as of late April).   To be honest it started raining quite early this year, in September.  I have to say it really impacted the amount of trips I’ve taken since last fall.  I had way more trips under my belt this time last year.  I’ve gained weight to the point that my gut is a little embarrassing and I have clothes that won’t fit.

I saw today that I haven’t written a post in two months, which was pretty depressing.  It’s not that I haven’t had any outings/hikes, its just they weren’t worth writing about.  Nobody wants a blog post about a ho-hum day hike 100 other people did that day right?

At first I didn’t care how wet it was, because it was snowing quite a bit in the mountains.  The snow pack is well above average and is taking a long time to melt out from lower elevations.   I planned on doing  a lot of snow trips, but only pulled off three.   Due to the sheer amount of snow, access to sno-parks in SW Washington were restricted many weekends.  They simply didn’t have the resources to plow, despite the *very* high cost of sno park passes.  I had to cancel several planned outings.  Some dipshit even sabotaged plowing equipment near Marble Mountain Sno Park in Washington.  In Oregon, basically all close sno-parks are right off the highway and are full of snow mobilers, dog sledders, and large groups coming in on vans from Portland.

As spring progressed, the snow line simply got higher, meaning that many places I planned to go were just rainy on top of very large amounts of snow.  Its not like other parts of the West that have dry periods between dumps of snow or rain.  These are basically the worst conditions to backpack in my opinion and I don’t really care to partake.  Being continuously wet and cold is miserable.  Even some day hikes we attempted had to be aborted due to unsafe conditions, like ice formations the size of Smart cars falling down (Eagle Creek).  I’d rather be camping when temps are in the teens than in the 30/40s with rain.  Tough guys can suck it up for bragging rights or some shit, and they can fucking have it in my opinion.

As a result I’ve pushed out farther east for my excursions.  East of the Cascades its significantly and consistently drier.

This week, finally we get a substantial break from the rain.  So instead of 6 shitty days and maybe 1 good one, its more like half and half right now.  I can live with that, but 6 months of continuous dreary, wet weather was more than I could bear.  Luckily every winter isn’t like that here, or I’d have been long gone.

Rant aside, I’m looking forward to going out a hell of a lot more in the coming months and have some exciting trips planned to places I’ve never been to.  This year I’ll be doing way less gear reviews, because I think they’re usually dumb and redundant.  They do tend to be the most oft-read however.  Keep an eye out for better trip reports and a redux of my Caltopo tutorial.  Here’s to a better spring and summer!

 

 

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