Tree in the mist

Punch Bowl Falls hike*

*A post where we don’t get to Punch Bowl falls and do more than hike.

Yesterday, Jamison announced to Suzi and me that he was going to go for a hike to Punch Bowl Falls. That sounded like fun to me and another opportunity to take some pictures. Little did I know.

I sort of invited myself and asked Jamison if he had one more roll of film I could have. Looks like I’ll soon be buying the next pack of five rolls.

Jamison said that the best pictures can be achieved by wading in the water so we wore hiking shorts and packed extra shorts, socks, shoes, etc. As Jamison drove up the Gorge, I loaded the film into Bob’s Pentax MX.

We arrived at the trailhead and headed out. The trail follows Eagle Creek, sometimes quite closely. Snow angled up against the uphill side of the trail, covering some of the trail. Sometimes, the snow covered about half of the trail. Other times, almost all of the trail was covered. The snow was frozen hard and slick. Where earlier hikers had created footsteps across it, passage was not treacherous. Otherwise, the choice was between trying to create footsteps on the snow or walking on the edge of the snow and path, immediately adjacent to a steep slope down to the river. Neither option felt that safe. Fortunately, those conditions were rare.

After we’d hiked a ways, we came upon three hikers who were stopped and talking. They looked at us1And maybe at our bare legs, which were warm, but bare… and told us that they’d gone just a little farther up the trail and turned back, that it felt too dangerous to proceed. When one showed us her crampons, we realized that we probably shouldn’t go any farther.

So, we stopped and talked for a bit, took some pictures, and headed back. Even during our not-so-far hike, the above-freezing temperatures had softened the snow such that none of the return trail felt that dangerous.

Jamison wasn’t done adventuring, so we continued east to Doppio in Hood River before finally turning around and heading home.

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    And maybe at our bare legs, which were warm, but bare…

2 responses to “Punch Bowl Falls hike*”

  1. shelby Avatar

    Your asterisk created some nice suspense . Glad you’re safe. If I remember that trail correctly, there’s some pretty serious ledge walking to approach the bowl — there were cable handrails but still would be nutty in the ice.

  2. Brent Logan Avatar

    Shelby, I had no intent to create suspense, just explain a non-descriptive title. Oopie!

    I’d never hiked along Eagle Creek before, so I didn’t know what to expect. We went by a few places with cables affixed to the wall, but those weren’t the areas I thought needed it in the snow. Jamison gave me a little comfort when he told me he probably wouldn’t have gone through the worst areas if he’d been alone.

    I guess we’ll have to wait a while before this hike isn’t so bananas.