Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Climbing Mitchell Point

Hiking in the Columbia River Gorge

My title to this post says "Climbing" rather than "Hiking" because as you can see from this photograph, the hike includes scaling the southern ridge of the rock.  Not easy.  And certainly not for anyone afraid of heights.

This gorgeous rock is located a few miles west of Hood River, Oregon, on the Columbia River.  My travel buddy and I have been hiking the Gorge now for a year and this hike (okay . . . climb) has been one of the most challenging and the most fun.  The reward, of course, are the spectacular views from the top.  And the downside?  I couldn't walk the next day!  I thought I was in pretty good shape.  Oh brother!

The parking lot at the bottom of the cliff is accessible from Exit 58 on Interstate 84 (eastbound only).  From there, the trail looks easy enough, but almost immediately it starts to

go up . . .
and up . . .

and up

thru treacherous talus slopes.

I'm getting smart though.  I took my ski pole along as a walking stick and many a hiker along the way made the jealous comment, "I wish I had thought of that."

Even so, that last stretch was a killer.
But we did it!

And here are the views:
Looking West

Looking East.

Above the planes!

I'm always so proud of myself after one of these hikes.  There are other climbs in the Gorge with even higher elevations and longer trails.  I am now confident I can do them all.

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