Snowmobiling

12
Apr
2014
jloomis

Last Snowmobile Ride of 2013/14 Season - Bennett Pass, Oregon

Picture of the "Terrible Traverse" with Mt Hood in the background

I wanted to go out snowmobiling one more time this season before calling it quits this season. My friend John was back from vacation in Panama, so we decided to go riding Saturday out of Bennett Pass SnoPark. The snow is gone from all the lower elevation snoparks, so Bennett Pass was our only option. It's right across from Mt Hood Meadows at almost 4,700' in elevation. We often rider here early and late in the season as it's the first place snow falls and the last place it melts.

30
Mar
2014
jloomis

Clear Lake & Frog Lake Spring Snowmobile Ride

Picture of snowmobiling above Clear Lake, Oregon

Even though it is officially Spring now, I am clinging to winter as long as I can. My reward for loyalty was some fresh snow in the mountains. My friend Nick and I took advantage and drove up to Frog Lake SnoPark early Sunday morning to go snowmobiling in the fresh snow.

22
Mar
2014
jloomis

Early Spring Climb of Olallie Butte, Oregon

Picture of me climbing Olallie Butte in the snow and ice

After my scouting trip via snowmobile on Thursday afternoon, I decided to head back to Olallie Lake Scenic Area on Saturday to climb Olallie Butte. I have wanted to climb Olallie Butte in the winter for some time as I prefer snow and ice to dust and rocks. Olallie Butte is a shield volcano situated in the Oregon Cascades between Mt Jefferson and Mt Hood. At 7,215 feet tall it is the tallest peak between Mt Hood and Mt Jefferson. Most of it lies on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation land except for the Western flank where the trailhead is located.

20
Mar
2014
jloomis

Snowmobiling to Olallie Lake from the Upper Clackamas

Picture of Olallie Lake in the Winter with Mt Jefferson in the background

Since Thursday afternoon was beautiful, I decided to make a quick drive to the Upper Clackamas for a snowmobile trip to Olallie Lake. I had never ridden this route and was curious what the snow conditions were currently like. We received about 10 inches of new snow earlier in the week before the sun came out and warmed things up again.

15
Mar
2014
jloomis

Frog Lake and Frog Lake Buttes Snowmobile Ride

Photo of snowmobiling across frozen Frog Lake

I finished rebuilding the fuel injected engine (top end) on our 2008 Polaris 700 Dragon RMK Friday night. During the rebuild, I discovered the previous owner didn't use Loctite® on the exhaust valve guillotines and after we put just over 100 miles on the sled, they loosened up and started hitting the pistons causing the engine failure. A local dealer said the sled was basically junk without a repaired engine. They gave me an estimate of $1,500-$2,500, so I decided to tackle the project myself.

02
Mar
2014
jloomis

Overnight Stay at Warm Springs Cabin and Snowmobiling to Olallie Lake

Picture of Warm Springs Cabin in the winter

Ever since learning about the Warm Springs Cabin on forest service road 42, I have wanted to snowmobile to it and spend the night. My cards finally lined up and I planned a trip this weekend with a couple friends. The Warm Springs Cabin is maintained by the Mt Hood Snowmobile Club. It's a log cabin with a concrete floor, large wood stove, and sleeping loft.

21
Feb
2014
jloomis

Lots of Deep Powder in Bonney Meadows

Picture of snow covered snowmobile

I had the day off Friday because I was planning on driving to Reno to visit family and go snowmobiling in the Sierras. Unfortunately there is still very little snow in that part of the country, so I booked a plane ticket to Reno on the same flight as my wife and our mini adventurer. That freed up Friday morning so I could take advantage of the fresh snow that had been falling on Mt Hood throughout the week. I met up with another snowmobiler at Frog Lake SnoPark with plans to ride out to Bonney Meadows which is on the Southeast side of Mt. Hood about 1.5 miles NW of Boulder Lake.

16
Feb
2014
jloomis

Family Snow Day 2014 - Frog Lake, Oregon

Picture of family after a fun day in the snow

We hosted our second annual family snow day on Sunday. Our relatives from San Diego flew up for the holiday weekend and a fun time in the snow. Until a week ago we were worried we might not have any snow near Frog Lake, but mother nature cooperated. It rained the day before, but Sunday turned out to be perfect.

01
Feb
2014
jloomis

Snowmobiling Near Frog Lake Buttes, Oregon

Picture of snowmobiling on Frog Lake Buttes, Oregon

After our 2008 Polaris 700 Dragon RMK snowmobile engine burned up on our last trip, my friend John and I decided to buy a new 2014 Polaris 800 Pro RMK snowmobile to replace it. I plan to rebuild the engine on the 700 Dragon RMK, but will probably sell it after it's running again.

Another snowstorm typical of this season (mostly higher elevation snow) rolled through the mountains just before the weekend. Luckily a few inches fell around pass level so there was enough for John and I to test out the new sled near Frog Lake.

18
Jan
2014
jloomis

Snowmobiling near Lookout Mountain, Oregon

Picture of snowmobiling near High Prairie/Lookout Mtn, Oregon

We are back into a dry weather pattern in the Pacific Northwest, but there is still some snow in the higher elevations of the Mt Hood National Forest. My friends John and Jordan joined me on Saturday for a snowmobile trip near High Prairie and Lookout Mountain East of Mt Hood. When the snow pack is down lower (around 3,000') one can snowmobile from Little John SnoPark (near intersection of Hwy 35 and NF-44). Unfortunately that is not the case right now.

12
Jan
2014
jloomis

Mt Hood Snowmobiling - Finally some snow, but will it last?

Picture of snowmobiling near Mt Hood, Oregon

Mother Nature finally decided to dump some snow on Mt Hood. Original forecasts called for 1-2 feet of snow at as low as 2,500' elevation. In actuality, the snow never really made it that low. It was a decent storm above 4,000' elevation and great above 5,000' (great for the ski resorts). About 16" of snow fell just above the 4,000' level.

22
Dec
2013
jloomis

Where is all the Snow?

Picture of barely any snow near Frog Lake, Oregon

It's been a poor winter so far in Western Oregon as far as mountain snow goes. Christmas is only a couple days away and there is only a trace of snow at Government Camp (~4,000'). We have friends coming home for the holidays and we were planning on having a snow day next Saturday. Normally there would be 3-4 feet of snow at Government Camp this time of year. On the same day last year, there was 43 inches of snow in the vicinity. I picked a bad year to buy a new snowmobile.

24
Nov
2013
jloomis

Bonney Meadows Early Season Snow Camping Trip

Picture of Mount Hood at sunrise from Bonney Butte

I am still waiting for winter to really hit the Oregon Cascades, but we found a little snow up high at Bonney Meadows (around 5,200'). Bonney Meadows is on the Southeast side of Mt. Hood about 1.5 miles Northwest of Boulder Lake off forest road 4890. I took half a day off work Friday to go snow camping with my friend Kyle and his buddy Matt over the weekend. We met up in Sandy around 1 PM and hit the road after grabbing a quick bite to eat.

17
Nov
2013
jloomis

Bennett Pass, Bonney Meadows, and Grasshopper Road Snowmobile Adventure

Picture of John Taking a Break After Riding a 2008 Polaris 700 Dragon RMK

We received a promising weekend weather forecast, predicting over a foot of mountain snow by Sunday. I wasn't planning on snowmobiling this weekend, but couldn't resist fresh powder. John and I headed up to Bennett Pass on Sunday Morning and arrived to a nearly empty parking lot. The only other vehicle belonged to a cross-country skier. The SnoPark had been plowed and the snowbanks around the perimeter were now about 2-3 feet tall. The weather was windy with ice pellets raining down and a temperature around 30°F.

09
Nov
2013
jloomis

Snowmobiling Near Jean Lake and to Bonney Meadows

Picture of Snowmobiling on Bennett Pass Road

After a couple days of rain in the mountains, the snow level came back down and a few inches of fresh snow fell around Mt Hood. I wasn't sure if there would be enough snow to snowmobile, but my friend John and I decided to chance it and head up to Bennett Pass on Saturday. The SnoPark at Bennett Pass is about 9 miles East of Government Camp, Oregon across from Mount Hood Meadows ski resort off Hwy 35. It is often the only SnoPark around Mt Hood with enough snow to snowmobile this early in the season.

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