Ascent of Altoona Hill on 2009-10-05

Climber: Edward Earl

Date:Monday, October 5, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Altoona Hill
    Elevation:1200 ft / 365 m

Ascent Trip Report

From WA-4 in Rosburg, which is 48 miles W of I-5 or 15 miles E of US-101, I turned S on Altoona Pillar Rock Rd. Call this point mile 0.0. At 3.6 miles is a junction with Eden Valley Rd on the L; I went straight. At 3.9 miles is bunch of junk cars on the L. Soon after this point the road begins to go directly along the shoreline. At 5.0 miles is a pullout on the R. A sign warns that trucks, trailers, and RVs may have trouble turning around beyond this point. At 5.7 miles, just before the road enters the forest and begins to climb away from the shore, is an obscure gravel road on the L. I turned up this road and after just 0.1 mile entered a cleacut with a locked logging gate and a pullout on the R, suitable for turning around and/or parking. I parked here.

I hiked around the gate. Just a couple hundred feet later I made a sharp L turn at a junction and soon found myself on top of Pigeon Bluff. There were nice open views of the Columbia River estuary, the Astoria Bridge, and Saddle Mtn, the Clatsop OR county HP. I continued up the ridge as the road entered a forest and began traversing around the S side of "Point 1050+". The 24K topo map shows several junctions a short distance SE of the center of section 10, but these are hardly noticeable in the field. The 3-way fork at the midpoint of the border between sections 10 and 11 is obvious; I continued up the middle branch. The T-junction at the center of section 11 is obvious and the main road turns R; the road to the L is becoming overgrown. Just after the road topped out at a point SW of the summit of Altoona, I found an overgrown roadbed which made an ascending traverse of the forested S face of the hill. I followed it for a few minutes to where it made its closest approach to the summit. Finally I struck off straight uphill to the N and in a couple of minutes arrived at the summit. The forest floor is littered with so much rotting wood that there is hardly any soil. A couple of stumps, about 100 feet apart E to W, are the candidates for the highest ground.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1000 ft / 304 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    Trailhead:Pigeon Bluff  200 ft / 60 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 

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