To test out backpack gear for next week’s Sisters’ Loop, a good ramble up, down and around Mary’s Peak hit the mark. Planning for the test had me going back and forth between Hardesty to June or Mary’s Peak. Mary’s presented greater options for up / down and distance depending on gear results.

First, 5 days of gear (food) is heavy. My first pass had my pack at 30lbs – yikes! I removed 1/2 pound for this run. I’ve already reduced another 2 pounds after return.

The hike …

Weather was finally cool for summer and the clouds rolled in from the coast (some fog too).

After hike a bit, I described it as layers – there was fog, then clear areas, then clouds and finally clear sky atop. This summer in OR has been unique in my lifetime.

Hitting the East Ridge trail (3x this season) around 7:00 and the sunrise thru the mist was remarkable.

The view the first time to the top was just as expected with the mists and clouds.

Not surprising after the last couple of weeks, the wildflowers in the upper meadows were struggling, but … some kept beauty shining

Mary’s Peak was kind this day … other hikers were few but all friendly and more ‘serious’ hikers than one encounters at Spencer’s Butte. 4-legged wildlife was scarce, but the birds were singing all day long :). The hike went from East Ridge TH to the top, then down North Ridge to end, then back to top and finally to car.

All Trails Factoids
Day 1 – Distance: 14.81 miles | Elevation Gain: 3,701 ft | Avg Pace 25.27 / miles — Recording

Gear TypeFor this Hike
PackGranite Gear Crown2
Comment: weight distribution was terrible and my shoulders took the brunt – working on rebalancing, changed waist belt and added shoulder strap padding. Pack cannot carry 3L Gregory water resevoir
ShoesTopo Ultraventure Trailrunners – (REI Link)
Comment: Extra cushioning was appreciated with heavier load – will use these except with big water like Mt Hood / Timberline where Terraventure will work better (dry faster)
Top LayersBaselayer LS
Bottom LayerREI Sahara convertible pants
Comment: removed lower sections after first couple miles – much better w/out squitos!
SocksDual layer: REI silk liners + REI lightweight Merino wool
GaiterREI ‘On the Trail Gaiters’
WaterBladder 2 L + 750ml bottle (consumed only 1 L in bladder)
Tentnone used
Supporting toolsBlack Diamond Alpine Carbon Trekking poles

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