Mary’s Peak – up & around

The best plans sometimes work out. Without too much concern of the weather, I headed up to Mary’s Peak with 30l day pack. The plan was to leave very early to arrive at the East Ridge (Conner’s Camp) TH in time to catch the sunrise (the TH is an open flat space w/ view to the east). I arrived in time and while waiting to take these there were a couple of Barred Owls singing back and forth to each other (or telling me to go home!)

Oddly, there was a truck camper in the parking lot; while I enjoy company, TH camping is not ok. … Not 5 minutes after that last pic, low-level clouds and mist rolled in and mostly stayed the entire day. Pics are a mix of Nikon (good) and iPhoneSE2 (ok); SE2 pics will be noted and Nikon pics will be in gallery with active links to full resolution pic.

This was the 4x on Mary’s Peak this season; ice and snow, sun and wind, and this time – mist and rain. My kind of hill.

A quick but steep 1 hour walk up to the top following the East Ridge trail to the ‘summit’ (unnamed) trail that goes off to the left after a mile or so from TH, I was at the top with high winds and rain. Mary’s Peak reminds me of places in the Gorge and in New England where you hike your butt off to the top and BAAM! there’s some man-made structure or parking lot. Mary’s has both, and here’s the top. These things make noises too – they hum.

PhoneSE2 pic

Not long after this around the corning going down, the clouds broke and …

iPhoneSE2 pic

Further down the meadow, the Nikon emerged from waterproof bag (look closely to the right in the close-up of the grass for the spiderweb – accident)

The water, sun, grass and mists on the meadow could have been so many like places across the northern areas …

Two striking sightings during the hike but neither actual wildlife.

First, this small tree grew up the rotting trunk of an older tree. The newer tree’s top is hardly visible off to the top right, but it was vibrantly living like this!

On the other side of life, it seems this is a great example of a porcupine’s ability to girdle at tree – effectively killing it by cutting off all flow between roots and leaves.

iPhoneSE2 pic

The hike started at Conner’s Camp TH went up the summit trail to the top and then down to the end of the North Ridge trail to Woods Creek TH and then back via East Ridge trail to Conner’s Camp TH. Without the views at the top, the scenery can be monotonous unless one pays close attention to the different forest types with their unique trees, ground covers, smells and openness. A misty rainy day made the trip even better.

Gear surprise: The requirement for higher gaiters surfaced when ground cover trailside is wet from heavy dew or rain – without them, lower pant legs are quickly wet chilling the legs.

GaiaGPS details

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