Both to catch a sunrise and to test out a new backpack (Osprey Exos 58) headed out to Mary’s Peak Conners Camp / East Ridge TH (All Trails). The trip to TH passed thru agricultural land pitch-black; stopped to look at the stars with the car telling me 37 degrees – when I left TH, 41 degrees. An associated pic gallery of the sunrise is published here

At TH, the sun, clouds and wind were more than expected, but the wind blew so hard it moved retracted trekking poles around on top of the car like toothpicks.

Setting out around 7:00 it was light enough to see rocks, roots and mud. It was cold, windy and the leaves/ground cover wet. Not long and the sun broke out above me in patches, and then fully over the ridge

After about an hour, from the summit the views were spectacular. The wind was raging cold stinging any exposed skin. Gloves were necessary and if stopping more than a moment, a shell and down jacket. Took a few quick pictures and then down toward the North Ridge out of the wind, but back into the mists.

Coming back down the meadow, the trees caught the sun perfectly to show old brown growth, recent dark green growth, and this year’s light green.

From here, it was down the switchbacks on North Ridge to the C2C trail. After about a mile on the C2C, I turned around due to boredom and the draw of Mary’s Peak behind me. Back to the top …

Fav creature pic of the trip

Summary: This was the 5x on Mary’s this year all starting at the same TH and not one hike the same. The weather can be extreme relative to the valley below – especially winds and mist / fog. The first 6 miles of this hike went like this: 1 – cold, windy, clear; 2 – cold, windy, mist / fog; 3 – v cold, v windy, clear; 4 – cold, windy, mist; and 5 – warm and clear. Finding the lesser traveled routes and timings seems easy and Mary’s Peak is worth the trip and the effort. As stated last time, paying attention to the subtle micro-climate / ecosystems pays fascinating dividends, and the area is easy to access (close in) for a rational carbon cost.

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