It was cold this morning; around 30 degrees. Water everywhere the day before froze … and even maybe a bit of snow. Driving to the hill was a challenge, and I relied on all the branches and leaves in the road to avoid and skim over the ice (glad i was not driving DOWN the hill).
Needless to say, there were few people on the hill and the weather was supreme – cold, crisp and clean. The hike started at N. Willamette TH, then to the top (was going to bounce up and down from top, but the ice was terrible at the beginning of the rock stairs all the way to the top), and then to Baldy and then back to the top, then to the car.
Getting started was a challenge as I forgot my camera, dropped my gloves, … it took 3 starts as I was in such a hurry to get to the top.
The first time to the top starting at the beginning of the stairs was a simple – test the traction, step, test, step, etc … it took forever to go up. Coming down was like walking a tight-rope as every step had to be intent-fully placed to avoid ice (going down it’s easier to see than coming up). Regardless, at the top the first time, the pics were amazing.
Heading down and over to Baldy caught the sun as it broke free from the mists and the ridge … another wonderful sunrise through the forest.
The second time at the top, the sun was really shining and the visibility was improved, especially to the east toward the spine of the Cascades. These are the days when one wants the best possible camera they can carry. I met another hiker (not any where near the top) carrying a huge DSLR and 1-foot lens; he had to cradle the contraption in both arms to carry it. While I’m sure the pics were great, the effort and the limitations are not for me.
Key learning from the hike – it’s time to throw the micro-spikes into the pack and if the spikes go, so do the sunglasses.