A 28 degree Spencer Butte fast-hike yesterday (Nov 15) like cross country skiing on hiking boots. Fast up the butte to catch a sunrise. With the cold, staying on highly traveled routes with deicer put the fast-hike start at Ridgeline Trail Fox Hollow trailhead.
At trailhead, ice / frost remained on top of car; no question about how cold the air.
- Fast to Spencer Butte top for sunrise
- Top to Mt Baldy
- Mt Baldy back to the top
- Top to N. Willamette TH (break / rest)
- N. Willamette to top
- Top to Dillard and then back to car at Fox Hollow
- 3x at top of Spencer Butte
Catching the sunrise
Fast-hike from Fox Hollow to Spencer Butte top takes just over 30 minutes. I left the car just past 6:30 headlamp on, and between the beginning of the stone stairs just out of the trees to the top – sunrise.
During this first segment, a 2-3 year old male deer met me on the path. His antlers were just poking out about 3-6 inches (it was pretty dark). This was the first male deer I’ve seen over the last few years on Spencer Butte, though he was young. 3 photo attempts before he disappeared failed to capture a quality shot.
Once the sun rose, the cold remained. My gloves stayed on until after the 2nd time at the top. Human traffic was manageable with many of the same early morning hikers I see most times. This hike had more small children than typical, especially given the cold. One little one after my greeting excitedly told the dad, “he said ‘power-on!’, let’s go dad” … and they picked up speed going up. The views were so worth it.
Photo of day
After fast-hike up Spencer Butte in very cold air, the sunrise caught these two trees perfectly looking toward the NW.