I caught a Ridgeline Trail fast-hike as weather turned from cold clear mornings to Oregon winter’s rain, fog, mist and grey sky. After two weeks of cold, clear weather (the last real rain was 11-07, a tiny rain on 11-12), weather bots promised winter rains in the afternoon. The morning temperature was a muggy 40 something and no fog. A great day to enjoy Ridgeline Tr and Spencer Butte.

Ridgeline Tr Route

  • Start = Blanton Ridge TH to Spencer Butte top
  • Spencer to S. Willamette TH and back to Spencer Butte top
  • Spencer to Mt Baldy and a short break
  • Mt Baldy to Spencer Butte top
  • Spencer top back to Blanton Ridge Th

The hike

I started around 6:15 and right on the other side of the Blanton TH meadow, two big whitish eyes reflected in my headlamp – a young deer. The deer quickly walked off outside my light’s beam and vanished without a sound. A solitary deer has been unusual this fall.

By the time, I reached N. Willamette TH, sunrise started with very few cloud breaks for any light to break through. I tried to catch a photo of a red dawn, but not enough light shone through for a good photo. Humans concentrated mostly around Spencer Butte top with a typical early morning crowd.

Weather held for the entire 17.5 miles making 2 top layers and liner gloves the extent of protective clothing. By the time I reached the car around 1:00, the rain arrived. Perfect timing!

From the top

Over the 3 times on Spencer Butte top, the view morphed somewhat from clouds w/ breaks to nothing but clouds and rain.

GaiaGPS Stats – Recorded Track

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