Coldest valley hike this season

Coldest valley hike this season on Ridgeline and Spencer Butte with starting temperature below 25 degrees and clouds. A great opportunity to get out early catch a sunrise and test out new gear.

The hike route (recorded track)

Today’s coldest valley hike was nearly same as recent hike between storms a couple of weeks ago. Started around 6am at Spring Blvd trailhead (TH) then to Spencer Butte top; down to S. Willamette TH and back up to Spencer Butte top; then down to Blanton Ridge TH and back to Spencer top; then, finally back to car @ Spring Blvd TH. Basically, Ridgeline Trail end to end with 3 Spencer Butte tops mixed in – around 19 miles.

Carbon Karma tax ratio: 407 minutes hiking / 30 minutes driving = 13.5 (lower guardrail = 3)

Coldest hike conditions

When I started out, it was below 25 degrees. Any standing water was ice. Another hiker started at TH around same time and the 3-lighted runner was on the trail again, too. I had 4 top layers with a new Torrid Jacket on the outside. The Torrid is synthetic fill and incredibly warm, even if wet – a perfect shoulder season warm / wet jacket. Regardless, after 45 minutes I was hot, and removed the jacket.

After the two humans at the TH, no others were encountered until the last leg to Spencer Butte’s top. There was snow, ice and the trail was quite hard. A couple of places higher up were tricky to navigate with ice but only a couple yards each.

Seasonal sunrise

Even with the cold, clouds and a heavy atmosphere made for an odd sunrise on the coldest valley hike this season

Clear cut timber areas show more in the snow, saddly.

Several of the regular Tuesday hikers were on the trail at same time … they’ve become friends without names ….

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