Ridgeline blowdowns after January ice storm

After last week’s ice storm (press, post), I thought Ridgeline Tr would have been damaged. I was not prepared for the extent of the ice’s destruction. The good news is that the weak plants and trees are gone; plus, human traffic will be limited for several months imho. Some sections were blowdowns I’ve seen in the higher cascade foothills – scrambling over, around, on top of, underneath, etc … I came home with dirty pants and wet feet.

The hike was fabulous – a real hike! A great reminder that woods (even tho in the city) can turn upside down regardless of. how maintained the trails are. I think it will take months to clean up the trail. Between Spring Blvd and Spencer I counted ~25 blowdowns that required more than a ‘step over’; towards Blanton, no less at the right elevation.

Those are just examples of the obstacles in the trail. 

The Route

Started at Spring Blvd and then to Spencer Top. The section between Ridgeline and the ‘summit’ trail junction was the worst of the entire trail – did not want to do that section multiple times. From the top, went down to S. Willamette and back to the top. From the top went down past N. Willamette for a distance and then turned around – skipping Spencer on the return.

Trail conditions were challenging – not dangerous; just dirty and slow going in sections. Mud on the trail, some snow under fallen branches, and a few tree-root holes from blowdowns.

Warning: I would NOT take dogs or smaller children until the trail is clean.

Looking out

The fog was thick when I started with a headlamp; and the first time atop Spencer was thickly fogged. the second trip had a bit of blue sky, but hardly any sun …

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