It’s kind of funny how many hikes around here include the words “___ Mountain” or “Mount ___”. Most of these simply can’t be mountains. Is 4000 feet a mountain?
Anyway, I’ve had my sights on this hike for a while now as it gains a lot of elevation and has amazing views of the Gorge (are these hikes sounding redundant?). After buying some new winter boots and microspikes (look them up, they’re awesome) this appeared to be the perfect hike to break everything in with before I got to any more serious climbs. The snow level dropped just to around 3000 feet which would allow me to get some good walking in with the boots, test the ACTUAL ‘weather-proof’ level of my clothes, and (so I’d hoped) get to use the spikes a bit… all in a comfortable 8 miles.
Well, the hike didn’t disappoint. My main 2 goals were to make sure I was good on gear for a snow hike and actually see some Oregon snow. So, check and check. On to the pics.
This was kind of cool. The trail met up with the Pacific Crest Trail a couple of times so I’m assuming this was built by a PCT hiker. It was perched on the edge of about a 30 foot drop off with a roaring stream at the bottom.
This part of the trail marked the beginning of the Heartbreak Ridge Trail. I tried my best to give a good perspective of just how freaking steep it was. I was on my hands and knees for some of it.
Ah the ol rock field. I’ve done enough hikes to pass through a couple of these already so I wasn’t particularly intimidated by this being in the hike description. This one was BY FAR the worst. It took probably half an hour and a few scrapes and bruises to get through this. That may not sound all that long but with loose rocks the whole way, it wasn’t my favorite part of the hike. The fog made it seem endless as well.
After reaching snow level everything was gorgeous.
Even an iPhone doesn’t have trouble making this look cool.
And one of my favorite pics. There was a strong wind coming from one side of the “mountain” leaving one side covered in white and the other completely green. This thing had the unfortunate place of being on the crest of the summit.
Another crest pic. This one led to the south summit.
South Summit. Because of the weather I didn’t have a view. That may have been for the best as I’ve heard it’s one of the more terrifying ones in the gorge. It’s going on my list with Neahkanie to re-hike when it gets sunny again.
And one more.