A snowy day on Barrett Spur - 2013/10/13

This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
Post Reply
User avatar
Guy
Posts: 3331
Joined: May 10th, 2009, 4:42 pm
Location: The Foothills of Mt Hood
Contact:

A snowy day on Barrett Spur - 2013/10/13

Post by Guy » October 14th, 2013, 4:26 pm

Image
Opening pic

After rabid swan's great TR on his trip up Barrett Spur last week we thought we would give it a go too!

We arrived at the Vista Ridge TH just after 9:30, the road is currently in the best condition I can ever remember it being in, I could even travel the gravel sections at about 30 mph in our little Kia! About 1:20 traveling time from Sandy. Only one other car there that had arrived just before us. The driver was someone we had met the previous weekend on top of McNeil Ridge, great minds think alike!

We set off on a snow free trail, started getting a few patches of snow at about 5000' & the trail was snow covered by about 5400. We were packing snowshoes but didn't need them here the snow was nicely compacted.

Image

We were soon at the Timberline Trail & could still see rabid swans snow shoe tracks heading off in the direction of Barrett Spur - we followed.

Image

It was a beautiful morning to be on the mountain..

Image

At about 6400' conditions changed, an intermittent cloud layer was leaking over the ridge line from the East & the snow had turned icy. Chizuru had her micro spikes with her which were the best option but Chiyoko & I had to use our snow shoes to get a bit of extra grip.

Image

The next half mile was a bit of a slog in cold thick cloud with very poor visibility, If I hadn't been there before I would have turned around, we found out later that the person we had talked to in the parking lot did just that. Every so often though the Sun would almost break through so I knew the cloud layer was thin & hoped we would climb above it. (At least that's what I told Chiyoko & Chizuru ;^)..

Image

Image
Picking our way through the frozen forest!

The Frozen Forest was tough going, the snow drifts were running East West & were frozen hard so we were always having to climb up & over them. Finally the trees began to give way & so I knew we were getting closer but you would never guess it from the view.

Image

Just as my hiking partners were beginning to question my choice of hike for the day & the wisdom of continuing we were given a bit of hope, a small patch of blue sky above the clouds!

Image

Then finally we were rewarded with a view of the mountain as we broke through the cloud layer.

Image

The clouds would come & go every couple of minutes & the view was constantly changing.

Image
Barrett Spur

Image

Image
Looking West over to McNeil

Image
Time of some hot coffee

Image
With a little fortification ;^).

I couldn't persuade Chiyoko & Chizuru to do a jump shot so I had to give it a go!

Image

The ladies did make a snowman though :)

Image

Then it was time to head back down.

Image

Image

Image

We were soon back down at the Vista Ridge trail junction & hiking through the burnt trees back to the trailhead. We only saw 2 other people the the whole day long, the same guy at the beginning & end of our hike at the trailhead and one other who was heading back down the Vista Ridge trail just in front of us.

Image

A few more photos of our great day on the mountain can be found here or watch this:

http://youtu.be/I-49tV-dpBo

8.3 miles & 3325' of EG.

If you have a free day this week & this incredible fall weather holds - head on up there you wont be disappointed!
hiking log & photos.
Ad monte summa aut mors

User avatar
cincodemayo
Posts: 76
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:01 pm

Re: A snowy day on Barrett Spur - 2013/10/13

Post by cincodemayo » October 14th, 2013, 6:24 pm

Thank you for inviting me to another fantastic hike!

It could be my first or second time I had really encounter mountain weather - changing so quickly.
It was a technical hike but glad to experience such an adventure.

Without someone who is passionate to drive that far and has determination to do it under the fast changing weather, I couldn't do it. Thank you to Guy and Chiyoko :D

I saw a lot of stunning beauty in nature.

Great photos and great jump shots!

Chizuru

User avatar
jamesthehiker
Posts: 209
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: A snowy day on Barrett Spur - 2013/10/13

Post by jamesthehiker » October 15th, 2013, 8:30 am

Fantastic pictures and description of your trip. Anytime you want to teach a photography class, I’ll sign up. :) I was the guy in front of you folks on the way out of the trail that day. I thought you folks looked familiar possibly from the website, would have been a good time to show my portlandhikers badge, ha, ha.

My goal was also Barrett Spur but turned around above Dollar Lake as the clouds were looking ominous and increasingly worse. I ended up checking out Elk Cove instead. That is awesome that you folks succeeded. When I reached the Timberline Trail in the morning I also saw you folks climbing the snow wall (your 4th picture), that seems like a more direct approach but isn’t that pretty steep? I’ve only climbed to Barrett via Dollar Lake but may try that route next time.

Again, great pictures and description!

User avatar
Rabid Swan
Posts: 77
Joined: June 22nd, 2012, 9:27 am

Re: A snowy day on Barrett Spur - 2013/10/13

Post by Rabid Swan » October 15th, 2013, 11:27 am

You got some great photos up there. I love it when those wispy clouds slide in front of Hood. Better than a bluebird day IMO. I've always wondered what my old tracks look like...

User avatar
Guy
Posts: 3331
Joined: May 10th, 2009, 4:42 pm
Location: The Foothills of Mt Hood
Contact:

Re: A snowy day on Barrett Spur - 2013/10/13

Post by Guy » October 15th, 2013, 4:37 pm

Thanks guys

Rabid Swan, your tracks were visible up to about 6500' after which they had been scoured from the mountain! Looking at all the horizontal Ice build up on the trees & rocks I can only imagine how horrible it must be up there in bad weather!

James, good to (almost) meet you :) Yes that snow bank is quite steep but the snow was perfect on Sunday for climbing up that, not slippy at all & our feet sank in only an inch or two. What I have done on early summer trips up there when that snow bank is too hard & steep for me to climb I just gain the ridge right there at the Vista Ridge junction & take that ridge line all the way up. Next time you are up there try making a loop out of it (well a triangle) using the Vista Ridge & Dollar Lake routes.

Cheers.
hiking log & photos.
Ad monte summa aut mors

User avatar
Born2BBrad
Posts: 1046
Joined: May 1st, 2011, 7:26 pm
Location: The Dalles

Re: A snowy day on Barrett Spur - 2013/10/13

Post by Born2BBrad » October 16th, 2013, 8:47 am

Great TR Guy!

It's something to ponder for this upcoming weekend.

Brad
Make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again.
- Jean Luc Picard

Link to GPX tracks
Link to Trip Reports

User avatar
Splintercat
Posts: 8265
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Portland
Contact:

Re: A snowy day on Barrett Spur - 2013/10/13

Post by Splintercat » October 16th, 2013, 6:58 pm

Nice report, Guy -- loving all those early snow pics of the mountain! This is why fall is my favorite alpine season: flowers are nice, but you can't be a fresh dusting of snow, fall colors and brilliant blue sky... and GREAT cool temps for hiking... AND no dust or bugs... did I mention that fall is my favorite alpine season..? :lol:

Thanks for posting!

Tom :)

User avatar
Eric Peterson
Posts: 4083
Joined: May 11th, 2009, 5:39 am
Location: Oregon
Contact:

Re: A snowy day on Barrett Spur - 2013/10/13

Post by Eric Peterson » October 16th, 2013, 7:27 pm

Guy wrote:Image
Love this one!

Great report Guy, hope to hike with you again someday!

User avatar
Guy
Posts: 3331
Joined: May 10th, 2009, 4:42 pm
Location: The Foothills of Mt Hood
Contact:

Re: A snowy day on Barrett Spur - 2013/10/13

Post by Guy » October 17th, 2013, 5:56 pm

Thanks for the kind words Brad, Tom & Eric! I was down in the dumps with all the rain we had in September but I'm loving hiking in new snow on these Sunny October Weekends :)
hiking log & photos.
Ad monte summa aut mors

User avatar
Roy
Posts: 2824
Joined: January 25th, 2010, 6:35 pm

Re: A snowy day on Barrett Spur - 2013/10/13

Post by Roy » October 17th, 2013, 8:12 pm

Stunning tr Guy love the upper Mt shots.
i-hznnWVz-L.jpg
Years ago I saw a similar picture in a hiking or climbing magazine and it asked what Himalayan peak was in the photo. Gave some choices when you looked on the back page for the answer of course it said Mt Hood Oregon.
The downhill of the mind is harder than the uphill of the body. - Yuichiro Miura

Post Reply