Barrett Spur via Cathedral Ridge 2021/10/03

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rubiks
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Barrett Spur via Cathedral Ridge 2021/10/03

Post by rubiks » October 5th, 2021, 7:37 pm

Photo of the Day:
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Timberline Trail between Wy'East Basin and Cairn Basin

I had all day Sunday free, and figured I should be spending as much time as I could as high as I could before these trails get snowed in for the season. This was my third trip to Barrett Spur, and for one reason or another I didn't go all the way to the southern tip either of the first two times.

I started from Mazama Trailhead right at 8am. Mine was the fourth car there, the other three belonging to backpackers. The Mazama trail up Cathedral Ridge was completely logged out, save the one well-flagged detour around a large tangle of blowdown. Huge thanks to those who did the work. I finally saw another hiker after a few minutes on the Timberline Trail, and saw my first patch of snow for the season soon after at about 5800'.

The plan was to make a little lollipop loop, going up via Dollar Lake and back down to Wy'East. I took the Cairn Basin trail to Wy'East Basin and continued around toward Elk Cove until I hit the Dollar Lake cutoff trail. I found the junction easily, and the short distance up to the lake was much more pleasant than my first time, when I missed the junction and bushwhacked up to the lake about 30 feet from the actual trail. Dollar Lake looked the same ever, and the views really started getting good on the slog up to the saddle below Barrett Spur.
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Heading up from Dollar Lake

About half the people I saw all day were on top of Barrett Spur. It's very clear why folks want to go there.
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Crevasses in Coe Glacier
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Mt. Hood being all dramatic

I was not expecting was how broad and flat the spur is on the southern end. The middle section is narrow and crumbly, and I had just sort of assumed that as you went along it got narrower and crumblier until you turn around.
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Looking north from Barrett Spur
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Looking east towards McNeil Point and ridges beyond

After spending nearly an hour taking in all the views from the top, I headed back down. The light kept getting better and better as the afternoon progressed, which really slowed me down.
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I kept having to stop and turnaround to look at this

This might be my favorite time of the year to be around Mt. Hood. It's that wonderful shoulder season when the fall colors have started and there's fresh snow on the upper slopes, but the trails are still clear. Mt. Hood at its most beautiful.
You know exactly what to do.
There's no need to be afraid.
Keep walking.

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drm
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Re: Barrett Spur via Cathedral Ridge 2021/10/03

Post by drm » October 6th, 2021, 7:05 am

From the broad flat area at the south end, a trail goes left up to more peak-like destinations. Did you see that?

I went up Barrett Spur a couple weeks ago via Vista Ridge. I didn't visit Dollar Puddle, instead going up a trail from near the Vista junction. First time I had gone that way. It joins the other route quite a ways up, maybe at 6600 feet or so.

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Chip Down
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Re: Barrett Spur via Cathedral Ridge 2021/10/03

Post by Chip Down » October 6th, 2021, 4:46 pm

drm wrote:
October 6th, 2021, 7:05 am
From the broad flat area at the south end, a trail goes left up to more peak-like destinations. Did you see that?
Darn, rubiks will have to go back again. :D

Fast, before there's a meter of snow!

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rubiks
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Re: Barrett Spur via Cathedral Ridge 2021/10/03

Post by rubiks » October 6th, 2021, 8:03 pm

drm wrote:
October 6th, 2021, 7:05 am
From the broad flat area at the south end, a trail goes left up to more peak-like destinations. Did you see that?
I saw maybe a hundred more feet along a small rocky ridge I could have continued on, but it didn't look like a trail to me and it definitely didn't go up. Or at least, it would've gone down first.
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That spot on the bottom left?

For reference, here's the broad flat area that surprised me. Both of these pictures were taken from more or less the same spot.
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Looking north at Barrett Spur

Chip Down wrote:
October 6th, 2021, 4:46 pm
drm wrote:
October 6th, 2021, 7:05 am
From the broad flat area at the south end, a trail goes left up to more peak-like destinations. Did you see that?
Darn, rubiks will have to go back again. :D

Fast, before there's a meter of snow!

Aw shucks, how embarrassing :oops:

One of these days I want to do a loop up Barrett Spur, then cross country over to Co Rock and down to McNeil Point. And a loop up McNeil Point and down Yocum Ridge. For some reason, the more I read the forums on this site the more I want to head offtrail to explore. I wonder why that is...
You know exactly what to do.
There's no need to be afraid.
Keep walking.

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adamschneider
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Re: Barrett Spur via Cathedral Ridge 2021/10/03

Post by adamschneider » October 6th, 2021, 10:34 pm

rubiks wrote:
October 6th, 2021, 8:03 pm
For reference, here's the broad flat area that surprised me.
Yeah, it's kind of an unusual spot. There are great alpine wildflower gardens up there in late June and July, when the snow has melted up high but the Timberline Trail is still buried.

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Splintercat
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Re: Barrett Spur via Cathedral Ridge 2021/10/03

Post by Splintercat » October 7th, 2021, 6:58 pm

Nice report and photos! I might have passed you on the trail, too -- I was coming back from the McNeil tarns around 3:30 or 4 PM and ran into a couple folks coming back from that direction (I came up from the Vista ridge TH).

-Tom :-)

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rubiks
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Re: Barrett Spur via Cathedral Ridge 2021/10/03

Post by rubiks » October 8th, 2021, 3:54 pm

Splintercat wrote:
October 7th, 2021, 6:58 pm
Nice report and photos! I might have passed you on the trail, too -- I was coming back from the McNeil tarns around 3:30 or 4 PM and ran into a couple folks coming back from that direction (I came up from the Vista ridge TH).

-Tom :-)
Thanks for the kind words. You must have been the photographer I passed just before one of the Ladd creek crossings, with the nice camera and I think also carrying a tripod. I had my camera either in my hands or clipped onto my shoulder strap. Next time I'll have to stop and say hello!
You know exactly what to do.
There's no need to be afraid.
Keep walking.

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Splintercat
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Re: Barrett Spur via Cathedral Ridge 2021/10/03

Post by Splintercat » October 10th, 2021, 5:45 pm

That was me! Good to (almost) meet you..! :lol:

-Tom :)

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