Sunday, September 10, 2006
It's a Mountain, You Moraine!
This is Mt. Hood. We hiked a trail called Cooper Spur yesterday, which goes part of the way up Mt. Hood and ends at a glacier. If you want to climb the rest of Mt. Hood you have to tie in to each other and go out on the glacier with crampons and ice axes. Maybe someday in the future. As it was, Cooper Spur pretty much killed us. The trail is very rocky and sandy, so that every step sinks or slips right out from under you. It also goes up in altitude to the very end. Sometimes we just went straight up the ravine and other times we went on long switchbacks that were meant to make the altitude easier to take, but were mentally challenging. You would think you were getting to the end and then it would turn you around and send you back across the side of the mountain. Our guidebook leaves a little to be desired and we took a couple of wrong turns making an eight mile hike a ten mile one. We were exhausted at the end, and our poor dog added another item to his list of grievances against us. He started out very excited but soon started laying down every time he thought we might be resting, and then he started favoring his paws. First his back foot and then later his front foot. We finally realized that Eliot was cramping. His feet were pulling up against his body and he would just cry and roll on his back. I didn't even know that could happen. He had been given plenty of water, so at that point we started feeding him oranges and dried fruit and nuts, and we carried him for the last half mile.
Despite all of that, it was still the most incredible hike we have ever done. Sergio heard the glacier crack once, which sounded like faraway thunder, and I was able to add a couple of classics to my bad hiking photos collection.
If you look on the left side of the picture you will see the ravine we hiked along for awhile. The valley is the moraine left behind from other glaciers. There is a great creek at the bottom.
The rocks were really loose, so this was probably dangerous. You didn't want to hike below each other here because large rocks would just tumble down the hill.
This is Eliot glacier.
It was about 60 degrees most of the day, then the sun went behind the mountain and it dropped into the high forties.
Eliot sneaking in a rest.
This is the view backwards from the mountain. We eventually got above those clouds and found two mountains in the distance we hadn't been able to see below the clouds.
I told you there were some good ones to add to the collection. My shirt is on my head because the wind hurts my ears. There is an even better picture that we can't download right now.