Mount Hood Wilderness, Oregon
~8 miles, ~2800 feet elevation gain
|Eliot Glacier icefall|
Perched high on Mount Hood's northeastern flank is Cooper Spur, a beautiful but barren landscape swept clean by wind, scoured by the harsh realities of nature at this altitude on the mountain.
For me, it is spiritual place, the narrowing down of the self, the confrontation with the realization of your insignificance in the world and the humility which comes with that reality.
It is nothing but footsteps on ravaged soil, and the burning of lungs with each step higher. It is harsh sun, your eyes forced downward in the glare. It is tenacious, scrubby flowers scrambling for purchase on pumice-ridden slopes. Ancient ice fall. Long views across the horizon. The only constant is the ever-changing face of the mountain (with the seasons, with the light, with the altitude gained with each fighting footstep and breath) looming before you.
This is one of my favorite places.
|Mount Jefferson & the Three Sisters are visible today|
|Tie-in-Rock lies beyond the last bit of trail|
|Deciding to do a 'standing glissade' down the trail|
|all-wheel drive helps|
|where I came from|
|Cooper Spur shelter & Mount Adams|