Monday, August 19, 2013

Mt. McLoughlin - My first solo mountain trip in OR

Today I did my first solo mountain run/summit since moving to Oregon: Mount Mcloughlin. It is the highest peak in Southern Oregon. The route (mileage and elevation gain: 5,600ft to 9,495ft in 5.5 miles for a total of 11 miles round trip) is very similar to Mount Wrightson in Tucson except Mcloughlin  is much more technical and the trail can be very hard to follow. I got off route at least 3 times. The final time I ended up on the side of the peak on my hands and feet crawling on loose scree towards the summit. Right before top out I got back on the ridgeline, where I was supposed to be.
Had I not been bee-bopping around, taking photos and getting lost, I think I could've run this in a pretty decent time. Today I clocked 01:32 to the summit and 1 hour back down. It was an awesome run. It felt great to be back out in the mountains; in the wilderness and away from town. I do miss all my mountain running friends in Tucson though. Mountain adventures and the beauty of nature are sometimes better shared with good company. I miss you TTR!!!

Enjoy my run in photos:

Mt. Mcloughlin in the distance on the way to the TH

how not to get off route on the way down

Nice single track to start

The Mt. McLoughlin Trail crosses the Pacific Crest Trail



My friend, the timer taking my photo

It just kept getting rockier

Scree near the summit

Still beautiful, even under a blanket of smoke

Smoke covered mountains

View from the top before the thick smoke started rolling in

Konga approved Mountain

Follow the ridgeline back to the trail ( I skipped some of this on my way up)

Wind blowing the wild fire smoke back in

A song I've been loving:

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