Six of us left early and were on the Hardesty trail at 8 am. with cloudy skies, calm wind, and temperatures in the 30s. We worked our way up to the snow level, just below Eula Ridge junction. Between Eula and the trail junction to Sawtooth Ridge, we encountered one stretch of snow on low hanging brush that got some of us a face full of the stuff. Still, the trail only had about an inch or two of snow, if that, and the woods were beautiful, with the ferns covered. We got on the Ridge trail and immediately descended, with the unease that we would be ascending that later when we were a lot more tired. We passed the junction to the trail leading to the Umpqua basin, then encountered bright sun by Sawtooth Rock. We passed Lost Creek trail and decided to try going up Mt. June as planned, although we were concerned that the steepness of the trail and the snow might make it impassable. Fortunately, there were remarkably few difficulties, and we ate lunch on the summit. Unfortunately, it was too cloudy to see the Cascades, although at times it looked like we might get lucky. Fortunately, the wind was calm. Unfortunately, we had to go back down and climb all the places we had descended.
After a lot of work, we took a brief break at Hardesty, seeing some mountain bike tracks that were headed towards Eula Ridge. (That must have been interesting.) We rapidly descended, encountering the first other people we had seen all day, and got back to the trailhead at 4:15. I had long wanted to see the whole Sawtooth trail. There are easier ways to see it, and the ridge is really nice. I was fortunate to have a strong group, all of whom hung in there, pushed themselves to do something very difficult, and had a good time while doing it.Members: Mike Smith, Darian Morray, Lynn Meacham, David Strutin, Ben Brown, Steven Koester.
Winter wonderland at the Mt. June summit—photo by Darian Morray
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