One of the peculiarities of winter here in the Bear Creek and Rogue River valleys is the inversion. Between storms, when the winds are quiet, cold air can become trapped (inverted) under a warm layer about 1,000 feet above the valley floor. Then it metamorphoses into a thick layer of dense, gloomy Mordor-esque fog near the ground. This gloom can, if you don’t arm yourself with a technological augury, fool you into moping around the house feeling sorry for yourself because it’s too gloomy to go hiking. Oh, boo hoo. 😥

To avoid unnecessary moping, we’ve learned to use the webcams at the Mount Ashland ski area to see whether the gloom outside is due to an inversion or to storm clouds stacked to the heavens. If it’s an inversion, we go up to hike; if it’s storm clouds, we quickly rationalize continued moping. This morning the cameras showed just an inversion, with sunlight and a dusting of fresh snow not far above us on Roxy Ann Peak. So off we went for a short morning exercise hike up the peak. There we enjoyed making the first (human) tracks in the new snow and savored the sunlight while it lasted (which wasn’t long 🙄 )!

Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Light snow fell on Roxy Ann overnight
Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Ascending the Manzanita Trail
Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Mount McLoughlin from the Manzanita Trail
Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Continuing up the Manzanita Trail
Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Mount McLoughlin and valley fog from the Manzanita Trail
Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
High clouds, valley fog, and Grayback Mountain from the Manzanita Trail
Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Continuing up the Manzanita Trail
Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Looking south from Roxy Ann toward Grizzly Peak, with fog almost bridging the ridge
Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Mount Ashland (arrow) and valley fog from Roxy Ann Peak
Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Our first sighting of vulcanic activity in 2019 😎
Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Returning via the Ponderosa Trail
Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Grayback Mountain (center) from the Ponderosa Trail, with clouds above and fog below
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