Forums Trip Reports Broken Top -Crater Bowl & SW Ridge, June 30-July 1
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  • #575037
    551 Posts

    Gotta’ love the late season snowpack! July turns on Broken Top’s southside yielded some excellent corn and riding!

    I awoke Thursday morning at the normal time for work and made the drive south as usual, but instead of going into the office, I headed east across Highway 58 to the Cascade Lakes Highway. It was raining as I left home, but the forecast was calling for sun breaks in the afternoon, and by the time I arrived at the Todd Lake trailhead to meet Todd, the South Sister, Broken Top, and Bachelor were in plain view. We shouldered our overnight packs and started skinning from the Cascade Lakes Highway, as the road to Todd Lake was still snow covered. Todd Lake, at an elevation of 6150 feet still had 4-5 feet of snow. We gained the ridge above the lake and three miles later found a suitable place to camp near the base of Broken Top. Here’s the view from my tent…

    After we had our camp all tidied up, we boiled some water and caught a few Z’s. An hour or so later, we set out towards the Crater Bowl, not sure what we wanted to ride. We elected to head up into the bowl, and save the longer SW ridge for the next day. Here’s Todd skinning towards the Crater….

    After an hour or so of climbing, we reached the cirque that defines the lower reaches of the Crook Glacier. The 11 ‘O Clock couloir was still skiable, but didn’t look too enticing as we saw some pretty good rockfall on either side of it. We ascended an obvious route to the east of the couloir….

    The views from the top were impressive, with the Middle & North Sister to the west, among the other peaks….

    After milling about on top for a bit, we strapped in for some riding back down the steep pitch we’d climbed. I snapped a few pictures of Todd (I haven’t got his pics of me from this route yet). Here’s a couple of shots….

    We rode most of the way back to camp, though I stopped at the flats to switch to skinning after eating shit big time on some of the serious runnels. After whiplashing my head, I decided runnel riding on very flat terrain sucks! Evening came and after a freeze dried dinner of Macroni & Cheese, Todd built a fire and I snapped a few photos of my illuminated tent w/Broken Top in the background. Here’s a shot showing my tent and the glow (to the right) of Todd’s fire…

    Sleep came pretty easy that night, but it got damn cold and my water bottle froze. Not to worry though, the sun was out in force and things warmed up pretty early. There wasn’t the slightest hint of a breeze as we set out and skinned to the base of the south ridge. At the ridge, we switched to crampons and booted up to the point at 8100 feet. The views were nice and we took a deserved break in the shade. I was surprised to find some elk tracks in the dirt where the snow had melted back (and some turds in the snow :scratch: ) from the previous fall. We continued up after our break, climbing a steep slope of about 50 degrees for a couple hundred feet before traversing across a rock ridge to the SW ridge proper. An hour or so later, we were standing on top of Broken Top’s west summit at almost 9100 feet. Here’s the view looking into the crater bowl from just below the summit. The line we skied the evening before is just to the left of the rocky high point in the middle of the photo…

    The views to the north from the top were excellent. In the below photo, you can see Mt Adams, Mt Hood, Mt Jefferson, Three Fingered Jack, Mt Washington, North Sister and Middle Sister. Looking to the west and south we could see the South Sister, Mt Bachelor, Paulina Peak, Diamond Peak, Mt. Bailey, Mt Thielsen, and Mt Scott.

    Here’s a shot of my mug w/the South Sister in the background….

    We downclimbed the ridge and strapped in for some July turns! Todd snapped a few photos of me with my camera while I shot some video of him with his. Here’s a few shots of the upper pitch…

    We rode a ways down into the main bowl on the SW ridge, then crossed over to the ride the steep southeast facing slopes back to camp.

    Back at camp after a couple of long days,we packed up in the heat and skinned the 3.5 miles out to the truck, which consists of a monotonous view of snow and thick trees. I broke one of my poles at Todd Lake, and had to skin with one pole for a mile, which sucked royally! Back at the truck hot and tired, I was pretty happy with the past two days work. Turns in July are sometimes hard to come by, but not this year in Oregon! This July marked 68 months of consecutive riding for me, which was an added bonus to an excellent trip. The snow in the Three Sister’s area should be good for several weeks still!

    700 Posts



    Nice! looks good. im goin on tues and wed…

    551 Posts

    Should still be really good on Tue/Wed. The west side will definitely be good still. The south side is starting to melt out some, but should be good for another week or two.

    105 Posts

    that’s a fun looking trip

    875 Posts

    Thanks for the volcano stoke!

    165 Venture Divide/Spark Frankenburners/La Sportiva Spantiks
    163W Jones Solution/Phantom Alphas/Dynafit TLT5s
    162 Furberg


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