Scott, Dan and Myself had plans to take a week and tackle a few of the Volcano’s that line the Central Oregon Cascades. Our first objective was Mt Thielsen which is about 5 miles north of Crater Lake National Park. After a longer then expected drive from Seattle to Diamond lake we rushed the trail up to Thielsen around 1 p.m. We skinned as fast as possible to tackle the peak and make it back to the car before it got dark and the weather worsened. Scott and Dan skinning up Mt Thielsen with Diamond lake and Mt Bailey in the distance A closer photo of Dan and myself skinning Photo by Scott By the time we were about 600 vert from the summit the weather had turned for the worse and the cloud level had lowered to below the summit it was time to go. Myself getting ready to ride with Thielsen in the background Photo by Scott
This was my first run with my brand new Prior splitboard (thanks Prior) and I was a little bit sketched dropping in but the board rode great (backcountry split 165).
After dropping off the peak one by one we rode back through the trees all the way back to the car and set up camp. (around 9 miles roundtrip)
Our second objective was Mt Bailey which hosts a cat skiing operation and intricate trails for snowmobiles.
This day we got a late start after getting some much needed sleep. We felt confident in the trail as it was 9 miles on groomed trails. The approach was long and flat for the first 6 miles then the last 3 gains almost 2,000 vert to the summit of Mt Bailey. It was a long brutal approach as we watched the blue Sky’s turn into a nasty front. Dan and Scott skinning up Mt Bailey as we approached the summit Visibility was minimal and Avy danger was high so Instead of riding the Sick SE face we decided to ride some Low angle trees of the western face. A map of Our ascent and Decent by the time we made it to the lower trail system it was getting dark but we were fortunate enough to get a snow mobile ride for 4 of the last 6 miles back to the parking lot. (Roundtrip 18 miles)
That night we drove up to Bend and pitched camp at Dutchman flats which is across the street from Mt Bachelor. The next morning we woke up to minimal visibility and decided to take a day of rest in Bend and Tackle our objective the next day.
Our next objective was The South Sister and Broken top but first we would have a brutal 9 mile approach to Green Lake. It had snowed over a foot in the past few days and the sunsine had turned the powder into Glop so are progress was slow and Painfull. Needless to say we only made it about 8.5 miles that day to the base of the South sisters lava flow.
The next day dawned with Blue bird Sky’s so we started skinning up the South sister. The beginning of the Lava flows Skinning was much easier on the wind scoured ridges Scott and Dan skinning with Broken Top in the background Our objective the South Sister The sun had taken its toll on us and we were running low on water so instead of Summiting we decided to lap the pow down to a area were water was available. Dans Line down the South sister Photo by Scott After a few laps on the South Sister we got one final run back to base camp as the sun was starting to lower. Looking at Broken top Looking at Bachelor Looking to the SW We made it back to the Base camp as it was getting dark and rested while awaiting the morning light to make our 9 mile approach back to Dutchman flats. (Broken Top will have to wait till a later day)
The first 4 miles was easy travel on our skin track we layed a few days earlier and we were fortunate enough to get a snowmobile ride back for the other 4.5 miles to dutchman flats. Our S sister trip (round trip 22 miles)
By this time we were in bad condition from the slog fest we had endured and Dans feet were bleeding bad from Blisters so Scott and myself decided to skin up Mt bachelor before heading home to Seattle. We watched the Sunrise and started skinning at 8 a.m. The sunrise over the South Sister The Sunrise over Broken Top and the sunrise over Bachelor We made a steady pace up the Groomers and I summited in 1hr and 30 minutes with Scott 15 minutes behind. After taking in the views of The South Sister and other Volcano’s we made our way back to the Car and after 8 hours we were back in Seattle so Dan and Myself could work up at Crystal the next Day Scott Skiing from the Summit of Mt Bachelor On our way back we got some amazing photos of other peaks in the Oregon Cascades North and Middle Sister Mt Jefferson and Mt Washington
All in all it was a great trip and I look forward to heading Back to the Oregon Cascades real soon. (hopefully with a snowmobile for the Brutal approaches)
Nice work and pictures! Was up at Bachelor on Thursday and Friday and the snow was better than expected. That approach to South Sister in winter is a killer w/o a sled. I’m looking forward to Century Drive opening up this spring 😀
The road usually opens just before Memorial Day (depending upon the snow year). If you get there just after it opens, you can ride from the summit back to the car with continuous snow (from Devils LK trailhead). Last year the road didn’t open until the first week in June due to a higher than normal snowpack. With the road open, the access is much closer and you can get good lines from both South Sister and Broken Top. Green Lakes makes an excellent camping site in the end of May or early June.
I made lots of laps in the Cirque Bowl at Bachelor on Friday, too bad I didn’t spot you – it would have been fun to chat.