Mountaineering with the Obsidians
The Obsidians sponsor climbs of most major peaks in the Oregon Cascades
and some in Washington and California during each climbing season from April through November.
We are not a guide service but have skilled volunteer leaders from the community that share a
passion for bringing people to the mountains. The climbs we offer vary in difficulty from
‘walk-ups’ to technical rock, and snow climbs. The Obsidians provide ropes,
technical protection, and first aid supplies. We do not supply personal climbing gear.
Participants are required to have basic mountaineering and outdoor skills,
appropriate personal gear and be in good physical condition. Even the easier climbs are still
strenuous, often with ascents of several thousand feet on summit day. Participants must be
prepared to carry group gear such as ropes or pickets in addition to their own personal
climbing and camping gear. The time commitment required for a climb ranges from one to several
days depending on the location and difficulty.
When a climb is listed on the Obsidian calendar, its level of difficulty will
be indicated. For non-technical climbs such as the south side of South Sister or Diamond Peak,
extensive mountaineering skills are not necessary but still require a level of fitness and basic
snow travel skills in order to participate. Technical climbs require ropes and technical climbing
skills such as proficiency in glacier travel and travelling on fixed lines. Examples of technical
climbs include Mount Hood and Mount Thielsen. In order to go on a technical climb participants
must have one of following:
- Completed a Basic Mountaineering course, (either offered by the Obsidians, or an equivalent
course offered by another organization)
- Have sufficient previous experience that the climb leader can judge your skill level for the
- Been recommended as skilled and fit for the intended climb by someone known and trusted by
the climb leader.
The party size on climbs is limited. Wilderness area restrictions limit the party
size to no more than twelve, and many leaders choose to limit the numbers to less than twelve,
depending on the route difficulty and other factors.
How to Sign up for a Climb
To sign up for a climb, check the schedule and read the general description of
the technical difficulty as well as the material above to ensure you meet the requirements to
go on the climb. Then go to obsidians.org/onlinesignup/
and register. Climbs are generally posted three weeks before their scheduled dates.
Obsidian members can pre-register for a climb by contacting the listed climb
leader and ask to go on the climb. The same restrictions on signing up for a technical climb
applies to members. Contact information for leaders is found in the member directory. Members
pre-registering for climbs cannot sign up for simultaneous climbs as place holders and are
limited to pre-registering for 3 climbs a year. There is no limit on registering for climbs once
they go online for members and non-members alike.
Graduation climbs are for recent graduates of climb school so they can practice
their newly acquired skills. Recent climb school graduates who are members can pre-register.
Once the climb goes online then recent non-member graduates are given priority followed by
regular member and the public.
The climb leader has the final discretion on who to allow on the climb and may
limit participation of climbers or adjust the climb schedule based on experience of the individual,
the group, and climb conditions.
The Chair of the Climbs Committee is Maryanne Reiter. She can be contacted by emailing
Climb—Mount Hubris—Friday–Saturday, September 22–23, 2017
Leader: Maryanne Reiter
This is a multi-pitch trad climb meaning we will place protection as we go and then rappel from the top. The climb is located in northern California and is on solid granite. Those signing up for the trip will need advanced rock climbing skills including climbing vertical rock (rated 5.6), belaying a lead climber and rappelling. We will be leaving Eugene around 4 PM on Friday, drive down and camping at Castle Rock state park, then get up at 4:30 AM to climb.
Climb—Mt McLoughlin—Saturday–Sunday, September 30–October 1, 2017
Leader: Brian Hamilton
We’ll drive to Mt. McLoughlin Trailhead on Saturday afternoon. (Option: Drive separately and meet the rest of us on Sunday morning.) Plan to sleep on the ground or in your vehicles. The climb starts on a gentle slope in a pine and fir forest. After about 4 miles, the trail steepens and begins to get rocky. Above the tree line, rocks become boulders and some scrambling may be necessary. Directions to the trailhead will be emailed to participants about a week before the climb.
Climb—Broken Top—Saturday–Sunday, October 7–8, 2017
Leader: Brian Hamilton
We’ll start hiking at 2:00 PM on Saturday at the Green Lakes / Fall Creek Trailhead and hike about 5 miles to a spring above Green Lakes where we will camp for the night. At 6:00 AM Sunday, we’ll follow the climber's trail to the saddle on the north ridge and then follow the ridge south to the summit. At one spot just below the summit, there is a short section of vertical climbing where you will follow a fixed rope with a prusik, followed by an unroped catwalk and final 20 feet of scrambling. Descent will include a short 12-foot rappel to get us back on the north ridge. Once back at the camp, we’ll pack up and hike out on the Green Lakes trail.
Climb—Broken Top—Saturday–Sunday, October 14–15, 2017
Leader: Danneille Harris
Climb—Acker Rock - Peregrine Traverse—Sunday–Sunday, October 15–September 24, 2017
Leader: Maryanne Reiter
This is a multi-pitch sport with some trad climb. The climb is located in the Umpqua National Forest and is on fairly solid rock. Those signing up for the trip will need advanced rock climbing skills including climbing vertical rock (rated 5.6), belaying a lead climber and rappelling. We'll be meeting between 4 PM-5 PM on Sat and travelling to Boulder Creek campground. We’ll be getting up at y 4:30 AM Sunday to climb. We should be back to Eugene late Sunday night.
Climb School 2017
Note: Climb School 2017 is over.
Registration for 2018 will open on February 16, 2018.
Each spring we offer a course in Basic Mountaineering to enable people to get the
skills needed to participate safely on climbs in alpine environments.
The course consists of three classroom sessions, rock climbing and snow skills
field sessions. The class is limited to 24 participants. You must be 16 or older to participate;
but will need a parent or guardian signature if under 18. Those between 13 and 16 may participate
if accompanied by a parent or responsible adult who is also enrolled in the course. A more
detailed course description for 2017 is here:
Basic Mountaineering Class Outline 2017.pdf
To enroll in the course:
Step 1: sign up for the Basic Mountaineering Course through the
online signup system (www.obsidians.org/onlinesignup/index.htm).
If you do not have an account with the Obsidians, you must first register with us.
To sign in as a guest, click here:
Step 2: pay the course fee which is $70 for Obsidian or Eugene Mountain Rescue
members and $100.00 for non-members. To pay, send a check made out to the Obsidians, Inc. and mail
to Maryanne Reiter PO Box 275 Springfield, OR 97477. Payment must be received within 10 business days
of signing up for the class to secure your spot.
Step 3: Go to
student information form
and complete this background information form so we can get a sense of your skill level and who to
contact in case of an emergency.
Step 4: Attend the first class and sign the liability waiver form.
Please contact Maryanne Reiter, Chair of the Obsidians Climbs Committee at
firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
The Obsidians have three climbing awards offered to members:
The Three Peaks Award is presented to members who have successfully
reached the summit of all three Sisters on scheduled Obsidian climbs.
The Ten Peaks Award is presented to members who have reached the
summits on Obsidian climbs of the ten major Oregon peaks: Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson,
the Three Sisters, Mt. Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. McLoughlin, Mt. Thielsen, and
The Ten Peaks Leader Award is presented to Obsidian members who have
led climbs of all Ten Major Peaks listed above.
Archived climb schedules