May 11-12, 1974
The ski touring season came to a close with one of the best trips of the year: A tour and climb on Mt. Bailey located just west of Diamond Lake.
It was a four hour drive to Diamond Lake. Really a beautiful drive down the freeway and up North Umpqua taking an interesting short-cut from Wilbur to Glide. Don’t drive that road if not full alert.
We started up Mt. Bailey early afternoon first following a logging road then an old wagon road and finally cross country to a camp spot on a ridge with a view of Diamond Lake and Mt. Thielsen. We could see parts of Mt. McLoughlin and had fleeting glimpses of Mt. Shasta.
Sunday morning we awoke to a light falling snow. It was quite icy underneath so we decided to walk to the top and leave our skis in camp. The weather deteriorated as we went further up the mountain and as we became more exposed. There was increasing wind and snow and decreasing visibility. The last ½ mile was a bit of a scramble over a rather narrow ridge with rock outcroppings and icy slopes falling away on either side. This would probably be a snap under more favorable weather conditions, but with the poor visibility, snow and wind made it seem quite hairy.
After awhile we arrived at a point in the clouds where we could find no more up and the altimeter put us 50 feet over the top. (sure heavy clouds. Ed.) After about two minutes we made a hasty retreat back down to camp where the climate was much more moderate.
We returned to Eugene via the east side which is but a three hour trip arriving home by 5 p.m.
This is a good late winter or early spring climb because the highways to Diamond Lake are kept open providing good access. There are scattered trees quite high on the mountain which give some protection from the weather and the mountain is not very steep. Watch for this trip next year and join us. With the leader were Tim Cook, Jack Nitzel, Paul Orum and leader Marriner Orum.