Yapoah Crater

September 4, 1976

The first day of a beautiful Labor Day weekend was spent hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Lava Lake to Yapoah Crater, a ten-mile round trip trek. There wasn’t a cloud in the azure blue sky, and visibility was perfect for an outstanding view of Eastern Oregon and many peaks of the Cascades. The late melting of the winter snowpack enhances the view of Collier Glacier nestled between North and Middle Sisters with Little Brother hovering over it from the west. Enthralling views to the north of pointed Mt. Washington, jagged Three Fingered Jack, majestic Mt. Jefferson, and grand Mt. Hood highlighted the panoramic scene. A bonus view of the massive top of Mt. Adams was exciting to see from Yapoah Crater.

Very few people were on the trail with only a handful camped at South Matthieu Lake. Some snow patches were evident in low spots along the lava trail beyond the lake. One rather large snowfield still clung to the northeast face of Yapoah. Bob Nordahl decided to glissade this patch and came zipping down more than 200 feet to a rude jolt in cinders at the bottom. He accomplished the slide after we ascended Yapoah and took a tour around the perimeter of the crater. The east rim contains a colorful outcrop of pinks, browns, tans, and mustard yellows as well as the reddish rocks that compose most of the crater.

We met a delightful young woman from New York enjoying backpacking in our territory. We kept a steady game of ‘leap frog’ going between us as we progressed along the trail from South Matthieu to Yapoah, and each encounter was a delightful experience. Among the hikers we met were our old Obsidian friends, Helen and Alvin Lynch, who were headed for a weekend of camping at the lake. We also spent a restful time there relaxing on our return. Besides having a snack, Bob took a refreshing dip in the lake, and Lois dangled her feet in the cool water. Merle and Vern were content to sit and watch. It was a relatively warm day with a cooling breeze. I doubt we could have asked for a nicer day, although there were a few mosquitos buzzing around. They could not dampen our spirits though, as everything else was so delightful.

Only four hikers enjoyed this trip, which would have been a delight to anyone. Non-members Bob Nordahl and Vern Nelson, and members Merle Traudt and leader Lois Schreiner made up the entourage.


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