Charlton Lake & Gerdine Butte

October 8, 1977

The Weather Bureau predicted rain and showers in the Oregon Cascades, but, like most Obsidians do, we decided to go anyway. And had bright sunshine all the way! Drove up the east side of Waldo Lake to the trailhead near Charlton Lake. Then by trail past Charlton to the foot of Gerdine Butte, which is a steep, volcanic cinder-cone, timbered on one side with no trail. We climbed up the North ridge, & as it grew steeper and steeper we pulled ourselves up by the tough little trees along the way. Clarence Landes got us all to laughing as he mischievously uttered his appreciation for “this vegetative belay.” We passed very picturesque old lava juts and very gnarled old snags. We reached the top at 1:00 p.m., as it stood there in the warm sun inviting us to throw down our pack sacks and to sit down for a good lunch. Little flocks of Mountain Bluebirds sang, and trilled and flitted in the tree tops far below us, and a beautiful little Cascade Chickadee hung upside down on a bough near us nibbling a cone. We had a 360° view as clear as a bell. The snowy peaks stood up there before us, marching north, first The Bachelor, Broken Top, The Sisters, Three-fingered Jack & Washington, then finally Jefferson. To the east were Wickiup, Crane Prairie, Round Meadow and Johnny Lake (like a blue jewel), to the south of us stood Twin Peaks, so close we could almost reach out and touch them, yet 700 feet higher than we were and covered with snow. Directly below, at our feet, lay Found Lake as green as grass and a short hop west across its dike lay Hidden Lake as blue as indigo. Out to the west in the heavy timber lay great, deep Waldo with a skimmer of wind on its surface, while near it shone Charlton Lake, pure and blue and quiet.

This beautiful, quiet, unspoiled wilderness was so gratifying to us, so rewarding, that we hated to leave it. Making the trip were: Marie Bloom, Bob Capron, Clarence Landes, Demetri Liontos, Ted Stern, Evelyn & Herb McCornack, leader.


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