August 11-13, 1990
Our trip to Demaris Lake on August 11-13 all began back in October 1989 when my good friend, Sharon Ritchie, told me about a trip led by John Kocher to that location. Sharon had enjoyed the area so much that she wanted to return there for another trip. Right then and there we conspired to lead a three-day backpack in August when the wildflowers were blooming.
On August 11 the temperature was 100 degrees in Eugene, and it was plenty hot when the six of us arrived at the Pole Creek Trailhead. The objective of the five-mile pack to the lake was just to survive under the weight of our backpacks. After arriving and resting at the lake, it was time to reconnoiter for water. Sharon quickly found the source of their drinking water last fall, but the stream was bone dry. As there was a cliff face rising above us to the west, it looked like a promising location for water. Continuing south we began to hear a stream, and we finally intersected the tributary of Squaw Creek that begins at Camp Lake. After returning with the water, it was time for a swim in the lake.
After Sunday breakfast, we set off on a day hike cross-country to intersect the Camp Lake Trail. By the time we arrived at the lake a couple of hours later, it was perfect for a swim and lunch. Although I’d been to Camp Lake twice on day hikes before, I’d never had the luxury of exploring the area more fully. On leaving the lake we climbed to the top of the ridge about a mile to the west. This gave us a marvelous panorama of the South and Middle Sisters, Camp Lake and the Chambers Lakes. Then we skirted northeast at about 7600-ft. altitude for about a mile to arrive at the lower edge of Diller Glacier. There the North Fork of Squaw Creek flows out over a waterfall before disappearing again under a snow field. The mouth of the tunnel into the snow field looks like the ICY GATES of HELL! We followed Squaw Creek to the intersection with the trail to Demaris Lake. All in all our day hike was about an eight-mile loop. The wildflowers at the higher elevations were just gorgeous as were the mountain views. Back at camp we refreshed ourselves in the lake before supper. Afterward we sat on the top of the cliff just east of our camp to watch the lights of Sisters appear, then the planets, the stars and finally several dramatic meteors as August is the time for the Perseids meteor showers.
Even with a trip report this long I can’t begin to describe all the joys we experienced on this summer fantasy. A special thanks to my capable co-leader Sharon Ritchie. Congratulations to Mardi Klotz as this was the first backpack she’d done in several years. The other participants were Janet Leavitt, Bridget McColville, Bobbie Seaton and Anne Montgomery (leader).