Black Crater

July 17, 1993

We left Eugene with overcast skies which continued up to the summit. At the Dee Wright Observatory the peak of Black Crater was wrapped in a dark cloud. For the first two-thirds of the trip the trail was covered with snow in many places. Although there were clear views to the east, the top still looked dark. Once above the timberline there was more snow than open trail so we went straight up on the snow until we hit a bit of trail, when the trail gave out we headed straight up again in the snow to find more trail. The pattern continued until we hit the top. Visibility at the top was about a city block square with wisps of dark clouds swirling all about. The temperature was 48 with a good wind chill factor. Some experienced hikers took out their wool caps and gloves. After watching the clouds perform, the cold began to get to us. We decided we wouldn’t be seeing much this time and started down. Just then Sharon Ritchie let out a whoop and a holler, pointed toward North Sisters and there it was … the snowcapped peak with the sun shining brightly on it but framed by a hole in the swirling dark clouds. This view lasted for all of 15 seconds. So we waited and were rewarded with several very brief but stunning glimpses of Broken Top and the other Sisters, always brightly lighted with the fast moving darker clouds iii the foreground. The views came and went so quickly the photographers were getting very frustrated as there was scarcely time to focus. On the way down, several enjoyed sliding through the snow. The enthusiastic group included Dan Bates, Rob Becker, Barb Eisen, Cathy Harman, Amy Hayes, Gary Marx, Karen Rich, Sharon Ritchie, Anne Seaton and Richard Heinzkill (leader).

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