Broken Top

August 31-September 1, 1996

The Broken Top climb began Saturday afternoon, August 31. We met at SEHS and car-pooled to a poorly marked trailhead in Big Meadow on the boundary of the Three Sisters Wilderness. We had a quiet night and were up at dawn to find frost on our tents. By 6:45 a.m. we were hiking the Soda Creek Trail, just south of Broken Top crater. We joined the Crater Ditch Trail and followed it into Green Lakes Basin. From Green Lakes we hiked cross-country to the saddle on the northwest ridge of Broken Top. The steep ridge above the saddle spread out the group according to individual climbing speeds. We managed to stay somewhat together, re-grouping just below the corner of the northwest peak. We put on helmets and harnesses for the short but awkward rock climb. A belay was held from above, but anchors are limited and dubious. Due to the limited anchors and the easy climbing the ramps and summit were climbed un-roped. We were on top by 1 p.m. and had a quick lunch under partly cloudy skies. We watched a helicopter drop water on the smoldering Park Meadow burn, and laughed about the small spotter plane that flew over Green Lakes and Park Meadow, far below us. We were quickly back on the trail, with a fixed rope stretched across the traverse ramps. Climbers down-climbed the rock band while belayed from above. We followed the well-used Climbers’ Trail down the west side scree field and down into the Green Lakes Basin. From Green Lakes we returned to the cars by Crater Ditch Trail and the Soda Creek Trail. There was some minor confusion for part of our group, who missed a poorly marked junction, but we were all back to the cars by 6:00. Climbers were Josh Ladau, Robert Langridge, Rich Romm, Larry Huff, Bob Lemon, Anne Dhu McLucas, Christopher Beachdell and Brian Hoyland (leader).


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