Mt. McLoughlin

August 15-16, 1997

Douglas and Ivan Nelson, Karen Rayle and leader Royal Murdock left Eugene on a hot August afternoon at 3:30 pm. We drove the 168 miles to Medford where we met Karl Kriegh and had dinner at Denny’s. Then the 50 miles to the trailhead for Mt. McLoughlin just as it was getting dark. We found places to sleep under the stars and were soon joined by Sierra Demo and Gerry Roe, whose bed was the back of their pickup.

The morning chill when we started at 6:30 made wearing shorts an act of courage and optimism. The hiking provided the warmth and the vistas the inspiration. Conditions were ideal. When we emerged from the ragged tree line, we had bright blue skies and a breeze. By 11:30 we were all on top for an early lunch which we shared with a much photographed Pine Marten. There were the routine telephone calls home and singing of “Happy Birthday” to Karen. We all shared the honor of being with Doug Nelson on his 10th peak, and his son’s qualifying climb. The climb-down was interesting and eventually, very rewarding—but not as much fun as going up!

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