Broken Top

August 28-29, 1999

Our group approached Broken Top by the Fall Creek trail and the Green Lakes Basin. We set a base camp near the Green Lakes and had a quick lunch. We reloaded our backpacks and were on our way to the summit of Broken Top by 2:15 p.m. There were several snow patches to cross on the climbers’ trail, but most of the trail was melted out. The climbers’ trail that follows the Northwest Ridge is exposed in places, but quickly climbs to the northwest corner of the summit peak. There was a good belay anchor for the short 15-ft. vertical rock climbing pitch and all of the climbers were confident enough to traverse the fourth-class ramps above without ropes. I was able to find another good anchor on the summit block and belayed all of the group onto the summit by 6:30. We chatted briefly with a gentleman from Bend who was spending the night in camp on the tiny summit pinnacle. He seemed confident in his endeavor, even though there was barely room for him to lay down in a hollow among the summit boulders. We wished him a good evening and quickly reversed our route back to the ridge under a rapidly setting sun. Our descent down the West Face scree field was quick and direct. We were back to our tents by 8:15, and were forced to take shelter from swarms of hungry mosquitoes. Sunday morning we had breakfast and watched the clouds beginning to stack on the summits of the Sisters. We hiked down to the cars under darkening skies, but never encountered any rain until we were back in Oakridge. A big thanks goes to Alicia Gano for her excellent support in her suddenly appointed rôle as co-leader. Other climbers were guests Bob Burnett, Steve Mazur, Scott Nemeth and Obsidians Mark Slipp, and leader Brian Hoyland. Climbing but not summiting were Obsidian Larry Smith and daughter Tracey Hanes.


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