PCT (near Jack)
March 4, 2001
A sign posted on a tree at the Santiam SnoPark says, “Trail Abandoned”.
It should say, “Abandoned, but still heavily used”. This is the old Skyline Trail,
which leads into our very own Oregon version of the Bermuda Triangle, namely the country north
of the Santiam Hwy. and east of Hogg Rock. This year with a light snow pack the numerous blazes
on the trail are easily seen and with the advent of GPS, the triangle has lost much of its clout.
Nevertheless, with fresh snow obliterating the old tracks we took a wrong turn near the
intersection of the old trail with the cutoff that goes from the PCT at the rockpile to
Berley and Santiam Lakes to the north and found ourselves in unfamiliar looking country.
No problem. Whipping out the GPS and shielding it from the blowing snow storm, we got a bearing
of 30° to a way point at the base of an open meadow on the way to the PCT on the crest as
it heads towards Jack. [If one would like to find this route, use Datum: NAD 27, zone l0T and
go to the meadow at Easting: 0591361, Northing: 4922285.] From here the route goes at bearing
57° over a little saddle into a valley which heads toward the crest. A ways up the valley
head north to a saddle in the ridge and proceed up the ridge to the PCT. Total distance from
the Junction: 0.9 mile. On this occasion we stopped a little short of the crest because the
last 200 yards has yucky skiing and our mouths were watering at the thought of our descent
down the alpine slopes below. The descent was as nice as anticipated with 9 inches of powder
near the top and about 7 inches back at the SnoPark. Enjoying the outing were George Baitinger,
Mark Slipp, Susan Sullivan and John Mowat (leader).