August 28-29, 2004
A wet week in the valley, with consistent predictions for snow levels of 8000 feet, left me wondering what conditions we might find on Broken Top’s 9175 ft. summit. But the weather for the weekend looked good so we decided to go take a look. Our first glimpse of the mountain as we drove in on the Cascade Lakes Highway showed us what we wanted to see; bare, dry rock under a clear blue sky.
This is one of my favorite outings. The hike in to Green Lakes is immensely popular as a day hike, and justifiably so. Seven of us hauled our overnight bags up Fall Creek to the lakes basin, then headed east up the slopes and away from the crowds to a great spring just off the climber’s trail, where we set up for a relaxed afternoon and evening camp with an outstanding view of the peaks of the Three Sisters Wilderness. A peaceful evening with good conversation and world class views keep us content until the brilliant full moon rose over the jagged ridges of Broken Top towering over our camp, at which point most of us crawled into our bags to rest for the morning’s climb.
Sunday dawned clear and calm. We had a quick breakfast and were out of camp at 7:00. The hike up the ridge is really quite beautiful and the clear air and sky facilitated excellent views of the Cascade peaks to the north. Our party moved very well. We used a rope for the short cliff that guards the summit, but everyone was comfortable without any further protection moving along the exposed sloping ramps and scrambling up the final steep rock to gain the top by 10:00. Juli wrote in the summit log, “How lucky we all are! The earth is awesome.” I couldn’t have agreed more.
After a pleasant half hour on top we headed back down. The descent was uneventful. Back in camp we packed up, drank tea and marveled at how quickly the thunderheads can build in a clear blue sky. The clouds kept the temperatures a little cooler for the hike out to the cars, which we reached by 4:00, tired but satisfied with a fine trip.
Thanks to Wayne for his help on the mountain and to all who came along and helped make this a most enjoyable climb!
The climbers were: Pat Adams, Wayne Deeter (assistant), Larry Dunlap, Miles Hollander, Doug McCarty, Juli McGlinski and Doug Nelson (leader).
—photos by Wayne Deeter