Mt. Washington

July 23, 2005

The group was small this year as John Cooper was the only other person signed up to go. We therefore simplified the trip a bit by meeting in Eugene at 4:15 a.m. instead of doing the usual car camp at the trailhead. We were hiking down the PCT by 6:30, only about an hour later than usual.

It turned out to be a wildflower hike, with the trail lined by blooming (slightly past its prime) beargrass, more of the big lilies than I’ve ever seen before, and numerous other flowers in much lesser quantities (yarrow, columbine, paintbrush, cats ear, penstemon, etc.)

The climb of the pinnacle went fairly quickly as there were only a few other small groups on the mountain—there was only a slight delay at the saddle waiting for one group to ascend the first pitch, then another short delay at the rappel point on our descent. At the top we enjoyed the usual views of the Oregon Cascades and surrounding territory.

After the tricky descent of the scree slope, the hike back to the trailhead went quickly, where we hobnobbed with the McKenzie Pass-to-Big Lake contingent of Buzz’s trip.

—Wayne Deeter

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