Broken Top

August 27-28, 2005

After a 6:00 a.m. departure from the SEHS parking lot, the four climbers began their hike at the Green Lakes trailhead at about 9:30 a.m. We made good time to Green Lakes and enjoyed a lunch break on a high point overlooking the lakes, the Three Sisters, and Broken Top. We then resumed our backpack up the last steep mile to our campsite at the spring flowing out of the west side of Broken Top at about 7500 feet.

The weather was glorious—sunny, warm, not a cloud in the sky—and we enjoyed a long, leisurely afternoon setting up camp, eating dinner, and meandering about the high bench below the peak. That night the stars were incredible, and not a breath of wind.

Next morning we left camp before dawn and popped up top the saddle just in time to see a dazzling sunrise over the eastern horizon. We scrambled up the northwest ridge, alternately warmed by the rising sun and chilled by a gusty morning wind from the west as we passed around fins of broken rock on route.

One climber (Don) had left camp before the rest of us to get a high vantage point for alpenglow photos at dawn. The rest joined up with him high on the ridge and we all gained “chicken point” together.

After a bit of staging, the three men chose a north route up the summit block. The route required considerable more Class 5 climbing than the usual rock band to the west. Although typical rotten, crumbly, and insecure rock was plentiful, sufficient solid stuff granted us safe ascent. After a few photos and briefly enjoying the view from the summit, we descended the west side ramp and rappelled a short hop down to join up again with Laurie.

All four of us then scrambled back down the ridge and returned to camp by 10:30 a.m. Out of the wind again, we enjoyed another beautiful sunny and warm day. After eating and breaking camp, we hiked out and drove home.

Congratulations to the strong climbers on this trip: Laurie Funkhouser, and (summiting) Martin Holland-Bak, Don Gilman, and Steve Still (leader).

Don, Steve, Laurie, and Martin at the trailhead

Headed up to the spring

Broken Top from the spring (note that the false peak on the right seems higher than the true summit)

Climbing the NW ridge

—photos by Martin Holland-Bak

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