Collier Cone-Ahalapam Cinder Field

September 9, 2006

I met up with my single participant, a gentleman named Fernando at 7:00 a.m. at the 58th and Main St. Albertsons in Springfield. We proceeded up Hwy 126 under gray skies from a light weather disturbance that came in Friday evening. We made a brief stop at the Dee Wright Observatory. There were no mountains to see through the observatory windows, the lava field is always a treat to gaze upon however. We then went down to Lava Camp trailhead put our packs together and headed south on the P.C.T. We proceeded past the junction of P.C.T and North Matthieu and for the first time I visited the lake. It is a bit steep hiking up to the South Matthieu from the north but mostly just revving up the aerobic motor for the hike to our destination. The skies broke up and gave us views of Mt Jefferson, Washington and Jack as we hiked along the north shoulder of Yapoah Crater. We then reached the intersection of the Scott Trail and P.C.T. I promised Fernando we would go over map and compass skills, so we spent a few minutes at this picturesque junction going over some basic navigation. We then hiked south towards Opie Dilldock Pass. We veered off the trail and proceeded up to the Collier Glacier overlook. We completely enjoyed the view of fire and ice volcanism that is so physically evident here at the northwest foot of the Black Beast known as the North Sister. We were snapping pictures like crazy as we walked the rim of Collier Cone. At the top of the rim we found a wind block and had some lunch. We marveled over the black expanse of the Ahalapam Cinder Field. I believe Fernando found the cinder field to be the most visually pleasing site of the smorgasbord of sights that we would gaze upon this day. Fernando found the wind scoured Krumholz pines most interesting and spent some time setting up the right shots for his camera. We hiked back along the crest of the cinder field orienteering towards Yapoah Crater two miles north. I am learning how to use my G.P.S. we had set a way point at the Yapoah Crater and walked the cinder field on a heading indicated by my little G.P.S We eventually found our way back to the P.C.T and headed north towards the trailhead. We arrived at the vehicle and drove back up to the Dee Wright Observatory so we could actually see the mountains framed within its windows. It was a great trip with a great hiking companion I thank Fernando for his willingness to follow me wherever I roamed.

Hikers were: Fernando Cascano and Larry Huff, leader.


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