Mt. McLoughlin

September 6, 2008

Hitting the trail at 4:45 a.m. definitely had its advantages. We were able to stop for a break at a spot overlooking Four Mile and Klamath Lakes and watch a beautiful sunrise tinted red by the haze from forest fires. There was only a breath of wind and there were no bugs! At 8:55, we reached the summit, apparently before any other climbers that day. By that time it had warmed up from the 51 degrees when we started to almost 70. We spent an hour on the summit and even tried to fly a kite left there by a previous climber. To the north and west of us, the valleys below were filled with forest fire smoke.

As we started our descent, we could see climbers on the ridge below, still a half hour from the summit. They turned out to be the first of over 115 other climbers we saw that morning, most of them asking us questions like “Did you go all the way to the top?” or “How much farther do we have to go?” We made it back to the trailhead almost exactly eight hours after starting. Enjoying a fun climb on a very pleasant day were Tom Easton on his qualifying climb, Tom Spettle, awaiting approval of his membership application, and Obsidians Steve Still (assistant leader) and Brian Hamilton (leader).

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