August 17, 2008
The intent of an early 7:00 a.m. departure from Eugene was to beat the extreme heat as well as get a head start on the long drive. We managed to get the head start OK, but when we reached the trailhead at Windigo Pass, it seemed unusually warm and I had visions of another scorcher. Luckily, we soon had cloud cover providing some shade and a nice breeze as we headed north along the PCT toward Cowhorn and hardly a mosquito along for company this trip.
With our small group we made great time on the trail and within a couple of hours, we arrived at the base of Cowhorn and left the PCT to head up Cowhorn’s steep, exposed western ridge, through scree, over the volcanic dike, and on to the rock scramble to the summit, that is always the highlight of this trip. After lunch with several million little black flies on the small summit, we headed back down, gingerly down-scrambling through the rocks and sliding down the scree.
Back on the trail we encountered five PCT through-hikers on their way from Mexico to Canada, who gladly took all our offered leftover food and water. As we approached the trailhead, a forest fire cropped up about a half mile west of the trail. We reached the cars about 3:00 and were glad to get out of the area. A stop at Crescent Lake Lodge for refreshments completed a great day on Cowhorn Mountain with a very congenial group.
Hikers were: Janet Jacobsen, John Jacobsen (leader), Brad Wechner and Jeff Wright.