Mt. Thielsen

August 29, 2010

Rain fell sporadically as we drove from Eugene to Diamond Lake on the evening before the climb. When we reached Diamond Lake Campground, we could see a dusting of snow on the top third of Mt. Bailey across the lake. We were lucky not to have any more rain during our climb, but we did encounter rime ice on trees and ice-slicked rocks on the West Ridge.

Our climb began at 5:15 a.m. under a partly cloudy sky with a two-thirds-full moon. We were able to turn off our headlamps by the time we crossed the big blowdown, an area of about ten acres where all the trees had been toppled by a freak windstorm a few years ago. We reached “chicken point” at base of the summit pinnacle by about 9:00 and our entire party was on the summit by 9:45. Clouds cleared around us and we enjoyed great views of peaks in the distance poking above the remaining layer of clouds below us. We had the mountain all to ourselves, which was unusual for a summer weekend. It wasn’t until we were headed down the ridge and had just reached treeline that we ran into other hikers. At the junction of the climbers’ trail and the PCT, we met many more hikers including a contingent from Douglas County Search-and-Rescue on a training exercise. A steady pace got us back to the trailhead at 1:15. Many thanks to George and Andy Jobanek for joining us after a hiatus from climbing and for lending their knowledge of the mountain. Climbers were Marci Hansen, George Jobanek (Asst. Leader), Andy Jobanek, Roy McCormick, and Brian Hamilton (Leader).


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