We hiked in from Pole Creek to the usual campsite below the SE spur. I had to punch a hole through snow to gain access to the spring at the base of the Thayer moraine. Jupiter and Venus shone bright in the east at our early start time. The climbers trail up the spur was harder to follow this year‒we had to climb up a loose, nasty gully to regain the ridge. The traverse to the west side before the Camels Hump had eroded and is now even sketchier than it used to be (we strung a rope across it on the way back.) Snow was about 20ft into the gully before the Dinner Plate. We used a 60m rope to gain access to the moat on top of the snowfield, and a 70m to get the rest of the way to the entrance to the Bowling Alley. We ran out of time, so only Rick, Allana and I were able to top out (Marci got to the base of the pinnacle.) High winds made it scary! (A group of 11 Mazamas continued climbing from the north side after we started our retreat, having come up the NW ridge‒hope they made it back to their camp ok!) The wind blew the rope upwards when I was pulling it after rappelling and it jammed, so I had to climb back up to recover it. The descent down the SE spur was as difficult as the climb as the winds did not let up. Two tents were damaged by the winds while we were climbing. (Note: Weighting a tent on the inside is not a good idea. Tie it to a tree.) We were back to the trailhead and our cars after midnight. Many thanks to Doug for assisting me on this very difficult climb.Members: Wayne Deeter, Rick Harris. Nonmembers: Allana Morrison. Members: Shellie Robertson, Kevin Jones, Doug Nelson, Marci Hansen.
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