Pass-to-Pass 2014: Day 1

Next we descended to Scott Meadow. I have visited this place twice already in the last year, first Last September (7 miles of the PCT), and then a month later when it was covered in snow (Scott Trail). The views are better now that the weather is nicer. The aforementioned Felix Scott, Jr. cut his road right through here 150 years ago. In the distance you see the North and Middle Sisters again. The bare, rounded “hill” in the foreground of the North Sister is Collier Cone. At 7,534 ft high, Collier is another major vent of the North Sister complex and is the source of the rest of the lava fields we must traverse before nightfall. We will hike past it all before we finish our day:

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We then started climbing toward Collier Cone and Opie Dilldock Pass. As we gained altitude, we started seeing larger patches of snow:

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As we neared Opie Dilldock Pass the views leaned toward the epic again. Here is a view similar to the one looking north from Yapoah, but from a higher perspective:

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And here is a shot looking back toward the Sisters from a few feet farther up the trail. That’s the North Sister on the left, Little Brother on the right, and the Middle Sister in center. The large patch of snow that is just below the top of Middle Sister is actually Collier Glacier, which arcs down between the North and Middle Sisters. The ridge we are on ascends to the left directly up to Collier Cone (not in the picture):

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Jody may have been getting tired of waiting for me to take pictures:

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Immediately after Opie Dilldock Pass, we turned west again and descended a set of wicked switchbacks down a major lava chute. The view is deceiving. This chute is approximately 300 feet wide and extends over 1,000 feet before it opens up. We had to pick our way down and then we went to the left and continued south:

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This is a shot of the trail heading up over the left edge of the chute:

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After we climbed out of the chute, we crossed Sawyer Bar and hiked into the woods. After another 1.25 miles we ran into the border of the Obsidian high use area. Since we couldn’t camp inside that area without a special permit, we turned back and looked for the nearest place to camp outside the area. We set up camp about 6pm, and having covered 10 miles and a lot of epic scenery we were satisfied with our progress:

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I created a KMZ file with our route for the day, all the picture locations, plus waypoints and local landmarks. Please feel free to download the file and view it in Google Earth.

5 Comments:

  1. Looking good Tim!

  2. Very different scenery from that on the trial runs you made earlier in the summer, but stunning. I’m jealous (but only of the first five miles). After that, not so much because just thinking about it makes my feet tired.

  3. Looks awesome man. That’s some gorgeous terrain. Still can’t believe you don’t carry a huge knife out there. You are a brave soul… haha.

    • Do you carry a huge knife when you go into downtown Eugene? Because you are in far more danger there than out in the woods. The only threats of any consequence where I hike are black bears, other people, and my own stupidity. Bears avoid people and there haven’t been a statistically significant number of murders in the woods in the last 100 years. My own stupidity is the greatest threat by far. None of those can be effectively deterred with a knife no matter how large. There’s no bravery involved. ;)

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