The east ridge and northeast bowls of Mount McLoughlin
The snow is melting super fast in Oregon. It's been really warm lately. Last week skiing on Broken Top the snow was basically done by 9am, so we decided to get a nice alpine start on McLoughlin. The plan was to head to the northwest side, in hopes of skiing the NW bowl where the sun wouldn't destroy so early. Jamie and I drove the truck all the way around to the Twin Ponds trailhead where we discovered all the snow at that elevation was melted and we would have to bushwhack through the relentless brush for hours. We scouted around for a good hour trying to decide whether or not it was worth it. Finally, we decided to bag the NW bowl and just hike the normal route and ski the NE bowls.
We got to the trailhead on Sunday night about 7pm, tried to sleep by 8pm, so we could wake up and be ready to hike by 2:30am. We were hiking through the dark forest with our headlamps by 3. Luckily, hiking at this hour, you're basically asleep so you don't really realize you're walking and plus, the mosquitos are still sleeping. At about 5am the sun started to rise. It was beautiful!
The Moon with first morning light.
Taking a short break to watch the sunrise.
Soon enough we hit snow and the tree line and got our first views of the summit and the northeast bowls.
Jamie and I reached the Summit at 7:30, hung out for a half hour or so to let the snow soften a little.
Jamie feeling the wind
Jamie and Me on Top!
About 8:15am we skied down 2000 ft of beautiful corn in the northeast bowl!
At the bottom of the bowl we stopped on a big flat rock on the terminal moraine, ate "lunch" and took a short nap before the five mile hike back to the car.