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Head for the Hills: 6 Must Do Climbs!

07.28.13

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Head for the Hills: 6 Must Do Climbs!

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  • Approaching Broken Top's summit (9,177 ft.)- Head for the Hills: 6 Must Do Climbs!
  • Sunset and view of Piker's Peak (Mount Adam's false summit).- Head for the Hills: 6 Must Do Climbs!
  • View from Unicorn Peak's summit in the Tatoosh Range.- Head for the Hills: 6 Must Do Climbs!
  • Panoramic vista from South Sister looking south with Broken Top (9,177') on the left and Mount Bachelor (9,068') in the middle.- Head for the Hills: 6 Must Do Climbs!
  • Looking north at Middle and North Sister from South Sister's summit.- Head for the Hills: 6 Must Do Climbs!
  • Sunrise on Mount Adams.- Head for the Hills: 6 Must Do Climbs!
  • Sunset over Mount St. Helens (8,366') from Mount Adam's Lunch Counter.- Head for the Hills: 6 Must Do Climbs!
  • View south to Mount Hood (11,250 feet) from Mount Adams.- Head for the Hills: 6 Must Do Climbs!
  • View south from Three Fingered Jack of Broken Top (9,177'), Three Sisters and Mount Washington (7,795').- Head for the Hills: 6 Must Do Climbs!
  • Making the rapel down from Three Fingered Jack's summit.- Head for the Hills: 6 Must Do Climbs!
  • Magenta paintbrush (Castilleja parviflora) on Mount Washington.- Head for the Hills: 6 Must Do Climbs!
  • The descent from Mount Washington's summit block.- Head for the Hills: 6 Must Do Climbs!
  • The scrammble down Mount Washington's western face.- Head for the Hills: 6 Must Do Climbs!
  • Congregation at Broken Top's summit.- Head for the Hills: 6 Must Do Climbs!
  • The approach hike to Broken Top through fields of lupine.- Head for the Hills: 6 Must Do Climbs!
  • Lupine meadow in front of Stevens Peak, an alternative route off of Unicorn Peak.- Head for the Hills: 6 Must Do Climbs!
  • Viewing of Tatoosh Range looking southeast toward Goat Rocks and Mount Adams (12,280') from Unicorn Peak.- Head for the Hills: 6 Must Do Climbs!
  • The descent from Unicorn Peak.- Head for the Hills: 6 Must Do Climbs!
  • Contributor Joshua Lupkin on the approach to Mount Washington's summit.- Head for the Hills: 6 Must Do Climbs!
  • The Three Sisters from Broken Top's summit.- Head for the Hills: 6 Must Do Climbs!
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Contributor

Snow is quickly receding in the summer heat, and the majestic rocky points of the great Cascade peaks are finally uncovered. You'll find us heading to the higher elevations to explore some of the best mixed-alpine climbs in the country.  We want to give you a quick update on the conditions out there so you can head for the hills armed with a little insider info.

For the thrill seekers hitting up the big mountains, the warm weather has opened up crevasse areas making glacier travel more hazardous.  Snow bridges are beginning to melt out and moats are opening up. Mount Hood is melted out with greater rock and icefall, which makes the standard South Route climb extremely hazardous and not recommended. As for Middle Sister, the Pole Creek Trailhead is closed due to last year's Pole Creek Fire. The approach now involves an additional 5 miles of hiking on a dirt road with unmarked access. Wayfinding could be an issue. On a positive note, South Sister is screaming for attention, and the Devil's Lake Trailhead is open for your alpine adventure needs.

The craggy peaks in Central Oregon are beginning to show their summer routes, creating plentiful opportunities to pull out that rope you stashed in the garage last winter. Have a blast scrambling up Mount Washington, Three Fingered Jack and Broken Top. In contrast, the jagged tops of the Tatoosh range in Mount Rainier National Park remain on the last leg of their winter ascent trials and provide a true alpine climbing experience. But hurry, the snow is melting fast!

Keep an eye out for the upcoming Castle Peak and Pinnacle Peak adventures, a duo of 5th class rock in the beautiful Tatoosh Range. These two summits can be completed in a day with a third, Unicorn Peak, just down the road making way for an action packed, summit-topping weekend.

Below you'll find a list of some of the best peaks in Central Oregon and Southern Washington for a weekend adventure or a week-long excursion. Let us know what peaks you're climbing on our Facebook page or Twitter (@outdoorproject1). As always, be prepared for unexpected weather shifts and carry the right equipment. Climb safe out there!

Featured Climbs:

Coming Soon:

  • Castle Peak & Pinnacle Peak (a short approach with amazing views of Mount Rainier, the summer route should be melting out soon!)
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