Forum Index > Trip Reports > OR Cascades (S Sister & Crater Lake) 6/24-29 2010
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Jim Dockery
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Jim Dockery
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PostSat Jul 03, 2010 11:13 am 
After endless dithering over the mixed weather reports I finally had to escape our grey skies and hope for the best down south. None of my regular ski partners could get off so I headed to the Bend area by myself, van packed and ready for hiking, skiing, and photography (which I was looking forward to focusing on solo).

The drive down 97 was pleasant as usual and I pulled into Sparks Lake near sunset. After all my trips to ski down here I'd never taken the time to drive over to the boat launch and check out the beautiful views so I was psyched when I headed out for a quick hike. The mosquitoes were out in force (and I forgot my bug-off clothing!) but if I kept moving it wasn't bad, stopping to set up the tripod was another thing.
pond south of Sparks Lake
pond south of Sparks Lake

I had a funny mix up with two alarm watches - one that I forgot was set woke me up at midnight (the other was set for 4). I didn't figure it out until after drinking a huge cup of strong coffee, hiking over to the view point I'd scoped out, and finally looking at my watch waiting for the sun. At least I got a couple interesting moonlit shots, but had a hell of a time getting back to sleep!
Moonlit Sparks Lake
Moonlit Sparks Lake
Sunrise over Broken Top
Sunrise over Broken Top
South Sister Sunrise
South Sister Sunrise

Since I was close I decided to climb South Sister, forgetting how tedious the long slog across the flats is. Luckily morning clouds and wind kept me and the snow cool on most of the climb, then the sun came out just in time for a wonderful summit rest. I passed a few climbers on their way up and down, and a couple of other skier/boarders swooshed by as I climbed the headwall, but I had the summit and descent to myself.

Boarding the headwall
Boarding the headwall
summit refreshment
summit refreshment
View north from South Sister
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View north from South Sister

The headwall was nice, but the lower slopes were mushy, and the slog across the flats was interminable. Skiing down the gully through the trees I managed to link patches to within half a mile of the road.
flat slog
flat slog

A shower and dinner out in Bend with my friends Jim and Carrie finished off a good day.

I headed to Crater Lake the next day to ski my favorite open secret run. I only made one run all the way, then three more half runs into the evening. Again I had it all to myself - what a gorgeous place to play!
Crater Lake panorama
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Crater Lake panorama

After a quick pasta dinner I drove back to some trees I liked to set up my tripod for a series of shots that I hoped would include a dramatic star filled sky, but I hadn't calculated the moon right so I got it too. I left my SLR on the tripod and returned every few minutes to take another shot while running around with the G9 taking others.

I returned early the next morning and set my tripod back into the same spot I'd marked with rocks for sunrise. It was very nice that the best time of day for photos was also the quietest with most of the tourists sleeping.

I'd decided to ski the little crater rim peaks of Hillman and The Watchman and was waiting for the snow to soften reading in my van when Brad and Dave from Eugene pulled up and got their skis out. I was happy to have partners to photograph on these cool little runs.
Crater Lake from The Watchman
Crater Lake from The Watchman
Dave skis
Dave skis
Brad skis
Brad skis
Brad on The Watchman
Brad on The Watchman

After the other guys drove home I returned to my secret runs and tried out a couple new lines near the lodge that were not as good as I thought, but still beautiful places to hang out.

Another nice sunset made for more photo ops.

The next day I drove up to the Newberry Crater to check out some lines on Paulina  Pk. Carrie had been telling me about for years. The snow wasn't continuous so I went for a hike on The Obsidian Flow.
obsidian boulders
obsidian boulders

Watch your step if you go off trail! I walked over to shoot a panorama at the top and put my hand down once to steady myself and sliced the tip of a finger open (there is a sign that tells how they use obsidian for surgical knives).

I got to Jim & Carrie's in time for a shower and nap before they got home. We had a great bbq before I headed up the road to try and get some sunset pictures from The Mckenzie hwy. which we thought had just opened.
Mt. Jefferson
Mt. Jefferson
Black Butte
Black Butte

After finding the gate still locked I headed up the road to the Pole Creek trail head and took a branch that gave me a good view of The Sisters. I camped and got up early again for sunrise pictures.
Sisters Sunrise
Sisters Sunrise
Moonset
Moonset

I had to get back to Sea-Tac to pick up my wife and sister-inlaw at the airport by 5 so I had a liesurely drive home, stopping on the way to Detroit to snag some lava boulders for the yard.

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Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 23707 | TRs | Pics
Location: Cle Elum
Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob
PostSat Jul 03, 2010 11:57 am 
Fantastic as usual James.  Nice work.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

— Abraham Lincoln
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Davidą
Token Canadian



Joined: 25 Jul 2002
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Location: The Great White North
Davidą
Token Canadian
PostSat Jul 03, 2010 12:43 pm 
Thanks for bringing back memories of some great early season road trips - unbelievable amount of snow this year.

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Warning! Posts may contain traces of sarcasm.

Hiking Website: http://members.shaw.ca/karenanddavid/Index.htm
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Magellan
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Joined: 26 Jul 2006
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome
PostSat Jul 03, 2010 1:08 pm 
Goodness, those are some fantastic pictures Jim.   up.gif  up.gif  Thanks for sharing this great trip.

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Shred
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Shred
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PostMon Jul 05, 2010 7:28 am 
Nice trip, Jim! Looks like you hit the weather spot on  up.gif

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ADAHY
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Location: Covington, WA.
ADAHY
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PostMon Jul 05, 2010 7:56 am 
New to photography, I hope some day my pictures turn out half that good.

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" The price of freedom is eternal vigilance".
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dgleighton
What the...



Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 253 | TRs | Pics
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dgleighton
What the...
PostMon Jul 05, 2010 8:35 am 
To say that your pictures are good is is a monumental understatement. You have a fantastic eye and an uncanny ability to capture great scenes. I always enjoy gawking at them after you post. Thanks!

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Sore Feet
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PostMon Jul 05, 2010 1:20 pm 
So roughly what elevation would one hit constant snow at?  I'll be down there in a couple weeks and though I don't plan on going up the mountain, I'll be getting up to at least the 6500 foot level in the best case scenario.  Curious what I'll be up against.  Pretty sure I'll already have to bag Moraine Lake on Broken Top because the road won't be open yet.

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Bryan Swan
Pictures - http://www.flickr.com/photos/bryanswan
Waterfalls - www.waterfallsnorthwest.com
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Jim Dockery
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Joined: 12 Sep 2007
Posts: 3088 | TRs | Pics
Location: Lake Stevens
Jim Dockery
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PostMon Jul 05, 2010 2:28 pm 
Thanks guys, I worked (played) as hard at photography on this trip as at skiing.

Sore, it was finally warming up down there when I left and the lower slopes will melt out fast. In two weeks you should be able to get where you want. The snow is pretty firm every where (except certain aspects up high) for walking. Early morning you'd want micro-spikes etc. on hikers for traction in fact.

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jimdockery.com
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > OR Cascades (S Sister & Crater Lake) 6/24-29 2010
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