Heather and I went back for one more Top 100 Pasayten Peak, our 5th in 5 days. We started at the Robinson Creek trailhead in the morning and it was already hot. Highs for Mazama were predicted to be over 100.
nom nom nom
We turned right onto the boot path just past Beauty Creek. Half way up the path we came to a horse and a mule blocking the way. An old man explained to us that he was "doing trail work to make the trail suitable for stock". He was clearing the trail of large stones in all of the talus slopes.
more open near the creek
upper cirque basin
We came to an open slope after a creek crossing and turned left uphill. It was steep for 400 feet and then we had to bushwhack though small trees. I found travel was easier the closer we stuck to the creek. Eventually we reached the tarn in the upper cirque basin. Above us was the scree slope leading to a notch which I had heard about for years. Everyone said it was a terrible slope.
Sure enough, it was a miserable hour getting up to the southeast ridge. Near the top the scree was thin over a harder under-layer. I moved onto the rocks to the right and scrambled the rest of the way.
Bonanza, The Needles, Glacier
scree above the notch
Above the notch we ascended more loose scree until the ridge offered more solid rock. It was still a long way to the summit, a mile or so. At one point we thought we could see the summit but it turned out to be another false one. Most of the ridge is walk-able but there are several sections that require scrambling.
I thought this was the summit, but it's not
bypass some of these points on the left
A few of the smaller points on the ridge can be bypassed on the left (southwest) side. Just before the true summit is a steep narrow section with exposure on both sides. From below it looks intimidating, but starting up it we found it was much easier than appearances suggested. Easy class 3.
the summit finally visible
looking at the crux section
follow the arrow
On the summit we watched 4 different fires and ate melted chocolate. This was Heathers 9th Bulger peak and my 49th. It's awesome to see her taking an interest in this sort of peakbagging. With her endurance and drive, I'm sure she could pass me up on this list in hurry.
Love your account of her 9th and your 49th
I recall when I put Kathy on the 100 spreadsheet in 1992. She had 7 and I had had 53. We've both finished and are doing more peaks all the time. It's a great journey.
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