Pretty much went as expected, it was more to see how things are progressing since the beetle kill in the area, and things are rebounding nicely. The run to the gap is pretty much untouched, great wilderness forest, interesting rock formations, and wildlife abound. From the gap up is where you notice the swath of dead forest, but new trees are now 10-15ft and filling in nicely. Still a great run/climb regardless and worth the trip. You can see my video of my experience here: https://youtu.be/22CAYLhxEnk
Drove from Klamath in the early morning to escape the mid-90s heat wave. We, me and the two dogs, set out on trail mid morning. Loved the Palisades! Continued up the trail to the saddle and then on to gain the ridge where the fabulous rock cliffs and formations were enjoyed. It was very hot and dry along the ridge. The mountain was not as cool as I had hoped and thought 1.5 gallons of water would be enough for three mouths. Boy was I wrong. Climbed to the summit and quickly retreated to the prominent rock pinnacle where we dropped off the ridge to the base of the cliffs where I had spotted some residual snow, on the way up, for the dogs to rehydrate from the fast moving runoff stream. Looked for the trail that runs the base of the cliffs but failed to find it despite the GPS and maps telling me I was in the right spot... Anyway, hiked the contour back to the saddle and back to the car. Took about seven and a half hours from car to car on account of the heat and dog high jinks.
My advise: bring plenty of water and water treatment. I had to get water for the way back from a small creek, that's why I always carry iodine!
One of the most unique mountains I've climbed. Beautiful rock formations EVERYWHERE. After the saddle we dropped down into the valley and walk along the trail ogling at the cliffs above. We gained the summit from the north col after a short class 4 scramble and headed back via the high ridge. Great loop. Round trip from the car was 4 hours, but that was a bit fast. I suggest giving yourself plenty of time to relax and explore the rocks.
Walking along the south ridgeline to the summit seemed to take a long time, but probably mostly because I was solo and there for the first time. The trip back was much faster. The key thing to do on the south ridge is to basically stay on the plateau sections more often than not; do not bother with touching all of the false summits and hilltops as I had done. The only time one needs to get close to the eastern cliffy slopes is when scrambling down and around a prominent rock pinnacle.
This was the third of seven Top 100 peaks summited in Oregon during a 3-1/2 day timeframe.
Great peak with awesome views and a nice way to experience much of the wilderness area. The summit had no register, but did have several USGS Benchmark disks.
Beautiful hike right up to the saddle where the forest becomes a wasteland of dead snags. Gearhart meadows is largely a skeleton forest also. Anyone interested in doing this mountain might want to tackle it before the snags start falling down or a fire ravages the wilderness.
Troy and I also bagged Deadhorse across the valley later this same day. Its in even worse condition than Gearhart with regards to beetle kill.
Hiked up the Gearhart Mtn trail from the east past the Palisades to the saddle. From the saddle we hike up along the ridge top to the summit. The recent mountain pine beetle outbreak in the area has killed most of the Lodgepole Pine stand surrounding the peak.
Lots of snow. Came up from Deming Creek (from West). Good route for this time of year. Hard mountain to start the trip on in June, but well worth the view.
Great peak. Stay away from those snow cornices in June...bad joo joo for those too curious on a warm June day.
Hiked the Gearhart Mountain Trail from the east, then scrambled onto the plateau to the summit. Partially descended from a notch to the north, and will likely take that route next time. Saw a bear apparently digging for grubs under a downed tree above the trail on the hike out.
On a long drive from SLC UT to Warm Springs OR, I decided this climb would make a nice break. Afer camping a very cold night under the stars at Corral Creek I set off and found the cliffs around the "DOME" to be very spectacular, also liked this type of forest, very open and old.
Hiking this one in August isn't all that smart. Met two women near saddle who threw in the towel due to the heat. I pushed on and went up route as described in "75 Scrambles" book. After reading the entries here, i probably would have been better off to the way Cornvallis did since my route was probably harder and longer than it needed to be. Anyway, I had the company of zillions of butterflies that were loving the area and tried to share my summit apple with me. Yup, apple loving butterflies can be a menace. Take plenty of water if you do this in August.
Did this one on a perfect day - cool, brilliant sunshine, minimal breeze. Had the entire mountain to myself even though it was a weekend day.
Followed trail to notch north of summit. Followed low ridge to base of rim, then traversed right, dropped below big buttress on west side, and ascended gulley next to (south) of buttress. Note I tested several gullies before decided on this one and it probably the best option. Cloudy, cool, windy day and didn't see a soul the whole time.
Absolutely beautiful weather. Great Trail. The views were inspiring.
If everyone climbs the south ridge, you think it ought to be on the list of routes to choose from. Just a thought for you point junkies out there. :-)
Anyway, back to business....
I love October. Its beautiful in the valley and beautiful down in the basin/range. You can't go wrong. Pretty neat hike. The Palisades were very cool. The summit area was even better. I think it must have been 75 up there. We spent almost an hour taking pictures, eating lunch, just hanging out, enjoying our last really good weather (probably) of this unnaturally long season. The veiws were great, we could see from Shasta to the Sisters and equally as far east and west. A sea of mountains with islands of agriculture as far as the eye could see.
Tom you rock!
Wasn't able to leave Corvallis until after 9PM Friday night, so we didn't arrive at the TH until after 3AM. Anna and I assumed our sleeping positions in the car and caught some much needed rest. Really starting to get used to the sleeping in the car thing, thanks for the inspiration Dean. The Palisades are amazing, I could have spent an entire day here playing. Massive Ponderosas along the fist third of the trail are beautiful. Reached the first saddle and decided for some reason that the second saddle looked better, so we dropped down a bit and headed up towards it. Turned out to be a good choice as it was an easy climb up to the ridge that leads to the summit. The last half mile, and summit area, made this whole trip, the cliffs and rock formations near and around the summit are awesome. Weather on top was perfect, sunny and warm, not bad for the end of October. Before we left we climbed up the old lookout near the parking lot. Terrified some curious cows near Bly while taking a picture of Gearhart. Nice day.
Didn't get started until noon. Palisades are really cool, would make a great bouldering area if ever developed. Really dramatic cliffs the rest of the way along two ridges about a half mile to a mile long each. This area could be a really great climbing area with long cracks on high cliffs. Made the saddle and headed up left. Weaved back and forth along the ridge making sure I was heading in the right direction. Got to some basalt columns and headed back to the ridge to my right. Then easy hike to summit. Lots of flying ants there, didn't stay long.
To make it interesting, I scrambled down a rocky gully on the north side and then bushwhacked back to the Notch where I picked up the trail back through the basin. Great meadows along the way. Scrambled to the top of some pinnacles on the way back to take pictures of the southeast ridge. Back to car by 7 pm. Then a long drive back to Portland, didn't get back until 1:30 am.