The summit of Pearsoll Peak had been in my sights for the last several years. I live within 50 miles of the peak, but this summit had special significance for me. My journey to this peak began 10 years previously when I first climbed Mt. McLoughlin. Climbing this mountain ignited a fire in my inner-self that has not been extinguished and only grows larger with every mountain I climb.
From Mt. McLoughlin, I progressed to several of the nearby volcanoes with names like Thielsen, Bailey, Diamond, South Sister, and Broken Top. I discovered a list of peaks called the Oregon 100 and started climbing some of those peaks. I then discovered the County Highpoint Organization (COHP.org) and I could again expand my horizons to climb more mountains like Hood, Sacajawea, Strawberry, and Shasta. I also found great hiking partners like Bob Bolton and Dean Molen.
These great friends introduced me to more climbing challenges including the Prominence Peaks of Oregon and I finally I was on my way to the summit of Pearsoll Peak. There are 73 peaks in Oregon that have 2,000 feet of prominence and Pearsoll Peak is in the upper half of that list. Granted, many of these peaks are drive-ups or short easy hikes, but there are several others that take some special attention.
Three Finger Jack was the place I rappelled for the first time. The next day I rappelled on Mt. Washington as well. Mt. Jefferson not only completed the last 2 county highpoints in Oregon, but it is the 3rd most prominent peak in Oregon as well. A running belay traversing an ice field and a rappel off the summit horn added to that special day. Earlier this year, North Sister was the last major hurdle in finishing the prominence list in Oregon. More running belays traversing ice fields, ascending a fixed rope up the bowling alley, and rappelling down the bowling alley all added to the difficulties on the climb of North Sister.
This final climb up Pearsoll Peak with my good friend Dean Molen (who has accompanied me on dozens of prominence and cohp climbs) was special indeed. I couldn’t do this alone, so special thanks to my wife for her patience and support, Dean Molen for his good humor and company, Bob Bolton who lit the prominence fire in my belly, Oregon Mountaineering Association for helping with Three Finger Jack and Mt. Washington, Brian Jenkins for leading Mt. Jefferson and North Sister, and to other SPers David, Steve, Craig, Cory, Tom SP members who helped me achieve this goal. Summit Post is the greatest and all the Trip Reports, Route Descriptions, and Photos helped many times.
In the end, the simple short hike to the summit of hundreds of miles hiking, climbed more than 100,000 feet in elevation gain, and put tens of thousands of miles on my vehicle. Next list? I still need about half of the Oregon 100.