Started hiking just before dawn. Sun coming up and warming me on the summit. Great birthday morning hike before driving back to Portland.
My wife and I were intrigued by this basalt incisor rising distant from the forest southwest of Crater Lake. The day we climbed it, we were pleasantly surprised to learn what a deep woods approach (>5miles) it was to the summit outcrop. The forest here is mature and quiet. We never saw another person on the 5-6 hours we spent round tripping to the summit. We did come across a horse sized elk on a dark hillside, standing amidst the massive trees. We had never seen an elk in thick woods before, only having freuqently seen them in open meadows and herds. It was a real thrill and imbued the animal with a totally different personality than that of a grazing animal.
The summit block is very beautiful, the oldest peak in Crater Lake NP. We enjoyed the solitary nature of this hike and the deep and diverse woods, views and topography of this peak. A great day. There is also a nice camp site, just slightly down the hill at the corner of the first, and longest, switchback that heads up the summit block.
The first few miles of the trail are pretty straightforward, but once you get a view of the peak, things get interesting fast. It never becomes anything technical, but the views are great and the exposure is just enough to make things interesting. Highly recommended hike, even though you can't see the lake from the summit.
Heard elk bugles on the way in and crossed paths with elk and a bear on the way back to the car!
Humid and warm day with some mosquitoes. Met a NPS trail crew working on the upper trail. The trail makes this ascent quite straightforward, with one switchback at class 2 with some exposure.
I have done this peak twice, once in 2007, with my friend Mike and then again in 2008 with a large group of friends and family. The second trip was fun because my girlfriend Brook, really started to see why I enjoyed climbing so much and she literally flew up the mountain.
Made it up in 2 1/2 hours. DEET and water were both very necessary.