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Tom MacD

Winter climbing in Bend?

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Hi all - I'm looking for recommendations on some excursions during a day off from a family ski trip to Mt. Bachelor.  I plan on checking in with the Timberline Guides as well when I arrive, but wanted to see if some of you locals had some recommendations for fun single-day outings in the area (and with relatively moderate approaches).  My goal is to get more experience on crampons and steep snow and mixed climbs, and being relatively new to winter climbing & mountaineering, I'm looking for moderate to easy routes.  Curious to hear what's available (so far Broken Top seems to be the main choice).  I'll be in Bend for a week, arriving on the 29th of December.  Thanks!

Edited by Tom MacD

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If the weather is descent a trip into Mt. Washington is a reasonable ski tour day trip. Though spring time is when most go in as the snow is more consolidated. 

One issue to consider with Broken Top is avy danger. See the attached picture.

1985-02-03 09 AllenS BTop Aval2.jpg

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Yikes. The Timberline guys mentioned that Broken Top is all about having the right conditions (and low avalanche risk).  Thanks!

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I think there is a picture on the Coavy IG account from a big slide on Tumalo. Definitely check the avy conditions report.

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Very, very seldom there were any good conditions at this time of the year (lived there for 9 years in the 90's). Back in 92 or 93, during one of the low snow years, managed to romp up North Sister, which was a fun scramble. However usually the best conditions were either during Fall or during Spring (freeze/thaw). Paulina Falls can provide some entertainment on steeper ice (mostly TR). I remember doing some WI3 pitches on Broken Top, but again- they usually form in early Spring from freeze/thaw.  

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Go ski touring or go rock climbing. Based on what you are looking for the nearest reasonable objective would be to climb something on the south side of hood (timberline is only a 2 hr drive). All other objectives are going to be prohibitively longer approaches for minimal "climbing".

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I hear Steve House dry-tooled Picnic Lunch Wall before he moved to Colorado (it hadn't yet been free climbed, but now goes at 5.12+ R). Also, a certain mountain guide claims to have dry tooled Churning in the Wake (13a). Personally, I think as long as you stay off of popular climbs no one would care, but we have a couple other crags in the region that offer dry-tooling in a colder and less-popular location.

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