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[TR] Robinson Mountain (8726') - Northeast Ridge 05/22/2021

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Trip: Robinson Mountain (8726') - Northeast Ridge

Trip Date: 05/22/2021

Trip Report:

I climbed Robinson Mountain (8726’) outside Mazama, Northeast Ridge Route.  I started the climb from the Robinson Creek Trailhead, a little over 9 miles down Lost River Rd. from Mazama.   

I decided to head East over Hwy 20 to see how much snow is in the Eastern Cascades.   There is a lot less snow on the east side, but still a decent amount depending on the peak.  Robinson Mountain has melted out faster than the surrounding peaks by quite a bit. 

The weather was perfect.  Clear skies and warm.  I was prepared for a long day on the mountain so I started up the trail around 5:30am to leave plenty of time before dark.   You will cross two bridges on the main trail heading up.  About 40 feet after the 2nd bridge (that crosses Beauty Creek) look for the climber’s trial on the right side of the trail heading uphill (about an hour up the trail depending on your speed).  The climber’s trail heading up towards Robinson Mountain is fantastic.  It is one of the nicest climber’s trails I have ever climbed up.  I’ve been on trails that are on maps that are not as nice as this climber’s trail.

Snow started at around 4600’, patchy at first, then pretty solid until you turn to go up the grassy slope (5200’).  The grassy slope is snow free up until about 6000’.  6000’ to the top of the ridge is all snow.  The last running water I came across was a small waterfall right below the lake.  The lake (6750’) is still snow covered with a couple spots of water opening up.  Water up before going up to the ridge or be prepared to melt snow.  From the lake I went up the snow covered slope to the left (south) to gain the ridge.  I followed that ridge to the main Northeast ridge that leads to the summit.  Most of the ridge is snow free.  The climbing is mostly class 2 with a short section of class 3 here and there.  The section going up the false summit is the most difficult being exposed 3rd class for about 50 feet.  Coming back from the summit I decided to go straight down the snow bowl toward the lake.  The snow had been in direct sun for hours so it was perfect for plunge stepping.

Overall this is a very nice early season climb.  The snow melts off the peak early and the views are awesome.  6100’ of climbing gives you a good workout to boot.    


Some Tips and Notes:

1.       This is a long day trip.  Took me 11.5 hours total time.  Average fit climber pace. 

2.       The last running water is right below the lake.     

3.       An ice axe would be a good idea to bring along, as the snow gets somewhat steep in sections.

4.       Snow starts at 4600’

5.       The ridge to the summit is mostly snow free.    


Travel Time for reference:  Car to Summit 6.5 hours – Summit to car 4.5 hours



Bridge over Beauty Creek.


Start of the climber's trail after Beauty Creek Bridge.  Look for the broken off tree stump. 


Climber's trail.  Nice enough to be on a trail map.  


Lake and snow bowl leading to the ridge.


Heading up to the ridge on the left (south) side of the lake.


Looking down to the lake while heading up to the ridge.


Looking up the Northeast ridge to the summit.


Looking down the Northeast ridge from the summit.


The views from the summit are fantastic!  You can see almost all of the major peaks in the Cascades.  

Gear Notes:
 Whippet, Ice Axe & Helmet.  Brought crampons but didn’t need them.

Approach Notes:
Robinson Creek Trailhead start location. Head up the climber's trail about 40' past the Beauty Creek bridge.
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Well done, that's a big day!

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