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Holk

Thielsen and Area Access?

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I will be heading down to Crater Lake Thursday night and staying through Sunday. Does anyone know what the snow conditions are like out there? I would like to climb Scott, Bailey, Howlock and Thielsen East Peak - the last two are what I'm concerned with. Just curious if I'll have to go cross country on the approach? Thanks.

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I was up at Crater Lake Park yesterday. It's hard to say for sure about any lingering snow below treeline, but I wouldn't expect too much.

 

Thielson looks quite dry from the south. From a distance this may not mean no snow below treeline, but everything open is pretty much dried off. A friend who isn't really a climber at all did Thielson recently with no problems. I doubt she would have if the trail had been too hard to follow due to snow.

 

There were cars at the Mt Scott trailhead, and I'm sure it's being hiked regularly. There is quite a bit of snow on the western bowl, but I believe the trail goes south of that. The final stretch along the ridgeline may have some snow. There is enough in the western bowl for somebody to have skied it, although this strikes me as more desperate than appealing. From a distance the east face of Scott looks pretty much entirely dry.

 

Bailey also looks pretty dry from a distance on the south and east aspects. I'd expect the more northerly aspects which I could not see may still have quite a bit of snow. The north bowl of McLoughlin still has snow top to bottom, and the NE bowl is only slightly less covered. (However, the north facing bowl on Pelican butte looks pretty snow free, perhaps because its lower in elevation.)

 

I'm not familiar with Howlock at all.

 

I can't imagine having to go cross country. You may encounter a few sections of snow, but at this point they should not be extended and the way across will probably be clear.

 

Mosquitoes may be a bigger issue than snow. They vary a lot with location and time of day but are getting pretty bad in some spots.

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Thanks Jim! This is all very encouraging news. I actually love climbing in the snow, but like I said, access is the issue here.

 

Howlock is north of Thielsen a few miles and it's the peak I'll have to go after first, then climb the Sawtooth range to get onto Thielsen East Peak.

 

I just don't want to get behind schedule because of route finding in the snow, but it sounds like the trails are in and easy to navigate. If possible I hope to find a couloir below the southeast ridge and head out that way, otherwise I'll likely just retrace my steps out.

 

Thanks again! Hopefully I'll be able to tackle four of Oregon's 100 highest peaks this weekend.

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I think if you hit snow it's most likely going to be in the Howlock and Sawtooth area, I'm not familiar with that. Anything forested and at all northerly can still have quite a bit. If you can avoid that kind of terrain you shouldn't find so much.

 

Going around Crater Lake there are a surprising number of snow patches, but the only place they are still widespread enough to make following any trails too hard would be between Cleetwood Cove and the north entrance junction. Along that section of road the snow was almost continuous. That is sloped to the north slightly, treed, and I assume about 6000' or a bit higher.

 

I know what you mean about access, between being able to ski from the trailheads and being able to follow the trails there is a period when routefinding in the forest with discontinuous snow can be a real pain some places.

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The climb went really well and very little snow was ever encountered.

Areas on Diamond Peak still look pretty thick and so do the Three Sisters, but Howlock only had a little couple of patches here and there.

 

howlock-panorama.jpg

Howlock summit at left and summit Pinnacle at center right.

 

Unfortunately I never managed my way over to Thielsen East Peak, but that just means I'll have to head down again soon.

However, I did write a bit of a report on the climb and would've put it here, but already uploaded it to summitpost and don't want to repeat myself.

 

http://www.summitpost.org/trip-report/642509/the-holly-sawtooth.html

 

howlock.jpg

Atop the summit Pinnacle of Howlock Mountain w/ Thielsen in the background.

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Thielsen looks clean from there. I'll let you know on Monday what it is really like, but I am expecting a pretty snow-less time. Hopefully the weather holds out...

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