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[TR] Central Oregon - Five Peak Traverse 7/1/2011


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Trip: Central Oregon - Five Peak Traverse


Date: 7/1/2011


Trip Report:



I got the bug in my head when Kevin Grove asked how I felt about doing the Five Peak Traverse (Three Sisters, Broken Top, and Bachelor). We left that night at 10 pm from the Bachelor parking lot in hopes of making it to North before the snow got too soft and we made four summits before reaching the Terrible Traverse when, well, the snow got too soft. After a week of recovery, I gave it another shot going in the opposite direction.




I left Pole Creek at 3:25 in the morning and bush-bashed it from the PCT connector trail to Thayer Glacier. The bergschrund on Thayer was starting to widen but it was closed up enough on the sides to squeak by. The Terrible Traverse, especially on the north side of the rib that splits it in half was covered in solid neve and the the majority of the bowling alley was filled with good ice. I had a whippet and an ice axe but a second ice tool sure would have saved my wrist. You really gotta pound that whippet in when it's at all icy.






Things remained fairly straightforward until the North Ridge of South Sister which was something I had not done before and didn't entirely know what to expect. Up through the steepest bit, the snow was softer than I would have liked but someone's boot tracks remained from a previous day making for some solid front pointing.






A beautiful ski off South Sister on ripened corn brought me to the boot up the west facing snow slopes of Broken Top. This was the most mentally demanding part of the whole ordeal with the sun raging overhead against my dark shirt. My forehead met up with the snow a few times and I wondered why the summit looked just as far away. My dromedary was reportedly empty.




On the summit of Broken Top, I sat down a while and stared across the void at Bachelor. I wasn't sure if I had enough GU to make it that far. Anyway, the distance didn't seem to be getting any closer so I downclimbed the traverse which was nearly free of snow and skied off to the south staying as high as possible.


**In order to keep this trip report's G rating, I shall fast forward to the summit of Bachelor**


The sun was setting just as I topped out on Bachelor. Fitting I suppose, after reaching the real climbing on North just as the sun started its daily the light show. I skied with relief off of Bachelor into the imposing darkness to reach the parking lot at 9:18 for a total time of 17 hours and 52 minutes. Sheesh.




Gear Notes:




Edited by keep_it_real
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The non G-rated part would have involved too many naughty words to convey my feelings at that point. Skiing around in unbuckled boots, without your heels locked down over huge sun cups tends to dirty the mouth. I had also forgotten that there was more than one ridge to gain on the traverse around broken top, a big hurdle from within the murky depths of a bonk.

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