Hiking Central Oregon – Mt Thielsen Climb


Good morning Julie and Tom here we’re at
the Mount Thielsen trailhead in Central Oregon. I’m guessing they’re working on
the sign because the sign doesn’t say anything, anyway today we’re going to be
hiking in the Mount Thielsen Wilderness we’re going to be crossing the Pacific Crest
Trail this hike is roughly I think about nine miles with about 3,900 feet of
elevation gain. This mountain is a volcano that last erupted 250,000 years
ago it’s been eroding ever since. Right now it’s a sharp pinnacle they call it
big cow horn because it looks like a cow horn so it should be a great hike let’s
go see what we find. so we’re heading off on the trail,
it’s September 18th 2018 right about eight o’clock in the morning and when we left the car it was 29 degrees. There’s a look at Mount Bailey the Sun coming up
on it Diamond Lake down below so far the trail is pretty nice
it’s obviously well used and it’s been climbing steadily but fairly gently so
far. Here’s our first trail sign we’ve seen
it says Mount Thielsen trail two miles back to the trailhead the way we came
which is that way and there’s also an intersection here with spruce Ridge
Trail, Howlock Mountain Trail is two miles that way and we’re headed up this
way. There’s our first glimpse of the mountain I don’t know if you can see it. Well there’s big cow horn looks pretty
steep doesn’t it? one toilet paper, two toilet papers, three toilet
papers four toilet papers, can’t anybody at least bury their toilet paper
if you need to use it out here it’d be nice for us anyway
thank you. About another ten steps here’s another toilet paper here’s all you
would really need to do Julie will demonstrate there, done
better. Well here’s a little Ridge that’s a nice overlook you can see up to the
sisters in the background there and directly into the Sun to our right is the mountain we’re looking at climbing today there it is, the lightning rod of the
Cascades. Here is the intersection with the PCT I see the PCT symbol there on
the tree there’s a sign here that says Windigo Pass trailhead to the left
North Crater trailhead to the right it’s about nineteen hundred and forty feet
elevation gain from the trailhead to the intersection with the PCT and just under
four miles. Thielsen’s dead ahead this way I’m
guessing this is the route up the ridge straight ahead
wouldn’t you think Julie yeah that’s the Windigo pass that’s
going to go down that is the PCT so the PCT goes just beneath Thielsen
so why don’t you tell me your names Jake, Jared
Collin and these guys climbed up the Thielsen today on September 18th they’ve
got Bailey and Diamond Lake in the background beautiful scene and they said
they had fun on the spire, yeah cool so good seeing you guys
you can check out my video on YouTube later on all right nice meeting you guys
have a safe trip back This is looking back at the ridge we’ve
been coming up, Diamond Lake in the background. It’s starting to get pretty steep
and a little bit loose Julie’s mountain goating her way up and somehow I’ve got to
keep up with her well we’re just about running out of
trees we’re up near this band of lighter colored material we’re still running the
ridge here it looks like it goes all the way up here’s off the other direction well this is the ridge we’ve been
coming up it’s really loose in this lighter colored stuff and we’re getting
towards the end of the tree line so it’s starting to get a little
rockier now with some better footing which is good because that loose stuff is
kind of rough but that’s mountain climbing for you it’s starting to get a little
windy too pretty cool moonscape up here that’s
what 250,000 years of erosion will do but we’re getting there
we’ve on the final stretch before the summit pinnacle that’s over to Mt.
Bailey this is mount Julie this is looking behind us you want to stay out
of this slabby stuff all that it’ll avalanche on you if you’re not
careful Julie’s trying to get in it right now
you want to stay over here to the left a little bit everything’s be loose up here that’s for
sure lots of loose footing up here we’re getting there I believe I’m right below
the pinnacle now well here we are just below the pinnacle
there’s the notch look and see what kind of mountains we can see from here that’s
Bailey right next to Diamond Lake this way one of those is McLaughlin it looks
like Shasta is visible in the very background the big tall silhouette this
ridge over here is just spectacularly eroded pretty cool I don’t know the rest
of my mountains in this area This is looking off the back side towards the sisters
and Diamond Peak let’s see I think Little Cow Horn is right over there the
skinniest one pointiest one and then Sawtooth it’s straight down here, that would hurt
I believe that the Lathrop glacier is down this way well I guess this is as close as I’m
going to get to the top, honoring my lovely wife’s wishes not to climb it any
further anyway it’s been fun pretty
awesome views that’s for sure so it took us about four hours to get to the base
of the pinnacle that’s called the chicken ledge we’re down a little bit
from there now but so it was about 3,700 feet of vertical gain and about right
about five miles just a shade under five miles and it’s a lot of loose footing so
it’s kind of a bear getting up here so those are the numbers let’s make
our way back down look at the beautiful erosion and the ridge we’re going to follow
that ridge all the way down the ridge proper starts about at the crossing of
the PCT and there are multiple routes up this ridge once you get higher up when
we came up we came up a lot further over that way it looks like there’s a little
better trail over here well we found an easier way down that’s for sure from the
very top we kind of took the roundabout way up there should be a carin right here going up this way
because that’s the easier way to go say goodbye to the peak boy this light
colored stuff was a slog coming up here but it’s not bad going down you can kind
of ski although there’s no snow coming up it’s a real traction problem you take a half a step
take a full step forward and only get a half a step credit well there’s Mt. Thielsen behind us
we ran into a few hikers here the newlyweds what are your names Logan
Drew and Bruce they’re heading up there they’ve got to get going though if
they’re going to make it up there so I guess they’ve been up there before a few
times go beavers alright alright guys have a good trip where is Julie there she is well we’re down off of some
of the harder or soft stuff which is tough going up but not bad going down
a lot easier with trekking poles I want to do a quick little tip to make sure you
put your your straps on right come in from the bottom
put the strap between your hand in the and the grip that way you have downward
pressure you’re not depending on your grip I see a lot of people coming in
from the top and all they do is grip their pole you’re depending entirely on
your on your grip strength your hands get tired and one other thing when you
have them like this if you were to fall you drop them on they’re out of your way
you can have your hands-free if you’re like this you have your straps on wrong
and you go to drop it nothing happens so much difference and just it’s
improper to to put them on the other way so that’s my little tip of the day going
downhill I grab the horns a lot to fight gravity There’s the PCT going that way it must go just
along the base of the scree there by the edge of the woods and so we have a quick
four miles back to the trailhead and we’re done with this baby we should be
just about back to the trailhead give you the final numbers when we get
back we are back to the trailhead there is a bathroom here this is fee parking
so you’ve got to have your forest pass or else it’s five dollars daily I
believe the hike took us right around seven hours, a long time but we kind of
fooled around a little bit got lost a little on the way up so if you do this
follow the way that we came down don’t go the way we went up we got a
little too far off to the right as we were going up
the elevation gain was 3700 feet and we didn’t go to the very
top so. and that was to the to the chicken notch we didn’t make it
past the chicken ledge but that’s okay we both had fun I don’t need to prove
anything so seven hours 10 miles 3,700 feet elevation gain so thanks for
watching the video you guys it’s a great scenic hike and we always appreciate
appreciate you watching so leave a comment if you want to and we did run
into a few people up there you’ll see them in the video to so thanks for
watching!

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