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Ascent of Larch Mountain on 2011-10-24

Climber: Ryan Courtney

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Monday, October 24, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Larch Mountain
    Location:USA-Oregon
    Elevation:4055 ft / 1235 m

Ascent Trip Report

OMG.

Larch darn near became an exercise in futility for me. I finally touched the top after a laughable FOUR attempts. But I sure do enjoy the drive up from the Interstate - perhaps I should have taken a few more attempts before making the top.

If I were dumb, attempt number one should have done it. If I were dumb and/or bold, attempts two and three should have done it. But finally the stars aligned for me.

I was in the area on April 21, 2011, but did not make the drive to the trailhead.

Attempt #1 - October 2, 2011: In rainy conditions we made the short hike up the trail. The summit rock was wet and my tennis shoes were slipping at every attempted step. I think I made the correct call in not continuing.

Attempt #2 - October 8, 2011: Knowing the route to the top made me consider a night attempt. I got to the top and I was in the clouds. And the clouds were really really thick. Visibility was a couple of feet. My headlamp was bouncing right back in my face. I wasn’t really worried about the summit rock, but I was kind of worried about not being able to follow the trail due to the poor visibility... and plummeting into injury. I turned around after a couple of steps.

Attempt #3 - October 21, 2011: See attempt #2. Conditions exactly the same for my second night attempt.

Attempt #4 - October 24, 2011: Success! Partly cloudy (no volcanoes visible), but it was light and the rock was dry and I was wearing boots. From the bottom of the summit rock I made the top in approximately 5 seconds. Whew!

One note: if you are lacking valid forest or other public land passes, there is an entrance to a gated road with ample parking just a few steps below the fee area.

*Whatever your style or experience, whatever your age, or weight, or mobility issues, DO NOT overestimate Larch Mountain based on my report. Sometimes I'm just a walking comedy of errors. There is a very nice, paved road almost the entire way to the summit and basically a natural staircase built into the rock.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Scramble



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