Ascent of Mount McLoughlin on 1999-09-02

Climber: Don Gilman

Others in Party:Mike B.
Date:Thursday, September 2, 1999
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount McLoughlin
    Elevation:9495 ft / 2894 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was my second trip with Mike B, and once again we had our share of weirdness. We left Roseburg early, and drove the two and a half or so hours to the trailhead, and set off with Eva and Albert, Mike's loyal German Shepherd packdogs (Mike is disabled, he had, at that time, a severly arthritic hip, so the dogs carried alot of food and water). A few miles into the forest, we heard a jet, far off in the distance, but in a matter of moments, that jet became ear-splittingly loud and I looked up, just in time, to see an F-18 Hornet, presumably from Klamath Air Base, flash by no more than one hundred feet above the treetops. He was so close that if he wasn't going so incredibly fast, I could have easily seen the pilot. The noise was just overpowering, and both dogs scattered in sheer terror. Our own hearts were pounding. It took us all a few minutes to calm down, to get the dogs back, but after a few laughs we were on our way again. Pretty soon we began leaving the tall timber and began the ascent in ernest, the trail winding its way up a broad ridge, the views becoming more and more spectacular. But one thing was bothering me - there was this cloud, just alone, baby-lenticular, and I was still pretty spooked by my experience on Black Crater (see TR), so I was hemming and hawing about whether or not to continue, while Mike was completely nonplussed. So we kept going, and despite my fears, we reached the summit, but I was really afraid this cloud was going to unleash a barrage of lightning upon me (after all, the clouds on Black Crater were innocent looking enough), so when I summited I spent all of thirty seconds and then bailed.Getting spooked is something I still have to fight, even to this day, though I have learned to push through it now. I returned to our gear stash and waited for Mike, who spent a much longer, more enjoyable time on the summit, knowing that this cloud was harmless. Well, I have learned since then...
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:11745 ft / 3579 m
    Total Elevation Loss:11745 ft / 3579 m
    Round-Trip Distance:10.6 mi / 17.1 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:7830 ft / 2386 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 3915 ft / 1194 m; Extra: 3915 ft / 1193m
    Loss on way in:3915 ft / 1193 m
    Distance:5.3 mi / 8.5 km
    Route:Mt Mclaughlin trail
    Start Trailhead:Mt Mclaughlin Trail  5580 ft / 1700 m
    Time:5 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:7830 ft / 2386 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 3915 ft / 1194 m; Extra: 3915 ft / 1193m
    Gain on way out:3915 ft / 1193 m
    Distance:5.3 mi / 8.5 km
    Route:MM trail
    End Trailhead:Mt Mclaughlin trail  5580 ft / 1700 m
    Time:6 Hours 

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