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Ascent of Strawberry Mountain on 2018-08-05

Climber: Jason Vogler

Date:Sunday, August 5, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Strawberry Mountain
    Location:USA-Oregon
    Elevation:9040 ft / 2755 m

Ascent Trip Report

14th Oregon County Highpoint

Drove to Prairie City East of John Day. There is a ranger station there that has all the information for the surrounding area. I took a Right at main Street then soon thereafter a left on Bridge Street and then another Right onto S bridge Street which turns into Strawberry Road. This road goes back about 11 miles to the trailhead. The road goes from paved to gravel quickly and the road conditions are not great as you get into the state park to Strawberry campground. It was already around 7PM on a Saturday and there was not parking except for one open camp ground. I got to bed early as it was dark and quite by 9 so after a long day of driving and hiking I finished one chapter of my book and bedded down in the 4-runner.

Woke up around 6 AM which was latter than I wanted to start but I didn't want to walk around in the dark. made me some breakfast and was able to get on the Trail by 7 AM. Did not take me long to get up to Strawberry lake. Maybe 30 minutes. It was a beautiful morning in the 60's at the time and clear blue sky which made a great picture. Strolled along the eastern shore of the lake following the #375 Trail all the way to the southern shore of the lake. Here I had some problems. There was a sign at the Far southeastern end to go to Small Strawberry Lake but it did not say it was Trail #375... I stayed on the trail following the lake looking for the falls that i could hear. This was a mistake...I went back and forth a few times before I convinced myself to go up the Small strawberry lake trail... This was the correct trail. Cost me 30 minutes and I saw some lower unspectacular falls and some of the southwestern shore of the lake.

Another 20 minutes or so and I found myself up to the actual Strawberry falls which was very nice. I kept following the trail and it went up to a bridge that crossed from the eastern side of the stream to the western side of the stream and started heading up the eastern flank of Strawberry mountain. I had traveled about 3 miles and had gone up about 1000 vertical feet which had been a very nice trail. The trail turns from West to North by Northwest as you cut up to the a ridge. I walked another 1 1/2 miles with the exception of a short cutback through meadows of wild flowers. Once on the ridge it cuts west for about a 1/2 mile where you effecitivly are at the point of tree line for the mountain. I have gone over 5 miles and 2000 verticle feet and it is obvious the last mile is very steep.

The trail goes South initially as it cuts up to the upper ridge. Once on top you have a great view finally of the western side of the strawberry. The trail then cuts north along the eastern side of the mountain to the north side of the mountain and unfortuanlly the terrain changes to a scree almost the entire way along the eastern side and up to the top. Once on the north side it begins a zig zag up to the final 500 feet. It was pretty steep and the scree made it worse.

The summit gave vast views however there was a great deal of smoke to limit the visibility to the full capacity that the mountain summit could give you on a perfectly clear day. I did not stay up on top long as it was in the high eighty's with no cover from the sun. I was feeling a little nauseated to begin with and thought it might be the elevation though I had never had an issue at 9000 feet before. Anyway I went down to the tree line and took a 15 minute power nap. As I woke up I had a little cramp issue in my legs so I ate a bannana. This inpired me to vomit almost as soon as the last bite went down. I could clearly see breakfast which had not digested at all. Won't eat that breakfast again! first time I had had that kind of dehydrated food pack before so it did not sit well. Felt great once that was gone though.

Took my time coming down taking long breaks at the best view points I had seen coming up. It took be 4 hours to go up and 3 hours to come down with all my breaks.

Very much recommend this hike to anyone as it has a great deal of variety to the hike. The lower section from waterfall to the parking lot was crowded but for a summer day on a saturday the upper sections were virtually empty.

Summary Total Data
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Hot, Clear
pefect warm high desert day



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