Ascent of Steens Mountain-North Peak on 2011-10-24

Climber: Michael Wanberg

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, October 24, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Steens Mountain-North Peak
    Elevation:9348 ft / 2849 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was the first summit on my five day peak-bagging exploration of SE Oregon, and a great introduction!

The Kiger gorge is spectacular, and there were some really neat, small fossils along my route out to the summit in a couple of spots. When I parked the lot was enshrouded in a cloud that was passing over the mountain and all of the grasses were encased in rime ice - it was really stunning but also very forbidding. The cloud blew over and the sun came out, which gave me all the boost I needed to get moving.

There were a couple places (right off the viewpoint plateau being one) where scrambling is required. It's not difficult (class 3), but it's just steep enough that you need to be sure to pay close attention to your holds and foot falls. This is sparse country, and the nearest hospital is a LONG way away.

You'll drop down through two prominent notches and then have to walk to the far (north) end of a mini-mesa to get to the highpoint, but there's nothing too difficult if you're used to scrambles.

Amazing view of the Kiger Gorge and the Alvord Playa!


Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1893 ft / 576 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1893 ft / 576 m
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cold, Very Windy, Partly Cloudy
Near white-out from low clouds at start, then high, scattered clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1148 ft / 349 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 428 ft / 131 m; Extra: 720 ft / 219m
    Loss on way in:720 ft / 219 m
    Route:SE rim of Kiger Gorge
    Start Trailhead:Kiger Gorge Overlook  8920 ft / 2718 m
    Time:1 Hours 45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1173 ft / 357 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 428 ft / 131 m; Extra: 745 ft / 227m
    Gain on way out:745 ft / 227 m
    Route:SE rim of Kiger Gorge
    End Trailhead:Kiger Gorge Overlook  8920 ft / 2718 m
    Time:1 Hours 30 Minutes

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