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  • 25 Sep 2023 7:50 PM | Anonymous

    John Sweat had a few hikers willing to brave the smoky gossamer haze on Sunday September 24.  Fortunately conditions changed for the best as a slight drizzle turned into a cleansing yet steady rain fall which saved the day.

    There was mild apprehension as they approached the creek crossing but, everyone handled it with ease considering the damp conditions. From that point on it was all down hill.  The group stopped a few times to take in the view points and admired the falls along the way back to the trailhead. The stats for the day were a little over 8 miles with an elevation gain of 1200 feet; perfect for a wet day!

  • 20 Sep 2023 10:29 AM | Anonymous

    A break in the smoke and a gorgeous day to be in the woods on Tuesday was sufficient for Dennis DeLapp, Chuck DelCambre, Kurt Keesy, and Dave Alward to head to Swampy to complete the Summit Bypass on the Porcupine Snowshoe trail. Dave brought his chainsaw and with the help of Kurt, finished clearing the 1/2-mile track. Chuck & Dennis  worked on marker installation and trimming for visibility. Temporary signs were installed at the two junctions. It was concluded by all that the bypass is a nice trail through the hemlocks and will be appreciated by intermediate-level shoers. The steeper trail over the summit can be enjoyed by those with good stamina.  Thanks to Dennis for some photos!


    We have two more trails approved for implementation: AC-DC Shelter tie at Edison and a new trail at Vista Butte. We will get started on the AC-DC Shelter Tie in October.

  • 20 Sep 2023 10:16 AM | Anonymous

    On Saturday, September 16 Roz O’Donaghue planned on hiking the Benson, Tenas, Hand Lakes and Scott Mtn summit loop hike. She was hoping to take advantage of the fact that the fire restriction closing Hwy 242 to some of our beautiful hikes had been lifted. However, at the last minute, the hike location had to be changed due to a flare up of wildfire activity and smoke over the Benson/Tenas Lakes/Scott Mtn route.   


    The destination was switched to a summit of Mt. Bachelor via Bugaboo ridge. It is a 8.6 mile in and out route with a 1800ft elevation gain. Six CONC members decided to go, though one stayed behind at the trailhead due to equipment issues. The other five were rewarded with a quiet trail and fairly clear skies. Three made it to the summit after two turned back to be with the member they had carpooled with that stayed at the trailhead. Autumn colors were on display as the huckleberry bushes had turned a scarlet red. There were also views of nearby Mt. Jefferson and Coffin Mtn. The three returned to the trailhead just before the smoke drifted into the area.

  • 28 Aug 2023 2:20 PM | Anonymous

    Four club members left Thump coffee Sunday morning, August 27, and drove south on Hwy 97 through thick smoke towards the Newberry Crater.  This was actually my third choice for hike destination, as I was changing the plan almost daily to avoid the smoke.  The smoke dissipated as we drove up to Paulina Lake, and was actually "gone" by the time we parked to the side of the HIP camp entrance, just past the Big Obsidian Flow.  We bushwhacked across the road to find the Lost Lake Trail, which goes up the east side of the Obsidian Flow.

    The first 2 miles were pretty uneventful, hiking quickly while it was still cool.  After a few switchbacks, the trail comes right up to the Obsidian Flow and becomes "interesting".  Just beyond this first encounter, we reached the top of the Obsidian Flow to see that it also flows a bit to the south.  This section of the trail levels out as it crosses a small valley just below the Rim Trail.

    At this point, we left the Lost Lake trail and headed southwest towards the Rim Trail. We passed a very "interesting" flow line that seemed to have formed when the lava swept up against the hillside below the rim.  On top, we joined the Rim Trail and headed east for just over a mile on a relatively flat section with small, dispersed trees.  Forecasted temperature at this elevation was 65 degrees, and as we were exposed to a slight breeze this section was surprisingly pleasant.  After two switchbacks, we came to where the Lost Lake trail intersects with the Rim Trail, so we took it and headed east again in order to form a "lollipop" route configuration.

    This short section of trail went through this "interesting" valley hidden here just below the caldera rim.  Within a mile, we came across a fine, pumice flat just off the trail, that I chose to call a "pumice meadow".  A quarter mile later, we rejoined our up-trail and headed downhill.  Back at the car, our total hike turned out to be 9.2 miles and 5 hours.  Interesting, since my original route said 11.2 miles and 6 hours.  But no complaints here!

  • 28 Aug 2023 1:52 PM | Anonymous

    Blistering heat on the horizon, didn’t deter four hardy hikers from summiting Hager Mountain on July 22.  But that wasn't the "real" objective of this hike.  John Sweat planned to revitalize an apparently old CONC tradition, by hiking Hager Mountain, then having dinner at the locally renowned Cowboy Dinner Tree, for which he had already made reservations.  

    To the point, the group reached the lookout on top of Hager Mountain in an hour and a half!  With a brilliant persuasion of chocolate chip cookies they were welcomed to  the deck by the lookout on duty, Yvonne.  She answered all of their questions regarding her duties while the group took in the 360 degree view. 

    With a quick descent down the mountain, they had 30 minutes till dinner was served.  They occupied that time with libations in shade of the juniper trees and in snooping around inside the gift shop.  When seated they were served ice cold lemonade that never tasted so good!  Family style salad and soup followed, and  rolls which were to die for.  The entrée consisted of either a whole chicken or 28-30 oz. steak.  Sides of baked potatoes, were cooked to perfection.  Needless to say there were plenty of leftovers to take home, in the provided doggies bags!


  • 28 Aug 2023 11:32 AM | Anonymous

    On August 6, John Sweat led a hike to Patjens Lakes.  It was a full house on this particular outing, many of whom had never been to Patjens Lakes, including John, himself.  The trailhead begins on the Westside of Big Lake, South of Hoodoo.


    The weather was perfect with good cloud cover, as the first few miles was through a burn area.  On the first ascent they were greeted with ripe Huckleberries; a pleasant distraction while cresting the ridge.  On the descent the group entered lush vegetation with old growth conifers for a couple of miles.  They enjoyed a break on the shore of Middle Patjens and to their surprise had very little insect activity.  When out of the lakes basin they came into view of Big Lake.  They skirted around the southside of the lake back to the trailhead.  At 6.9 miles and only 400 feet vertical, this is truly a fun trail!  

  • 21 Aug 2023 9:59 PM | Laura Seaver (Administrator)

    Contributed by Eric Ness

    Sunday, July 30, 10 CONC hikers joined me for the Scott Mountain-Hand Lake loop.  AQI out of Hoodoo showed levels well below 100, so there were no concerns about huffing and puffing up the trail.  Temperatures of mid-70s were predicted, but at the top of Scott Mountain there was a surprisingly cool breeze so not everyone sought shade for lunch.  Scott Mountain is only 6100 feet, but situated such that you feel right in the middle of the Cascades.  Mt. Jefferson, 3Fingered Jack, and Mount Washington are right there to the north.  And to the south, you look right into the glaciers on North Sister.

    The hike itself has 1500 feet of elevation gain and 9 miles of hiking, and is listed as difficult by Sullivan.  Hiking clockwise you pass Benson Lake and stay in the shade of the trees all the way to the top.  On the way down, you descend through a small burn, then hike next to a lava flow until you reach Hand Lake, with more views of the Three Sisters.  I’ve never hiked it counterclockwise, but this might be advisable to get past the lava and burn in the morning while it is cool, and take your time viewing Benson Lake on the way down.

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The Central Oregon Nordic Club, PO Box 744, Bend, OR 97709, is chapter of the Oregon Nordic Club, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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