Santiam Alpine Club

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Mt. McLaughlin climb (non-technical/conditioning)

September 15, 2018

Coordinator: Bill Nelson

Summit Altitude: 9493 feet
Elevation Gain: 3900 feet
Round-trip Distance: 11 miles
Excursion Time: 7 hours (car-to-car)

On Saturday unfortunately we did not connect with any SAC members for that climb. The good news is that SAC member Clint L. and a partner summited on Sunday!

The Saturday weather was exceptional. Bill and friend Kurt from Bend, OR climbed in the company of many people. There were about 20 cars at the trail-head parking lot. Temperature was moderate and the sky had just a few clouds. Wind speed was very low. Much of the time we were just in tee-shirt sleeves. Nearer the summit the wind picked up a bit, but not enough to make things uncomfortable.

After the first couple if miles the "trail" is a boulder strewn butt-kicker. Approximately 1500 - 1000 feet from the summit I put the trekking poles in the backpack and used handholds to climb up the boulders. Some good Sams have marked a couple of good routes up and down with what looks like white spray paint, pink chalk and red spray paint. If one follows those "dots" or arrows one will not get lost. It took approximately 5 hours to summit and 4 to descend to the car taking appropriate breaks and spending about 20 minutes at the summit. (the signs at the trail-head say to allow 4 hours to ascend and 3 to descend. That was optimistic for us old guys but realistic for you younger folk.)

I hope that Clint will put in his own trip report. The weather on Sunday 9/16 was essentially the same.

Overall an exceptional and challenging climb if one wants an exhausting climb not needing any technical protection! Hope to post some photos on the other Trip report area. See my Google photos for more. Best climbing to you!! WDN

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