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Mount Washington, North Ridge Route

Early the morning of Saturday, July 24, the day after the record breaking heat of Friday (104 in Corvallis), eight intrepid SAC climbers armed with gallons of water set off from the PCT trail head for Mt Washington. Climbers included Rich and Sharon Rogers, Bill Nichols, John and Anne Solonika along with their dad Paul, and Rich and Dana Margosian.

The tracks in the trail told us we were the first group headed for the Mt that morning. Vince Dunn was leading a group of Mazamas and had graciously agreed to leave after us to avoid congestion on the summit (I think Vince agreed before the weatherman called for record breaking heat).

We arrived at the notch at around 9:00, the weather not yet hot. Dana was feeling ill so she stayed at the notch with Paul while the rest of us tackled the standard north ridge. A quick belay up the first pitch and a couple of fixed lines later we were standing on top. We stayed only for a few minutes for the required photo op and left the summit to the hordes of voracious horse flies. Apparently a recent hatch, they hadn't had much to eat until we got there. Look carefully at the attached summit photo and you can see the flies. We must have satisfied them however because Vince's group, arriving on top not long after, reported no fly problem.

A little down climbing, a fun rappel, and an ugly ball bearing scree decent got us to the PCT and to the cars just as our water ran out. After some cold watermelon and iced beer, several of us had a refreshing swim in Big Lake where we were able to gaze up at the mountain and admire our day's work. A fun group and a great climb!


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