dogs on leash
Mt Thielsen has been on my to-do (to climb) list since shortly after I moved to Oregon;to me, it just looks like the way a great mountain should look.
I planned to do it earlier in the season and almost gave up before picking what might have been the last day to hike w/o snow (a large weather front moved in the next day). Because of that last minute decision, or possibly just because I did not pay enough attention, I ended up going the wrong way at the junction with the PC and (1) added an extra mile to the trip + (2) climbed to the top traversing the whole scree field top to bottom!
Putting these two mishaps aside the rest was just pure bliss. The weather was just cool enough to balance the overheating from the effort going up. The weather was a nice mix of sunshine and high altitude clouds... and I reached my goal of climbing the summit spire shortly before my 61st birthday!
I did prepare a bit for this climb: I climbed Pilot Rock near Ashland the previous weekend; I exercised more than usual to make sure I had as much upper body strength as I could muster; I bough climber shoes to avoid making the climb with my bulky hiking boots; and I TOOK TIME during the climb (up and down) to make sure I had very good purchase before making the next move. This was important, not just because of the consequences of falling but because I was absolutely alone on the mountain that day (no other care in the parking lot, no other hikers/climbers the whole day).
Climbing the spire is not something to take lightly. At the same time, it apparently does not require strong climbing skills. It is somewhere in the middle. A few things, however, are to be taken seriously: yes, a fall can easily mean death; climbing alone (even if I did it) is not the wiser way to go about it (there was one spot, when climbing back down, where I was mildly anxious as I did not immediately identified the way I came up; good footwear (I love my climbing shoes) and some fitness (pulling yourself up a bit on occasions) does help; TAKING TIME planning the next move can make all the difference (do not proceed if you are not very confident you have good purchase); climbing down can be more unnerving than climbing up (although it did not feel that way to me this time); do not attempt w/o proper gear if there is snow, ice or even wet rocks. This can be a wonderful experience if carefully planned and executed.
I do not often hike the same trails over and over (unless they are close by). However, I may make an exception for Mt Thielsen as it really stands apart.
Angelica G. on Mount June Trail
This hike is worth every step. It has the most beautiful view.