Ascent of Olallie Butte on 2019-11-09

Climber: Jeremy Fuerst

Date:Saturday, November 9, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Olallie Butte
    Elevation:7215 ft / 2199 m

Ascent Trip Report

I drove the forest roads from Bagby Hot Springs where I spent the night prior. I cannot recommend those hot springs highly enough. Those roads, by the way, as well as the ones I took on my way home via Highway 26, are all fine for most vehicles -- generally. The last few miles to the trailhead were surprisingly rough with potholes the size of Cadillacs. Any car can probably handle it so long as you take it slow.

I did get to the trailhead around noon thanks to my morning at the hot springs, but zero regrets there. When I arrived there were 2 vehicles at the trailhead, including a father/son pair who must have arrived shortly before me. They took off while I lollygagged a bit eating some lunch.

The first bit involves some unmarked junctions, so be sure you have your CalTopo maps or Gaia handy.

At around 6200' I encountered my first patch of snow, which was pretty well packed down by previous hikers. A short while later I met a party of 5 descending, and at around 6800' I finally caught up to the father & son who had started as I arrived.

I hit the south summit first to be sure to cover my bases, then I headed to the primary summit. While sheltering from the wind on the north side of the old lookout, I spotted a geocache in the rocks of the old foundation. After a brief conversation with the father & son, I descended, opting to go for the Wasco county high point on my way down.

It was right at a broad snowy area that I started a short bushwhack, though it was not too dense there, it was just a matter of finding the best route through the snow. Then I got to where I could likely see the county high point, and where I would have to descend the talus and scree for about 400 feet to get to it. There was no snow at all on the scree.

I must have wandered around the boulder field and surrounding area for 20 minutes looking for a register without finding it. Yet another shoulder where I failed to find a register cairn, though to be fair on Skamania County the constant rockfall there had me only thinking about getting the hell out, so I was not tenacious in any kind of treasure hunt. Here, though, I was disappointed. As I collapsed my trekking poles for the scramble back up, I looked off to my right, and only 20 yards away was the cairn marking the register which was placed in a plastic Folgers canister. Typically I do not sign these things, but this time I absolutely did. Not many signatures in there, and the last one was on 8/20. It seemed to me the register was about 200 yards off from the coordinates of the county high point, but it was an excellent spot for it.

For what it is worth I echo the sentiment that it is not worth trying to access the summit directly from the county high point, or vice versa. It is steep choss and I doubt it would save you any time.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cold, Breezy, Overcast

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