Ascent of Olallie Butte on 2017-08-21

Climber: Michael Lewis

Date:Monday, August 21, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Olallie Butte
    Elevation:7215 ft / 2199 m

Ascent Trip Report

900 miles. 3 days. 2 waterfalls. 1 mountain. 1 eclipse. Water taffy. We had lots. In bags. ON THE FLOOR. in our stomachs. mostly mine.

Sugar crash and I'm down. Later... Ben's mighty hangry outburst frightened us out of our naps. Marty's Asian rice bowl became my raisin bran bowl upon emptying. Subway had a $6 sub deal. Yoga mat and ham. Filling up on sweet cheap Washington State gas we continued onward to Bridal Veil Falls. Which was full so we then decided on Multnomah... which was full so we went to Oneonta Gorge. Oregon has so many options. Wow! by Ben

Feeling like a guide I walked into the cold water and instantly started shivering. The lack of heat removed any sense of refreshment. The crowd kept me going. I did it earlier this month and heck, if kids can do it... Some crawling over logjams and wading through stones that tripped me later, we taunted each other to jump into the waterfall pool. My veteran instinct kicked in and I flailed into the water, choking at resurface while trying to look cooler than I actually was. A few of these got the gang into it and soon Ben's Go-pro was capturing our aquatic floundering. When hypothermia crept in we had to stumble back, shivering, to the bridge. Ben took some cool pictures that I must add. So here's the one I took of him.

And one taken by someone else.

Extra time allowed us to go check out Multnomah so we took our chances and won the lottery on a parking spot that we got blind while backing up. The lines to Disneyland rides dropped us onto a small bridge. From here a dollar can be seen dangling from the cliff, dangerously far from safe ground. After getting out of Tokyo we had to find some more food so Ben wouldn't kill somebody. Pizza was a unanimous winner. The order was made enroute to Hood River. Safeway had the milk I needed for cereal and Ben's protein shakes. And that's where a shocking discovery was made.

Life, being so ironic and all. We continued on to a gorgeous view of Mount Hood from the North end of a lake. At this lake I lost the pin to my tripod mount and my groundpad. We found someone's frisbee in the water which I gleefully retrieved. We then lost it the next morning. Can you guess the name of this lake? writing:me. photo:Ben

I snagged some lame shots of Hood while Ben took some delicious photographs of the milky way. Until they're up, you'll have to settle for my crap.
We stayed up until the milky way had rotated out of the frame of Hood and drove a little ways out from the lake to sleep. I used my tent in lieu of a ground pad and slept promptly but awoke around 4am to mosquitos gently humming into my ear. The car provided some refuge.

We drove the 5 minutes back to Lost Lake to retrieve my ground pad and OH MY GOD THANK YOU WHOEVER YOU ARE THAT DIDN'T THROW IT AWAY!

I'm sorry Ben for the lost time as well.

so by 10am we looked up at the sky and saw it was clear north of Jefferson. which is where we went.

And then we went to Warm Springs for gas because, you know, we didn't think of that back at Hood River. but we will fly to the moon if we have to.

The road threatened to tear a tire but Ben was determined. Hours passed. sweat was passed. gas was... burned. Finally we got to Olallie Lake Resort

And everything was full. Cars were parked on the side of the road. People were walking. Tents up. Dogs barking and children screaming. The apocalypse was drawing nigh. We crawled slowly across the boulevard of broken dreams until our saviour, a retired fellow taking down his camp, told us he was leaving his spot early and would give it to us. What did he want in return? Just to help move his tent ten feet. This serendipitous turn of events reinvigorated our spirits. We are forever in debt to you Commander. The camp established, we marched over to the swimming lake where I dog paddled by the barge and watched Ben do laps.
There will be video of this eventually...

When my legs were rubber and the sun began to set we swam to shore and headed back to camp. A little bit of booze was involved. And milky way. Lots of that. photo by Ben Jefferson photo by Ben Way photo by Ben Church lamp beam: me. photo: Ben trails over Jefferson by Ben

I awoke early and roused the troops once ready. Our attack plan that we developed over gathering intel, was to go straight up Olallie Butte from the general store to save about 5 miles in distance and placing us on top an hour before the eclipse. We mowed up that hill in dreadnought fashion getting in a good 2k before 9am. There were hundreds of people up there. I know there will be many photos of this. Definitely not a place for peace and quite but it turns out that wouldn't matter anyways: the top was far windier than I expected so setting up became a process of figuring out what to anchor and when. The cold was forceful and relentless.

Then the show began that is quite possibly the most documented part of our journey. So I won't waste internet on my low quality pictures.

I will say that from 9:15 to about 11am was some of the coolest, freakiest phenomenon I've witnessed in my life. The place slowly got dimmer. The wind picked up. And it looked like there was a bite out of the sun. At 10am you could see a headlamp cleanly. It was the first sunset of the day. At 10:15 the Western horizon went dark and the shadow began draping itself across the mountains. Just at 10:16 as the shadow swallowed us we were immediately hit with a strong gust of wind and it was lights out. Mount Jefferson went dark and people were cheering. What a display and it felt so wild and powerful with the wind! The sun began to sparkle around the edges as the light trickled through lunar valleys. The once invisible corona was now visible and I saw a large arch form on the sun's lower hemisphere. The solar wind was barely visible blowing outward several times the diameter of the sun. Stars were out above but not many. Then the whole "diamond ring" thing as the sun reappeared and the shadow swept away quicky to the East like a curse that had been lifted. Thus began the second sunrise of the day. As it slowly got brighter the crowd dispersed, everyone seemed joyfull then contented. We took our time coming back down and walked the last two miserably hot miles to our camp. The drive home was super typical so no need for that info.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2663 ft / 810 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2663 ft / 811 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.5 mi / 12.1 km
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2263 ft / 689 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Route:West slope
    Start Trailhead:Olallie Lake  4952 ft / 1509 m
    Time:2 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2663 ft / 811 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2263 ft / 690 m; Extra: 400 ft / 121m
    Gain on way out:400 ft / 121 m
    Distance:5.5 mi / 8.9 km
    Route:Standard trail
    End Trailhead:4952 ft / 1509 m

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