Broken Top, Bachelor

Sunrise over Broken Top

Like North Sister, Broken Top is a Cascades volcano with a scramble finish, though it is both a shorter hike and an easier finish. Bachelor a ski area with a trail to the summit in summer, and a ski lift in winter. It is not especially interesting, but it is a short hike close to Broken Top, suitable for taking up the rest of the day.

Lava beds
I camped at the Green Lakes trailhead, then took my time getting started; the cold air had pooled along Fall Creek, and there was frost on the ground. I signed the trail register, then quickly put my gloves back on for a quick hike upstream. The trail eventually emerges from the woods near some lava beds that feature some cool obsidian boulders. I left the trail at one of the camp sites just before the large Green Lake, following a clear use trail through the woods toward Broken Top.

Sisters from Broken Top
I stayed in the peak’s shadow until partway up the sandy climb to its northwest ridge. The trail meanders to one side or the other to get around trees and steps on the ridge, with views of the Sisters behind, and some small glacier remnants on the north side. Just below the summit knob, it looks like one can go to either side. I thought left looked better, so I traversed around some steep dirt above a glacier, then scrambled some easy class 3 around to the peak’s east side, enjoying the warm sun. After one steep move, a bit more easy scramling led to the summit, with a great view of the Sisters in the late morning sun.

Receding glacier
I made my way back down off the knob and ridge, then passed a couple of other peak-baggers on the jog back to the maintained trails. I was not in a hurry, and planned to walk most of the flats. However, I was spurred to run most of the return by a combination of boredom and passing a young woman running up the trail, making decent speed on the climb.

Back at the car, I had lunch, then drove back to the base of the Mount Bachelor ski area. The ski parking area was gated, but there was room for a half-dozen cars along the road leading to the gate. I put on more sunscreen, then took off toward the summit in the early afternoon heat. The route apparently starts up a jeep road, but there is a faint use trail short-cutting it up one of the ski slopes. Bachelor seems to be a popular workout peak, and I passed a dozen or more locals hiking up and down at different speeds. The terrain above the jeep trail is a volcanic choss nightmare, but fortunately the mountain has been at least somewhat tamed with a lightly-improved use trail. I visited the various possible high points, then returned casually to the car to drive south.

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