June 8, 2014.
Last year I ventured up Scar Mountain for the first time. It was a chance find in the back of a hiking book. I loved it so much I thought I’d lead it for the Mazamas. It’s been hard to try and find things to lead from Corvallis. People don’t seem to want to leave the Gorge or Mt. Hood area from Portland. But to me, it’s worth the extra drive time to find solitude and discover old trails. I put it on the calendar and got ready to take whoever might be interested.
Five people responded, including two from Corvallis, making a nice group size. We started our hike around 10 am on a beautiful spring day. The weather was perfect. Blue skies, comfortable temperatures, clear air. The trail was entirely snow-free and lush with spring vegetation.
We moved along at a moderate pace. There were over 13 miles to cover, so I knew it would be a long day. Group hikes are always at least a little bit slower than solo hikes. It had taken me about 6.5 hours to do the hike on my own the past couple of years and today it would take 8.5 hours.
No worries though, because it was such a glorious day.
I was a little concerned about everyone’s ability to ascend the last little bit from the maintained trail to the top. A steep, rocky hillside with loose scree and vegetation stood between us and the summit ridge. Beyond that there was a little more rock scrambling to get to the very top. But with some extra time and just a little bit of coaching, everyone made it up!
The views from the top were phenomenal. We could see all the peaks from Jefferson to South Sister. It was a great place to sit and relax and enjoy the camaraderie of the group.
It was nearing 3:00 by the time we started descending. I knew it was going to be a long day, oh well. We returned the way we came and returned to the cars at dinner time.
I doubt this peak sees many ascents. But I was happy to be able to share this special spot with some folks who were interested in getting out and doing something unique, even if they couldn’t go home and brag about it on the Internet.