As the weeks until my cycling journey crawls closer, a buddy of mine that I hiked nearly 1800 miles with on the PCT last summer, hit me up for some much-needed backcountry adventure. Our decision brought us to the Ochoco National Forest outside of Prineville, Oregon. The Ochocos host huge pines, gold filled creeks, and at nearly 7,000 ft is the summit of Lookout Mountain. Granted this is not a huge peak by any means, it still proved to be strenuous. From a saddle at about 5000 ft and about 6 miles in we decided to set up our base camp. There was approximately 3 feet of snow on the ground, and we decided to build a wind block shelter. With a fire ring in the middle and a bed of pine needles underneath my sleeping pad I stayed quite warm in my 30 degree sleeping bag.
The next morning we awake got packed up and headed towards the summit. Which proved to me more of a non-technical rock scramble. We just decided that we would call it the mountaineering route. As we approached the summit, the wind had picked up substantially. The wind on top of the 7000 ft peak was approximately 40 mph, which made for a very short summit stay. We then decided to search for the snow shelter that was near the summit. After searching for a few hours we could not find it. Instead we decided to head back down the mountain. While going down we came across an old settlement of a mining community. Although the insides of the building were quite trashed from some unruly people, I could see it through the eyes of a 1940’s miner.
After looking around the town we decided to head back to the truck and head back to Redmond to enjoy pizza and beer.