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| | |-+  April 22, 2012, Hayrick Butte, OR
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Author Topic: April 22, 2012, Hayrick Butte, OR  (Read 1212 times)

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April 22, 2012, Hayrick Butte, OR
« on: 04/23/12, 01:33 PM »

Hayrick Butte is a flat-topped volcano (aka tuya) at Santiam Pass. I was camping just off its east side, near Ray Benson Sno Park, between Saturday mountaineering class and Sunday lift skiing at Hoodoo (last day, $15!).

Before this, I had remembered seeing only cliffs on all sides, but my view from camp Sunday morning revealed one small section with a 45-degree snow slope that appeared to reach the top. So I set off on this impromptu morning ski. A warm breeze was already blowing at 7am and the snow around camp was almost as mushy as it had been the previous afternoon. I was hoping it would be better out on the open slope, but it wasn't. I skinned up this east face until I reached a rock moat maybe 50 feet below the top. This moat strangely seemed to connect with a moat on the opposite side of the slope, making something like a bergschrund across the upper face. However, it was easily crossed in the middle, and I booted up the rest of the way.

I took a tour around the half-mile wide plateau, which was equally mundane and bizarre -- the immediate surroundings are typical forest, but this forest disappears over cliffs in every direction to give outstanding views of the nearby peaks. Washington and Three Fingered Jack were especially nice -- with their truncated flanks in view, it was easy to imagine the original broad shapes of these now eroded pinnacles.

The ski down wasn't too bad, though there were snowmobile highmark trenches to avoid (like these), along with a lot of comically slow-moving sluff.

It's a run of only 600 feet or so, but being on top was sweet. A great morning warm-up.

I forgot the camera this time, but here's a shot of the west side from back in November.

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