The ritual in the summer is pretty much every Thursday, someone checks the upcoming weekend weather on NOAA and wherever it’s the driest and warmest is where we go. As this was the summer that we were getting ready for our big canyoneering trip to Zion, we also wanted to get some climbing in. Mazama was looking to be the place to be for just that. We drove to Marblemount Friday night, found a spot to park the cars and car camp for the evening. Early Saturday morning we started off from Marblemount with a drive over Highway 20 and a stop over at Diablo Lake. That lake is just something else. And yes, the color is really that green. I hadn’t been to Diablo since I was around 13 or 14 and now being older, it’s even more stunning then I remembered. We snapped a few pictures and headed back out towards Washington Pass. With a quick rest stop at the pass to check out Liberty Bell in the distance (another destination for the future) and take a quick bathroom break, we pressed on to Mazama.
Our ultimate goal for Saturday was to drive up into Hart’s Pass and snag a campsite before it got too late in the day. We were able to find one off a spur of the main forest service road so we set up home base before we grabbed some boxed wine and the two dogs and headed for a sunset hike up to Slate Peak.
The FS spur our campsite was on
Our little adventure group always looks for the opportunity to snag in a sunset hike if the weather and timing work out. In this instance when I say hike, I really mean a drive with a steep walk. But man, those mountains. Mountains for miles and miles. There is a golden hour right before the sun sets that those mountains just pop with color and texture and it makes you feel like the luckiest person in the world to be there right in that moment. So naturally, I took a gazillion pictures.
Golden hour of sunset
The next day, we packed up camp early and headed out to Fun Rock in Mazama to get introduced to outdoor climbing. Once again, my friends were taking on the role of the best and most patient teachers in the world and man, outdoor climbing was so different then my little experiences in the gym. AND I LOVED IT. It’s a different type of challenge in that the holds are not called out for you, you have to find them and understand how to use your body to your advantage. Pretty darn cool. We also got to do some outdoor rappelling as well for additional practice for the canyons of Utah. Overall, I love the dry heat and rock that Mazama has to offer and the drive out there is worth it on it’s own.
Heading down off Harts Pass
Camp mission accomplished.