Calamity Peak + Bare Mountain Crater + West Point

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Chip Down
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Calamity Peak + Bare Mountain Crater + West Point

Post by Chip Down » June 4th, 2021, 1:53 pm

This wasn't a word-of-mouth hike; I just spotted these on the map and thought they warranted investigation. Details on my map, and a few comments below. I'm focusing on the crater, because there's no documentation of it here, as far as I can tell.

I started with a peak that I now realize is called West Point. It wildly exceeded expectations. Shockingly fun and scenic, compared to what I expected from satellite imagery (I didn't do any research before hand, other than Google Maps). Admittedly, part of the fun was the amazing lighting. The sun came up over the horizon behind Mt Adams, which means I was able to enjoy the beautiful low-angle light without having the sun in my eyes, until it finally peeked over the peak.

In contrast, Calamity Peak was a waste of time. A couple spots looked like a lot of fun on satellite imagery, but didn't meet expectations. The NW summit looked like it would be a small steep peak, but it turned out to be elongated, so it felt more like a ridge at the top, and not even tall enough to clear all the surrounding trees. The SE summit was a bit more interesting, with a cluster of spires, but it was also a bit too low relative to surrounding trees. Both points involved unpleasant bushwhacking. Geologically, Calamity holds some promise. If the NW and SE high points were surrounded by beargrass, or even by open mature forest, it would be a lot more fun. Below the SE summit, there is a steep meadowy section, but it's just not enough to redeem this peak.

There's a very well-defined crater east of Calamity, along Calamity Peak Rd. I suppose we could call it Calamity Crater. [edit: the crater has been determined to be Bare Mountain Crater. See discussion below.] Road access ends on the NE ridge, just 50' below the crater rim (a couple hundred feet below the rim's high point). But instead I followed an unmapped road that leads towards the NW ridge, and then bushwhacked to the ridge. The bushwhack became increasingly open and rocky, and the ridge flattened. This is where it really got fun. If you were following a crater rim, you'd expect it to be mostly level, if it's a simple clean crater. But this was on a spur ridge, so it was a neat experience. When I arrived at the rim, I could see it would be impossible to get to the high point, unless the far side was easier. I don't think it was, but it doesn't really matter, because there's a convenient breach that can be easily climbed, a little gully that runs up to the summit. It's very easy; I wouldn't even call it scramble. After dropping back to the rim, I continued clockwise through pleasant open forest until it got brushy, and then dropped to the open snowy crater floor. The melted spots suggest the crater floor is a beargrass meadow in summer. I climbed out the other side to another bare rocky part on the SW part of the rim, not nearly as high or rugged as the northern clearing. From here, it's easy to drop down to Calamity Peak Rd.
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The four sunrise pics were taken at West Point.
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High point of crater rim.
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Crater floor.
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Calamity NW
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Calamity SE
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Last edited by Chip Down on June 5th, 2021, 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

Webfoot
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Re: Calamity Peak + Calamity Crater + West Point

Post by Webfoot » June 4th, 2021, 5:24 pm

Well there goes that secret. :P

cfm
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Re: Calamity Peak + Calamity Crater + West Point

Post by cfm » June 5th, 2021, 7:41 am

That's the Bare Mountain Crater! It's a pretty grassy meadow in the summer.

Good to know you can get up there now, and that area didnt get burned.

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Chip Down
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Re: Calamity Peak + Calamity Crater + West Point

Post by Chip Down » June 5th, 2021, 11:09 am

Aha! Bare Mountain then. I'll update my OP. Thanks cfm.
Regarding the fire, check out the super-crisp fire border in the pic below, as seen from Calamity Peak.

Webfoot: I don't know which secret you're referring to. Please specify, and I'll promptly redact my TR appropriately. I mean, you know, if I feel like it ;).
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Webfoot
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Re: Calamity Peak + Calamity Crater + West Point

Post by Webfoot » June 5th, 2021, 11:18 am

Chip Down wrote:
June 5th, 2021, 11:09 am
Webfoot: I don't know which secret you're referring to. Please specify, and I'll promptly redact my TR appropriately. I mean, you know, if I feel like it ;).
I wasn't being serious. West Point is a lovely ridge that I discovered for myself in 2016. I need to get back there.

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Calamity Peak + Bare Mountain Crater + West Point

Post by Don Nelsen » June 5th, 2021, 4:52 pm

Chip Down wrote:
June 4th, 2021, 1:53 pm
I'm focusing on the crater, because there's no documentation of it here, as far as I can tell.
Chip, great report and especially the sunrise photos. Nice work.

This report is hard to find because it's part of another report. Oct 25th, 2015. I thought you would like to see it without the snow:viewtopic.php?f=10&t=22834&p=173470#p173470
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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Chip Down
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Re: Calamity Peak + Bare Mountain Crater + West Point

Post by Chip Down » June 5th, 2021, 5:36 pm

Don Nelsen wrote:
June 5th, 2021, 4:52 pm
Chip, great report and especially the sunrise photos. Nice work.
Have you ever seen one in person? ;)

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Calamity Peak + Bare Mountain Crater + West Point

Post by Don Nelsen » June 5th, 2021, 6:58 pm

Once, I think, but I was so tired I don't remember much. ;)
"Everything works in the planning stage".

Webfoot
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Re: Calamity Peak + Bare Mountain Crater + West Point

Post by Webfoot » June 5th, 2021, 8:11 pm

:lol:

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