gpx track, use at your own risk: Moraine Lk to Burn Zone
The morning was beautiful and clear and the coffee good. There was a great view of the South Sister just a few feet from our camp. We were originally going to summit today and then do the loop but had stopped at an outdoor supply store in Bend and they recommended that we do it at the end because it was suppose to snow a few inches up top today. With the morning being so beautiful I was thinking maybe that waiting was a mistake…turns out as we would soon see, it was excellent advice.
It got really cold the night before and there was ice on everything around us including the rocks along the trail on the way out of camp.
We started the day with a 600 ft drop down into a valley that went around the toe of and then followed an old lava flow.
We followed the creek for awhile until we got to the trail junction for Green Lakes. We stopped here and had breakfast and second coffee. We continued along the trail for a short distance to Green Lakes. They really were green.
There was some distant thunder but since it was so far away we really weren’t concerned. Then it started to hail and snow. We passed a few others and chatted for a few minutes knowing that we would see each group again on the other side of the loop. I pulled out my umbrella/sunbrella and strapped it onto my pack so that I was still hands free. This kept me and my pack dry. Kristen had a nice orange pack cover!
The trail started to gain elevation, about 1200 feet in the next little while, climbing up to the high spot for the day at ~7000 ft.
I am slower on the ups than Kristen is so I meet her at the tops. We didn’t get much snow on this side of the loop, we heard later that they got three inches on the other side. But it was cold, especially at night.
We dropped down from the ridge and started heading to the meadows. At this elevation, the snow turned to rain. Just a light drizzle, nothing too heavy.
We continued on until we saw this:
Bleh, a burn zone with no camping. It was going to be quite a distance (~7 miles) through and we had already walked 11. We stopped at the lake right there to have an early dinner since we were at water. While we were eating it started to snow again so we decided to set up camp for the night. A large group came in a while later from the other direction so we went over and visited them. They had packed in six packs as well as a few boxes of wine! We drank bourbon (much lighter!) and hung out for quite a while before calling it a night.