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Broken Top, Oregon (9175 ft)

Broken Top from Crater Creek
Linda near Summit (March 1991)
Broken Top from Broken Hand

Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests

Route: Northwest Ridge via Green Lakes

Start at the Green Lakes Trailhead just off the Cascade Lakes Highway. Take the Green Lakes Trail north along Fall Creek 4.5 miles to Green Lakes. At Green Lakes turn directly towards Broken Top and follow the trail that passes just left of the smaller lake. Just beyond this lake is a creek bed. Find a climber's trail here that will lead you up to and along the Northwest Ridge. The Northwest Ridge is scenic, fun, and straightforward.

Near the top of the ridge is a red rock band. One can climb this up a short, easy crack/chimney step on the right but one might be able to scramble up the left hand side as well.

Climb up to a steep rock buttress above the Bend Glacier Headwall. In early season this may require traversing snow with considerable exposure. Just below this buttress is an obvious ledge that could serve as a spacious bivy site but more likely has been created by many people milling about. The buttress is only about 10 feet high. Note a crack and good hand and foot ledges just to the right of the crack. Either climb this crack and holds or move about 20' to the left to find an easier route with less exposure.

Once up this buttress obvious ledges lead across the west side of the pinnacle to a notch. Turn left at the notch and follow another ledge to the obvious summit block. The summit block is a straightforward climb on some decent rock.

As always in the Oregon Cascades, test every hold and keep three points of contact with the rock at all times. Hand and foot holds can dislodge at any time.

On the descent follow the Northwest Ridge a short distance then move left onto a trail down the long scree slope. From the bottom of the scree traverse back towards the climbers trail. While descending the climbers trail towards Green Lakes you will pass above a large spring.

Broken Top's Northwest Ridge Buttress
Buttress -- Alternate Route
Broken Top Summit Block


  1. Thomas, Jeff, Oregon High: A Climbing Guide, Keep Climbing Press, 1991.
  2. USGS Volcanoes, Broken Top: http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Volcanoes/BrokenTop/

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