Broken Hand (Point 8,376) (Oregon Cascades; 8,376')

Broken Hand is a subsidiary summit on the ridge that connects Broken Top with McArthur Rim. Ledges on the north side provide third-class access to the summit, but one can make the ascent a bit more fun by climbing a very short fifth-class section on good rock at the NE corner.

Topo Map

Routes: N Ledges (Grade I, Class 3)
NE Corner (I, 5.4)

Broken Hand in late July from the East, with Broken Top in the background

Date: July 27, 2006

Party: DB and Dave Cohen

Route: NE Corner

Equipment: Camalots #0.75 - #3

Time: 7 hrs roundtrip from Three-Creek Lake

Comments: We took it very easy

Trip report:

We were looking for something we had not done yet, and Dave suggested Broken Hand, which he had once explored, but not climbed, on a hike to McArthur Rim. The Black Crater/Sisters fire had closed Highway 242, but FS Route 16 to Three-Creeks Lake was still open. While we were hiking up to the rim the fire just exploded and grew tremendously in size, with flames clearly visible even from a substantial distance. After admiring the rim from above we kept hiking towards Broken Top, and eventually reached Broken Hand, which does not look very impressive from any direction.

The NE corner looked good to me, and I started up on good rock; the same type of basalt that makes the summit pinnacle variation on Broken Top so enjoyable. Unfortunately, the pitch is extremely short, and after a few fun moves I reached third-class terrain. The rest of the way to the summit is impossible to make harder than third class, although it is exposed in places. When we arrived at the summit we noticed that we had left food and cameras at the base, so I scrambled down and came back up with a pack. The fire, fanned by a fairly strong wind, still seemed to be growing.

After scrambling down the third-class route we hiked back to the car and drove back to Sisters under a very ominous cloud of smoke. We later heard from a flagger at a road construction site that the fire was indeed threatening the town of Sisters, and substantial fire fighting capacity was being brought to bear on it.

Broken Hand is a very nice little summit, and the technical part was fun, although it is quite a way to drag a rope and some protection up there for just a few moves.

Photo Gallery:

Click the thumbnails to see a higher resolution image

Dave on the rim.

The High Cascades peeking out over the rim.

View of Broken Top over the plateau.

Dietrich on the summit of Broken Hand. Mt. Bachelor in the background.

Dave on the summit of Broken Hand. Broken Top in the background.

Broken Top and South Sister from the summit.

Broken Top from the summit of Broken Hand.

The Black Crater Fire raging in the background.

Trees at timberline on the plateau.

View of Three Creeks Lake from the rim.