Corie: This trip started off in a beautiful way: sleeping in after sunrise and enjoying a hot cup of RUNA before setting off up the snowy trail. We went into this climb casually and ended it with exhuberance and energy to spare- Bailey was a beautiful, fun climb but I regret carrying my ice axe and crampons all the way to the summit and back on this trip since they never left my pack. And by “all the way” I really mean, the entire 5 mile round trip trek through sugary, delectable, I-wish-there-was-more-of-you snow. Winter is slowly making her way to the PNW and I could not be more psyched about it.
The tree-lined trail was gorgeous as the sun trickled slowly in- watching snow sparkle in newly risen sunshine is astonishingly beautiful and it blows my mind every. single. time. Andy and I were pretty psyched that we were on our own for this first trek so we could go on a little “adventure” - the topo showed that main climber’s trail leading around to the left side of a massive crater at the base of the “Bailey ridge,” but with my brilliant navigation skills, we found ourselves to its right.
Rather than spend an extra 20 minutes strolling back to the main trail, we elected to go mixed-choss’aineering and had some fun cruising over a massive pile of snowy volcanic rock. The other really neat thing about this climb was that Bailey has a really neat rock formation above the crater- it’s 50% hole in rock, 50% archway and it perfectly frames Thielsen and Diamond Lake, making for some rather exceptional photos.
Bailey appears to be completely flat but it has a very obvious “high point.” After a few selfies, we headed back down to the archway to eat lunch and enjoy the view. Andy had (hilariously) forgotten ALL of his food so we shared my candy, chips, and trail mix… I had forgotten ALL of my KIND bars (which was horribly depressing). We eventually headed back to the truck, happy and calm after a few hours spent in the snow on a beautiful, sunny Oregon day.
Andy: Mt Bailey might be the easiest mountain we've done so far. Our recent exploits have certainly been more involved, so Bailey was a very enjoyable, causal outing. We drove up Road 380 to cut off about 2 miles from the appoach. The road was in decent condition and we had little trouble negotiating the rutted out sections in a 4x4 Tacoma even with a couple inches of snow. The trail crossing on 380 is not conspicious, but markings on a tree showed where the sign used to be, and a small pull-out with enough parking for a few vehicles is available. The trail is well-marked with blue trianglular signs for nordic skiers up to the timber line. From here, if the trail is not obvious, skirt the large crater at 7800' to the west (climber's left), re-join the main ridgeline, and traverse over to the large summit cone.
Equipment List- Southwest Ridge via Road 380
- 2 liters of water each.
- Mountaineering boots
- 1st Aid Kit + various other essentials
- Trekking poles
Detailed maps and GPS data can be found on View Ranger:
Total Distance: 5.1 miles.
Time: Round Trip: 5 hours
TH to Summit: 3 hours
Summit to TH: 2 hours
Starting Elevation: 6,095′
Summit Elevation: 8,368′
Elevation Gain: 2,273'