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Rogue River Raft Trip June 2006

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We met bright and early at 5 AM at Catlin. Amazingly, everyone was there by 5:05 AM. The five-hour bus ride provided a good opportunity to catch up on sleep. We arrived at the Rand boat launch at 10:30. We all transferred our clothes and sleeping bags to large dry bags, picked up our life jackets and helmets, and prepared to get on the river.

The stretch of the Rogue leading up to the Wild and Scenic section contains mainly class II rapids, with a couple III’s and one class V that we sneak around using the “Fish Ladder”. Our first challenge came at Grave Creek rapid, as there was a cross-wave about half way down that flipped a few of our kayakers. Aim your boat at the wave! This provided an opportunity to practice proper swimming techniques and some rescuing. At Rainey Falls, the Fish Ladder route is not really a fish ladder, but it is like one. It’s a narrow chute that drops in steps, with a couple big pillow-type rapids toward the bottom. Everyone navigated it well, and then we looked upstream at the huge Rainey Falls. We finished the day at Tyee rapid, a class III wavetrain with a bend to the left. Our campsite was at the bottom.

The weather was great, so no need for tents. We set up our cots and sleeping bags under the stars. After a hearty meal, we played tug of war while standing on ammo cans. Thalia and Jeff were pretty good at it. Pongi told some scary stories and her river front sleeping location became overcrowded with scared MS students.

Day 2: Wildcat Creek to Missouri Creek

We woke up around 7:30 AM, ate breakfast, and then broke camp. We rotated our kayakers to allow others to try the inflatable craft. Some liked to double-up in the kayaks. This day had the most rapids, and it started off quickly with Wildcat rapids (III). Upper and Lower Black Bar Falls provided some challenges, mainly for those who didn’t follow the directions “stay RIGHT”. We learned that following directions is a good strategy for avoiding swims, and often there is a very good reason why you don’t want to hit the “exciting” part of the river. There were a couple of jumping rocks that we stopped at. Pongi lost her watch jumping off one of them. Tara demonstrated an excellent ferry swim across the river while we watched other people jumping off the rock. Joseph and Helene tried their hands at captaining the paddle raft and oar raft.

We camped at Missouri Creek. In our free time, we waded in the eddy and washed off all that sunscreen. Card-playing, particularly Hearts, was popular, and a bit competitive at times. Nicholas and Robert took naps, though that didn’t work so well as they were next to the card players.

Day 3: Missouri Creek to Paradise Bar

This was the shortest paddling day, and there were some class IV sections that the students needed to ride the rafts for. We stopped for about an hour at the Rogue River Ranch. There is a small museum there with old photos, including ones from a flood that occurred awhile back. Mule Creek runs just below the ranch property, so we went down there and found another jumping rock.

The Rogue River was running at a higher level during this trip, so Mule Creek canyon wasn’t really that bad. Normally it is like a bubbling coffee pot (percolating), but due to the higher water, there wasn’t so much of that. Blossom Bar rapid is known for its “picket fence” hazard on the left side. As the kayakers waited in the eddy above, the paddle raft made its run. On the way through, the raft got jolted and went to the left. Luckily, the water was high enough that they were able to slip through the picket fence section. Jeff led the kayakers through the rapid (the CORRECT way), utilizing an eddy on the right side of the chute. The last major rapid was Devil’s Staircase. There was a big hole at the top, which some other commercial rafters ran through, but the real hazard was a swirling eddy half way down with the undercut rocks (the “Room of Doom”)! We all snuck around this rapid along the left edge.

We camped at Paradise Bar, near the Paradise Lodge. Robert demonstrated his natural abilities by scoring a hole-in-one in “cheek darts”. We saw a black bear a hundred yards or so downriver. More card games…hearts and Egyptian rat screw. We needed a lantern.

Day 4

The last stretch, leading up to the Foster Bar takeout, had more flat sections than the previous days. Tara and Helene spent time captaining rafts. There were a few good rapids though. Clay Hill rapid had a hole that spread about 2/3 across the river. The goal was to slip around it to the left. Chase and Gregor were perfectly lined up behind Jeff, but then stopped paddling. This caused them to drift sideways right into the hole and flip. Within the next 15-20 seconds, Jeff had collected both of their paddles, hauled Chase into the back of his kayak, and was yelling at Gregor to swim for an eddy. John Mills collected the empty kayak, and the boys went back for more punishment.

We arrived at the take-our around 1 PM. After a long shuttle ride back to Galice, we boarded our bus and we on own way by 4 PM. It was another long bus ride back to Portland, but we had our cards, snacks, and some good memories.

San Juan Sea Kayaking Trip: June 2006

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A Completely Honest (and mostly truthful) Recap of the San Juan Islands Kayaking Trip.

By Tomas

The virus then undergoes rapid amplification, attacking all living cells in the host’s body. As the organs begin to dissolve, the organism begins to vomit Black Blood, or blood mixed with the pureed organs. As the amplification continues the Host’s face goes slack, the central nervous system has been dissolved, and his eyes turn into two bright glittering rubies. Now the Ebola Zaire virus begins its jump from host to host until… “NO no… you’ve got it all wrong. My level 64 Shaman would totally pwn (p-own) your nooblet paladin’s ass with it’s sword of Azeroth found in the temples of the Druidian!” Ah yes. Two of the finest things in life. Literature, and World of Warcraft. But what else was there to do? A 6 hour bus-ride to the San Juans is no laughing matter. I, stole Murphy’s book and read all about the gut-wrenching Ebola virus, others contented themselves with sleeping, and others did nothing but talk about World of Warcraft. Really. The bus ride up was punctuated by a stop at a gas station for a chance to relieve ourselves and purchase food. Ian (Davies) and I split a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, and discovered that eating ice cream with a fork was difficult. I must clarify. We drove up in two parties, one in a small yellow bus, the other in a bluish van. I was in the bus. I have only heard tales of the van ride up, but I hear it was a raucous affair with much singing of Cascada’s hit “Everytime we Touch”. When we arrived at the parking lot for the ferry we settled down and did two things. First, Kent flew a kite into Ilene’s head, next we played a game of Ultimate Frisbee in the parking lot. I myself do not understand ultimate Frisbee. Give me soccer any day. We piled onto the ferry, and we each did our own thing. I fished for a quarter beneath the bending machine so that Ian and I could buy a cup of coffee from the way way way too sweet sugary coffee machine. Meanwhile Robert had decided to fly his kite off of the ferry. While I sat inside relaxing, the conversation suddenly turned to the kite, now in the water, floating past the ferry. It was a sad day indeed for Rob’s kite. We arrived at Lopez, met our guides Bo and Matthew, and then embarked upon a one hour and a half lesson on how to pack a kayak. Although the students were fairly comfortable in the hot sun, wearing some light gear, the guides decked out in full dry suits appeared to be melting. As Matthew demonstrated packing a kayak, I wondered to myself if he was going to faint right there as the sweat was running off of his face in rivulets. Once everything was stowed away we launched off, and began paddling. It was an easy kyak to our first night’s camp, Canoe island, 1 ½ miles. On the island we were divided into work crews 1-4, and my crew was assigned to dinner. Somehow the idea came about that cooking pasta with saltwater was a good idea. To tell the truth, it WAS a good idea, until we attempted it in practice. The pasta came out with the salinity of soy sauce. After dinner, while the rest of us took a leisurely stroll up to the campsite to setup, the cleanup crew slaved away into the late hours in an attempt to fix up the mess the dinner crew had created. After a decent night of sleep we woke up early the next morning to break camp and head out with the current. Breakfast was a simple affair, Cereal, Granola bars, and fried spam. You’ll have to ask someone else how the spam was, I was content with the granola. We kayaked about 7 miles to Jones Island. The kayaking was accompanied by shouts from the guide “HEY YOU SLOW PEOPLE IN THE BACK! PADDLE FASTER!” along with “DON’T GET IN FRONT OF THE PACE-SETTER!” Ah, the joy of being shepherded from point A to point B. Arriving on the island, we unpacked and set up our tents for the night. A casual game of Ultimate Frisbee, the Catlinites vs the Drunken Old Men ensued. Even Bo got into it. I’m still not sure who won. But a spectacle it was indeed. Meanwhile on the food front, some scoundrel had hidden our rice. IT was nowhere to be seen. How were we supposed to survive without rice? Murphy took it upon herself to search the kayaks whilst the rest of the peoples were playing Frisbee or lounging, and she found the rice! And it was good. A fire was built, which we used to sit around at, discuss the recent slaughter of the USA by the Czech Republic in the Fifa World Cup, and, of course, hear more about World of Warcraft. We broke out the marshmallows and roasted a few. Fortunately, there was no singing of Kumbaya. We decided on a game plan for the next day which was to wake up at 6, pack up, and get out of the island and back to Canoe before the currents shifted against us. We planned to get out by 9 I believe. The next morning came and we awoke. Camp was packed, the kayaks were packed, we were set to roll at 9. Then came the group meeting. Go back the way we had come yesterday in relative safety, (7 miles) or go back a new way which could potentially prove to be a day out of hell with both wind and current against us (9 miles). All is well and well, the group vote found the group split down the middle with just one person more voting for the go back the way we came. However, this was not enough. We had to sit down, and debate for an hour and a half on the pros and cons of both ways. While time slipped away, we finally decided to go the new way. At 10:30. Fortunately we got lucky, and the predicted 15 m/h headwind did not occur. IT was a brilliantly easy paddle, marked by Peter stopping to use his cell phone to arrange some dealio and the guide yelling “YOU PEOPLE IN THE BACK! PADDLE FASTER!” After arriving at the camp and being assailed by mosquitoes, we had a large amount of free time to do what we pleased. Several basketball games were played, naps were taken, World of Warcraft was discussed, Skyler and Sam even took a paddle in the water on top of a floating log. At dinner, an eating contest between Hyde and Chris broke out, with Hyde winning by downing his enormous plate of mac and cheese extremely quickly. Almost disgustingly quickly. I wouldn’t do it. At night a soccer game broke out, in which players were rotated on and off and even an adult, Ilene, got into the field for a bit. We slept, we woke up, we took off, and we got onto the bus. We changed, we yelled, we were happy. We even ate. We stopped at McDonald’s and Taco Bell. Ian took the prize for most food consumed, with two cheeseburgers, 5 chicken selects, a large fries, a large drink, and a quarter pounder (or something like that). Needless to say, we all ate like never before. Then we got back into the bus and drove home. At last. It was a short trip, with it’s ups and downs, but as my first outdoor trip I think it was a pretty damn fine one. Believe me. It’s in your interest. I have the Axe of the Argentineans that deals +4958 frost damage and grants its bearer +100000 hp. Fear.

Climb of the Middle Sister

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Climb of the Middle Sister

May 27-29, 2006

TRIP REPORT By Alex

When we arrived at Sisters Oregon, the anticipation for the trip was high. All of us were excited by the excellent weather, and we stopped to get gas and a few supplies. The road into the trailhead was about 30 minutes of gravel kicking, bus breaking travel. At the trailhead, we hopped out and separated all of the group gear into big piles, repacked our packs, and prepared to head out. Our packs were heavy, and the hike ahead looked a little daunting. It took us all of 40ft to get lost, since we went the wrong way and failed to see where to go. The hike was difficult, but everyone was able to keep up. Frequent rests, and lots of power bars kept the line moving. About halfway through, it began to snow, and as we neared out destination, the wind picked up and the temperature dropped.

We found a suitable camp site that was sheltered in some trees, and began to set up tents and a kitchen. The weather that night was questionable, and we were contemplating whether or not to climb the next day. Ben Dair and others helped to build a fire which became the centerpiece of “The Village.” As the light faded, we became anxious for another member of our team who was supposed to join us that day. Search teams went out, and we successfully located Matt Hickey, who had turned off his radio – which we had left at the trailhead for his use.

Peter woke us up at 6:30 on Sunday to begin our ascent to the summit. The weather hadn’t improved much, but after swallowing some pop tarts, we set out on the trail with our much lighter summit packs. 30 min after we started, a suitable slope for snow school was found. It involved basic climbing techniques, ice axe handling, and self arrests. With the weather still doubtful, we paused and bundled up, then decided to attempt the climb. We climbed for many hours through fresh snow and with a steady 20 mph wind in our faces.

Within a thousand feet of the top, we were forced to turn back due to horrendous conditions and an avalanche slope. In the poor weather, we had taken a much more direct path, which proved to be too difficult and dangerous to continue on. After a brief lunch of peanut butter and jelly bagels in the cold wind, we started on our way down. And of course, when we were about halfway through our descent, the weather cleared and the sun came out. Although we did not get to summit the Middle Sister, it was a sight to behold, and we were all impressed with the distance we had gone, especially considering the weather.

We made the hike out to the bus in two hours and drove down to McKenzie Bridge. We were treated to a fantastic hamburger barbecue at the home of Stan and Jent Biles, right on the river. Thank you Stan and Janet!

Next year, we will attempt to climb it again, and hopefully with some more luck, be able to reach the summit

Spring Break 2006

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Spring Break 2006: Pinnacles National Monument

By Michal

From my “Pinnacles log” and memories.

By Michal

From my “Pinnacles log” and memories.

Being such a small group of experienced outdoorsmen and Sarah, we left in our two cars quickly and happily. Minutes into the trip, Jack already had his pants halfway down. Apparently he had a wedgie, although I think he exaggerated it so he could take his pants off. “Don’t look!” he yelled at me and Ian. After Jack mellowed down, someone pulled out a book of thoughtful questions and we took turns answering them. The trip south also included a game of Frisbee, the unmentionable “applecore incident”, as well as a brutal fight over a bag of chips. That was vicious. One surprising thing I noticed on the trip was that the time on the road was just as entertaining and friendly as the time we spent climbing. We reached Pinnacles National Monument on the second day. The first few days of climbing were slow and kind of lazy, but everyday after that we climbed harder routes. At first I was weary of climbing the harder routes, but eventually I became more confident of my abilities and on the last day I climbed two routes I never thought I could have climbed. On the way to California we’d been hoping that the radiant California sun would shine on us that week. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t as great as we had hoped, although it only disrupted out climbing on one day. The rain started pouring on Wednesday after lunch and we had to pack up the ropes. For the first time on an outdoor trip, I felt like I was in a very experienced group. In fact, I felt like I was probably the least experienced member. Everyone got along excellently though, and the group’s universal bond was our sense of humor. A French accent somehow got picked up on Monday, which continued throughout the week (and into my Catlin English class…) which made everything funny. Finally we have something to thank the French for. At camp, everyone complied with their duties (cooking, cleaning, preparing lunch) and the whining level was low. Everyone’s personality added to the completeness of the group, with different levels of energy (oh Jack…) and all sorts of personalities. Because of the snow level in Yosemite Valley, we decided to stay at Pinnacles for the rest of the trip. I’m glad, because Pinnacles has to be one the most beautiful places there is. We all fell in love with it, (besides I’ve been in Yosemite before although others wanted to see it). Writing a summary of the trip is hard, since the most memorable parts of the trip are the short and humorous little anecdotes. Of course, I can’t include all of them here, and some of them would offend moms and good-natured educators. The stories live on in the group though, and for me that’s the most important thing that came out of the trip.

The group:

Michal

Ian

Sarah

Tony

Jack

Peter

Jeff

Joel

Megan

Opal Creek Breakaway trip

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Opal Creek is one of Oregons great treasures. This pristine watershed includes old growth forests, rugged terrain and crystal clear water. Students from Catlin Gabel spent three days hiking, swimming and camping along the shores of Opal Creek. Staff from the nearby Opal Creek Education Center spent a morning with the group dicussing the ecology of old growth forests.

Mount Hood Climb, May 2006

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An attempt to climb to the summit of Mt. Hood May, 2006

 

When we gathered in the parking lot to leave for the Mt. Hood climb, a lot had already happened leading up to this trip. Months before, Peter Green had posted a sign up sheet in his office and encouraged students to consider climbing Mt. Hood this spring. Almost twenty kids signed up for the nine places, eager for adventure. As the actual trip approached, we went on conditioning hikes together, reassured our parents we wouldn’t fall off the mountain, and went to REI to buy gear and rent identical orange boots. Checking the weather reports in the days before the climb, we wondered whether our attempt to summit would be successful. But our hopes were high as we got on the bus that morning.

The first day of the trip we had snow school. We avoided the freezing half-rain, half-snow as long as possible, sitting on the heated floor of Timberline’s entryway while Peter and John Youngman explained the purposes of mountaineering gear. Feeling somewhat well informed, we headed out to a snowy slope above the parking lot. We rest-stepped up the hill and plunge-stepped back down. Greg grumblingly ran back to the bus to get the rope while we learned about avalanches. Then we split into two groups to take turns roping up and self-arresting. The lesson on self-arrests started out civilized but turned into a group wrestling match down the side of the hill. We ate our lunch in the Timberline cafeteria and scared passers-by with our attempts to toss yogurt containers into the trash can.

With snow school over with, we got back in the bus, failed to start it, got a jump, and drove down to the Mazamas lodge. Most people’s gear was soaked so we took over the drying room with packs and jackets and gloves. The rest of the afternoon was spent in cozy comfort, playing card games and foosball and warming ourselves like cats in front of the fireplace. After a dinner of stir-fry, we looked over the latest weather reports and debated when to climb the next day. The weather was supposed to be windy and cold but improve over the course of the day. We eventually settled on waking up at 3 the next morning. I fell asleep right away but kept waking up, wondering groggily if it was time to go yet.

My memories from the early morning are a blur. I remember Mary Green’s voice telling us to get out of bed and pack up our gear, and I remember drinking several cups of earl grey tea. I remember sitting in the bus in the dark, waiting through several unsuccessful attempts at starting it before patience and a jump from Mary’s car got it to shudder to ignition. Before I knew it, we were back in the Timberline parking lot, strapping the last pieces of gear to our packs and starting up the trail.

The sun rose as we climbed, turning the clouds along the horizon hazy pink and purple. Gradually the clouds cleared and the morning sun illuminated the summit. “Wow … that’s high,” I thought as I gazed up at it, and remembered that every step up the snowfield was bringing me closer to it.

As we moved into more open terrain, the wind hit us harder. I pulled up on my neck gaiter and tightened my hood to keep it out. Later I would find a windburn on my cheek, on the one spot that wasn’t covered. We moved in a single file line up the mountain, following exactly in each other’s footsteps. We had to remind ourselves to occasionally look up from the monotonous steps to appreciate the view. Behind us stretched the slope of the mountain, then an expanse of misty clouds dotted with distant peaks.

After traversing the snowfield, we paused by an abandoned chairlift building to rest, and a few members of the group who were suffering left us to head back down the mountain with one of the leaders. At that point, we all wondered if reaching the summit was really a possibility. The wind didn’t seem to be letting up like we had hoped. We pressed on determined to stick together and at least reach the top of the ski run. When we finally did, we dropped our packs and exchanged hugs. Peter told us it was time to turn around, and even though we were disappointed no one argued.

Halfway back down, we gathered in the lee of Silcox Hut and Peter explained why we had turned around. Higher up on the mountain it looked like the wind would still be blowing hard. While we seemed to be doing fine while we were hiking, we would all risk frostbite in stopping for five minutes to rope up and put on crampons. He also told us to be sure to tell others the truth about what we had done, to neither downplay nor exaggerate the climb. So here’s the truth: Although we failed to reach the summit, the trip wasn’t a failure at all. We learned about mountaineering, and about each other and ourselves. We hiked to the top of Palmer, halfway up the mountain, in icy 30 mph winds. The weather was bad, so we made the wise decision to turn back. We went as far as the mountain would let us that day. And at some point in the future, we’ll try again.

Smith rock and Caving adventure, April 2006

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Caving and Rock Climbing in Central Oregon

Using a three-day weekend to its maximum advantage, a group of ten students and five leaders traveled to the desert of Central Oregon to cave and climb. The first day was spent exploring caves southeast of Bend, with a night of camping under the stars. The next day the group arose early and trekked to Smith Rock State Park for two days of rock climbing. Routes varying in difficulty from 5.6 to 5.11 were ascended. On the second day two groups did multi-pitch climbs on the red wall.

Using a three-day weekend to its maximum advantage, a group of ten students and five leaders traveled to the desert of Central Oregon to cave and climb. The first day was spent exploring caves southeast of Bend, with a night of camping under the stars. The next day the group arose early and trekked to Smith Rock State Park for two days of rock climbing. Routes varying in difficulty from 5.6 to 5.11 were ascended. On the second day two groups did multi-pitch climbs on the red wall.

Deschutes River Rafting April 2006

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trip report

Smith Rock March 2006

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Getting out of town on a homework free weekend means traveling to Smith Rock State Park for some rock climbing. Seven students and five leaders spent two days climbing in the sunshine of Central Oregon. Half of the group was first time climbers. We camped in the desert and sat around the campfire swapping tales of unrestrained adventure.

Middle School Breakaway to Camp Collin

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An enthusiastic and large group of middle schoolers ventured to Camp Collins on the Sandy River for a three day outdoor experience in March of 2006. The students stayed in rustic cabins and spent most of each day trying their hand at various challenges provided by the on-site ropes course. During their free time students played cards and explored the area.

The intrepid group

Smith Rock March 2006

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Smith Rock March 2006

Getting out of town on a homework free weekend means traveling to Smith Rock State Park for some rock climbing. Seven students and five leaders spent two days climbing in the sunshine of Central Oregon. Half of the group was first time climbers. We camped in the desert and sat around the campfire swapping tales of unrestrained adventure.

Getting out of town on a homework free weekend means traveling to Smith Rock State Park for some rock climbing. Seven students and five leaders spent two days climbing in the sunshine of Central Oregon. Half of the group was first time climbers. We camped in the desert and sat around the campfire swapping tales of unrestrained adventure.

Middle School Ropes Course Trip

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Middle School Ropes Course

Students from Catlin Gabel's Middle School traveled to the Ropes and Challenge Course at OES on February 27th. The group spent the entire day trying their hands at group and individual challenges.

Ochoco Mtns Backcountry Ski and Snowshoe Tri

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Winterim 2006: Ten students and faculty travelled to the Ochoco Mountains of Oregon and skied through untracked powder in cold conditions. The group stayed at a warm Forest Service cabin.

Ochoco Mountains ski and snowshoe adventure

Our backcountry skiing winterim began way too early on the morning of February 15th 2006. We loaded the bus, cracked out the Oreos and began our long drive to Prineville Oregon. Ana slept as we ascended Mt. Hood and woke only when we stopped in Welches to rent our skis and snowshoes. The excitement level jumped as we traveled further; the air became nippy and the snow deeper. When we arrived, Ana jumped out of the bus yelling incoherently, as we followed we noticed she was pointing at a cat in this tree. The cat began climbing backwards down the tree and jumped into her arms. We unpacked and got out our skis thinking we could just ski on the road for awhile, we were wrong. As soon as we got to the road we realized that it had just been plowed and we would ruin our skis if we continued, so Greg jumped over the pile of snow on the side of the road and we all followed him because he was the titular head and was supposed to know what he was doing. But he didn’t and we split up because it was a very steep hill and some of us couldn’t get up the hill. Greg and Peter ended up going and getting the bus and we drove up where the snow plow had stopped and got out and started skiing. We stopped at this big hill and a bunch of us climbed up the hill and jumped/rolled down. Then we continued on a bit and drove back to the cabin. We had a fiesta dinner. The next day we went to a snow park and our goal was to ski to some crazy meadow that Peter found on the map. “oh come on guys, its only a couple miles away” but no. We skied for 5 hours and never even made it to the meadow. We went down some really steep hills in the beginning and Peter S., Mandy and Cristin decided to go another way. I cannot tell you what they did, but we continued down the hills into this valley. One of the most memorable moments was when we had come to a log in the path; Ana and Peter decided to just go over but we would have had to wait forever so I started up the hill with Ian, Greg, William and Jack. We made it over the place with the log and Ian went down. I followed him but crashed right into a tree well and was stuck. Jack had made it down by then too and he unhooked his skis and came over to help me out. But William had decided that he was going to come down right where I did too, and he crashed in to the tree and me. Greg then, despite the warnings of Peter and Ana came down too, saying “oh no, I won’t hit them” but he did. So now me, Jack, William and Greg, were smashed up into this tree. It took a while to get unstuck but we continued and crossed a very little frozen creek, and up to a road. We followed the road for what seemed like hours and finally we saw all of the meadow that we would ever see. About ½ a foot by 1 foot through some trees, but none of us I think felt any disappointment because we had come so far. The trek back was pretty hard for me at least, but we kept talking and that talking took my mind off of the physical pain in my legs and well I guess if I could have felt my fingers it would have taken my mind off of that too. We were taking a water/Gatorade break and for some reason talking about Günter (pronounced goon-thur), some weird rock climber I think, when apparently I said “he is so hot” but I swear that I didn’t! Then we continued on the road; Peter got out his GPS and informed us that we could continue 2.5 miles down the road or go up this steep hill right to the bus. Everyone ran up the hill and packed our stuff onto the bus and left to go pick up Mandy, Peter and Cristin. On the way down, Ian got on the radio and yelled “The goose cannot land, the goose cannot land!” but we stopped and picked up our remaining team-members and traveled home. We had soup dinner with grilled cheese sandwiches. The next day we decided to do some snowshoeing because it was our last day to do any snow activities; we went out to some lake and snow-shoed around it but it was so cold and windy that we decided that we needed to do something else and had a snowshoeing Olympics. William amazed everyone by beating Ian and Greg in the front-ways running but he still refuses to do track. Then we went to the cabin and left Mandy, Cristin, and Ana there (because they wanted too) and went out skiing or snowshoeing again. We went up this path and then up off the trail to this really steep hill, which we climbed up and then found this really cool bowl which we (being Ian, Peter, Peter and me, cause we were the only ones with skis) skied down and in. It was really hard both hard to ski down and hard to fall on; but it was probably one of the most fun times I had on the trip. We then continued because Greg was getting a little antsy and was going on without us and went further up the road to this big hill which went down to a little mine we found out later. The only building we could see from the road had was covered with a thick layer of snow and surrounded all the way to the eves with snow. We would have liked to continue on into the woods and ski some more but the sun was beginning to set and so we skied up the hill again and began our decent. Going down that hill was also a lot of fun but that day was the coldest of them all, and my gloves were freezing even with my hands in them. Peter then stopped really suddenly and told Ian to fall over, and so he did and Ian threw himself into the pile of snow on the side of the trail. The snowshoers (I don’t think that is a word) were coming down the trail and Peter yelled to them that Ian had fallen and broken his leg and I started fake crying and we all decided that our best course of action was to build a fire. (If you haven’t gotten it yet, this was all just to see if we could build a fire in the snow) So we gathered things that we thought we would need, including little twigs, dry if possible, and needles, and moss. Jack got out his water-poof matches and after one feeble attempt we got a nice fire going and it was actually quite warm. Then we stood around and talked until the sun was very close to being gone and we skied down the rest of the hill, got on the bus and went home. Then for the final night, we had lasagna of which William had the most. The next day we packed, cleaned and loaded for about 2 hours and drove home. OOH! I forgot to mention that every morning the bus wouldn’t start and so we would have to call Catlin and ask them how to start it. They said that we had to find some cord and plug on the front of the bus and plug it in every night because it was the starter that was just too cold for it to start the bus. So William and I went out after dinner the second night and we (meaning him) stuck his hand in the front of the bus and wiggled it around until we found the plug. Then the bus worked. But on the ride home we played this game that Cristin started where you go around and say animals that start with a certain letter until someone can’t think of one and then we go to the next letter. Jack was probably the most memorable because we would be on ‘p’ or something and he would whisper to Ian, his team member something and Ian would make a funny face and say, “Jack! No wrong letter.” I also forgot to mention our card games every night because those were also a huge part of the trip because we really got to find out about each other. We mostly played caca however hearts became a favorite among many of us and I just have to say that I shot the moon. Then there was a spoons competition, which I won. This trip was a lot of fun, it was my first outdoor trip at Catlin and I don’t think that it could have been any better. The skiing was fun even though I was very sore for the rest of the weekend.

Middle School Ropes Course Trip

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Middle School Ropes Course

Students from Catlin Gabel's Middle School traveled to the Ropes and Challenge Course at OES on February 27th. The group spent the entire day trying their hands at group and individual challenges.

Middle School Ropes Course

Students from Catlin Gabels Middle School traveled to the Ropes and Challenge Course at OES on February 27th. The group spent the entire day trying their hands at group and individual challenges.

Saddle Mountain Hike

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Saddle Mountain Hike, January 2006

High on the slopes of Saddle Mountain, Clatsop County, Oregon.
The stump remembers

   

Goat Rocks Backpack Trip

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Two teams of 8th, 9th and 10th graders set out to explore the Goat rocks Wilderness in mid June. It was showering when we packed up for the hike, which was definitely annoying. The hiking temperature was nice, though. The packs were inexplicably heavy. The first group set up camp at maybe 5750 feet in the meadows that are part of snowgrass flats. Our group went up to where the 96 trail meets the trail to Goat Lake and camped in a beautiful campsite at 6000 feet. It was clear of snow, the snowline was just at 6000 feet.

On the second day our group traveled mostly cross country and did a physically challenging ascent of Old Snowy: the first peak to be climbed by the new Catlin Gabel Outdoor Program. The weather was glorious on this day. The other group made the long trek to Cispus Pass, mostly over snow. They made an attempt to rendezvous with us at our camp on their return, but the snow obscured the trail and they lost their way. I think this was a challenging and rewarding day for both groups.

On the third day we awoke to cloudy skies, but the rain did not come. We packed up and hiked out, eventually meeting the other group at the main bridge over Snowgrass Creek. We drove the 3-4 hours back to Catlin Gabel and bid good bye to the group there.

Smith Rock Adventure, November 2005

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What a nice white house.
   

 

Kate Rogers McCarthy ’35: 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient

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Kate Rogers McCarthy ’35 has been an environmental warrior for more than 30 years. Her battlefield is the stressed slopes of Mt. Hood, where she has spent a good part of her life researching, photographing, and documenting errors in U.S. Forest Service processes and disclosure, and the sidestepping of environmental laws and regulations. During her 70th reunion this summer—and on her 88th birthday—she will be honored with the 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award for exemplifying the philosophy her aunt Ruth Catlin wrote in 1928.

After graduating from Catlin School, Kate earned a B.A. in biology at Reed College. Her environmental pursuits led to many accomplishments, including founding the Friends of Mt Hood and the Hood River Valley Residents' Committee, and service on the Columbia Gorge Commission and on the board of Friends of the Columbia River Gorge and the Oregon Environmental Council. Over the years Kate traveled and testified tirelessly in support of more sensitive land use and protection of the fragile Mt. Hood ecosystem.

Kate’s connections to the school run deep: she attended the Catlin School from 1st through 12th grade, and alumni in her family include her sister Betty Walker ’38 and granddaughter Abigail McCarthy ’94. Her son, Stephen McCarthy, is a past board member.

The alumni board is happy to honor Kate, whose life and work display those qualities the Distinguished Alumni Award was created to recognize: effective leadership, creative and resourceful problem solving, a sense of calling, a desire to serve the greater good, the ability to inspire and motivate others, and an enduring legacy. Her efforts in conservation have already made a difference, and you’ll still find her today fighting the good fight there among the trees and rocks of Mount Hood.

Deschutes River October 2005

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Deschutes River Rafting October 2005

Surviving the Deschutes River

By Rob Bishop

Deschutes River Rafting October 2005

Surviving the Deschutes River

By Rob Bishop

We left the school on the morning of the 22nd of October. After riding on bus to the Warm Springs put in, we met with our river guides. We loaded five rafts in the glorious sunshine and set off for the Whiskey Dick camp site. Whiskey Dick, as our guide told us, lived on the river for twenty years. He lived on nothing but what he could find in the environment. Well, almost. On the first day of rafting, we didn’t encounter any major rapids and focused mainly on team building. After putting the freshman to bed at a respectable time of 5:30 p.m., we commandeered a passing merchant ship with an inattentive captain and sailed down Ricochet River. The next day we floated through White Horse Rapids and Buckskin Mary. White Horse falls in the category of a class 4 rapid and is known as the hardest and longest rapid chain of the Deschutes. It also contains the infamous “Oh S---!” rock, named for the words most rafters use when they first see it. After White Horse, we spent the rest of the day at various spots where we stopped and took little hikes or climbs. It was on one of these short hikes where we found the evidence of a long missing leprechaun, magic bumble bee - fat Oprah. We spent the second night just downstream from a small fishing community named Dant. That night, in honor of Sam’s 17th Birthday, we made him Cheese Cake and gave him our mediocre presents. On the third and final day of our journey we celebrated the 14th birthday of Johnny by letting him skipper us through the other big rapids of the Deschutes. This included Boxcar, Oak Springs, and Falafel. Ah, to be 14 again. Each rapid had its challenges and were all very exciting. The effort was accompanied by disconcerting chants of “Little Debbie”. We took out below Maupin and drove back in time for the seniors to make their dinner plans. Each day we covered about 20 miles, a leisurely pace that gave us time to stop and get a feel for the environment outside of the River.

Ahhh, the trip is over....

Caving in SW Washington

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Exploring the caves of SW Washington

A group of nineteen Middle School students and leaders set off from Catlin Gabel School on October 20 to explore the lava tubes near Trout Lake, Washington. We drove the two hours in a fine yellow bus before stopping at Cheese Cave. The students explored this complex lava tube both north and south from the entrance. The cave had been used to store cheese in past years. From here the group spent the rest of the day looking for the elusive "Jug Cave".

Exploring the caves of SW Washington

A group of nineteen Middle School students and leaders set off from Catlin Gabel School on October 20 to explore the lava tubes near Trout Lake, Washington. We drove the two hours in a fine yellow bus before stopping at Cheese Cave. The students explored this complex lava tube both north and south from the entrance. The cave had been used to store cheese in past years. From here the group spent the rest of the day looking for the elusive "Jug Cave". Although we never found our quarry, we did come across some lava bridges and a long cave that took us deep into the woods. That night was spent in the Klickitat County Park in Trout Lake where we feasted on burritoes.

The next day we made a leisurely break from camp and went off to explore New Cave. Although we found the cave easily, we were surprised and pleased to discover some unexpected caves and sinks to the west. One of these was half a mile long and took us through some unexpected challenges. It was mid afternoon when we again saw daylight. After a lunch that included orange cupcakes we set off for home.