The Eagles Nest has become my favorite hike in Smith Rock State Park. The views are spectacular and it tends to be less popular then other places in the park. The way that I discovered it has made it Peak Posse history and we now traditionally climb it once a year. Let's go back to a time in the not too distant past when the Peak Posse wasn't even a thought. We will go back to a chain of events that created this cool little climbing group.
The year was 2018 and a group of co-workers sat in the breakroom talking about climbing mountains. The Three Sisters were visible and I asked one of the guys if it was possible to Climb any of them. He said that South, the biggest of the bunch, has a very easy to follow, non-technical, route to the tippy top. Before break was over we had settled on climbing South Sister. We set a date about a month away, to give us time to prepare. A bunch of pretty much out of shape, slosh belly bunch of dudes gave themselves a month to get ready for a ten thousand foot mountain. You don't need to say anything, we understand now the error of our ways.
In preparation for the climb, one of the group suggested we climb to the Eagles Nest at Smith Rock. It would be a good gauge for us to see if we were ready for South. We decided to go around Smith Rock, see Monkey Face, and then climb the scar trail to the Eagles Nest. Then down Burma Road and home free. It was around a nine mile trek. If you have climbed to the Eagles Nest and to the top of South Sister you know that the two are worlds apart as far as difficulty goes and this is where Eagles Nest starts to become part of the fabric of the Peak Posse. We all made the loop around and saw Smith Rock from a birds eye view and thought we were ready for the somewhat bigger mountain. If you have read our South story or watched the video of the expedition, you know that we all got pants pulled down, blistering the buns, down home, full on, butt whippings by South Sister. That day is the closest I personally have been to being beaten. At the top I spoke out loud that I would never climb another mountain. The torturous idea of having to drag my hide back to the car was the most soul crushing thing, I was angry at having lugged myself up there to realize that I now had to get back down. I had altitude sickness and it was hot. I had packed enough stuff to survive for days. It was a bad joke. A few weeks earlier I had stood proud on the Eagles Nest. That in hindsight has become a very funny inside joke, mostly inside my head. I actually thought that since I had climbed Eagles Nest that I was ready for South Sister.
In the Spring we start the Trio climbing season with a hike up to the Eagles Nest. It has become tradition. A tip of the hat to that first year. A reminder of where we started and the places we have been since. Last year we climbed Mount Adams as part of the Trio and I remember thinking as I climbed up to the nest, "If I can make it to the Eagles Nest I can climb Mount Adams."
I laugh to myself remembering how little we knew about climbing on the giants. The Eagles Nest is not a giant but it has a beauty all its own and it is a challenge to climb, think about climbing up misery ridge twice. Did I mention the views? If you have never been, get yourself out there and do it.
The Eagles Nest is soon to become even more a part of the Peak Posse, we have a special challenge for one thousand willing, generous people and the Nest is at the center of it all. There are folks in our communities that are no longer able to climb up the scar trail to enjoy the Eagles Nest and so we are going to climb it for them and also raise some much needed money to help them out here in the low country. Make sure to like our facebook page and start following the news updates to get involved in the challenge. We are working behind the scenes and have a June first launch date for the Climb Challenge. When it's all said and done, the Eagles Nest will have even more reason to be our favorite spot in Smith Rock State Park.
When you are up there taking in the view, remember, if you can make it to the Eagles Nest, you can climb anything.
Be safe and have fun out there...