Yesterday I finished hiking all six peaks for the Central Oregon Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge. This was an exploratory mission to identify peaks that would make a good fit for the challenge, providing some iconic destinations and variety, while still being hike-able peaks during dry conditions (i.e. no mountaineering experience necessary).
I can still feel the burn in my calves.
Next up? We're putting together the registration packages for this inaugural challenge. As with our original challenge, we will be donating 4% of each registration to Big City Mountaineers — a great organization that gives underserved urban youth a chance to discover the outdoors in a transformative way.
I'm from the Portland area and have heard so much about the California challenge that I was glad to see Oregon now has one! I'm curious though, it seems as if the Central Oregon challenge is less demanding than the California challenge. Is there a reason for that?
There are a couple reasons for that. First, one of the things we look for is peaks that can be hiked (no mountain climbing or mountaineering required). That rules out peaks like Mount Hood, Jefferson and many others. Second, in Oregon, the altitude of the peaks in the Cascades is typically lower than those in SoCal. We included South Sister — the third highest peak in Oregon, and it's still shorter than San Gorgonio by about 1,000 feet. Third, the distances to the hike-able peaks is often less than in SoCal (though not always).
We've also tweaked things a bit to create more of range from the first to the last hike — so the first hikes are easier, but the last hike or two are tough. This range helps people prepare better for the bigger hikes in the challenge.
Finally, it's now very possible to hike the Central Oregon or even the Colorado challenges in a week. This technically could be done in SoCal, but it's only been done by a handful of people to date.
All that being said, we're always open to suggestions. If you have ideas for improving the challenge for 2019, let us know!