Here’s my tale of Plab-fest west. Sorry we missed you guys!
Late Friday afternoon, after an hour of dicking around hauling the sled over downed trees and dirt we decided to ditch the pig. So, taking only what we could fit in our daypacks, we left the sled, the tent, the beer (sob!) and a ton of extra food and clothing and beat feet for Green Lakes with what light we had left. Crossing the Moraine Lake plateau without finding the trail, we headed off across the lava fields following a compass heading to Green Lakes. Just as it was getting almost too dark to see we spotted some open water and trees and after crossing a large creek that was fortunately snowbridged at the lake outlet we found a large patch of bare ground with a beautiful old fallen tree trunk to crash beside. Session!
In the morning we started up a West-trending ridge of nuntucks thinking it was the most direct line to the top. But it cliffed-out in choss somewhere around 7400 and we had to backtrack to where we could ski down to a lower snow gully that connected a small choss ridge. The ridge led to the SE shoulder of the Sis and we traversed over to the obvious South side conga line where packed up skis and got in line. A thousand feet of stairstepping later and, cha cha cha, we were on the top. Session! Had some food, took some pictures. There were lots of Mounties up there. One guy was playing some weird head game with his climb leader, “Don’t look now but I brought BEER!” Oooh, you’re just sooo bad, Mister I-need-a-guide to climb the S. Sister. Whoops, my bad.
Anyway, after another Session!, we decided to ski the fall line down to Moraine Lake and see if we couldn’t find that trail we’d been looking for the day before. The snow, while not optimal, wasn’t irredeemably awful (we’ve all seen worse) and we shredded the rad fantastic, leaving the Mounties in our dust (or slush as the case may be.) Maybe if we’d gotten up a few hours earlier the snow would’ve been better, but then again, it’d been a mighty warmish night. Once down at the lake we quickly found the trail and followed it all the way back to camp. Session! Later on, we both agreed that our direct line of the night before was the better way to go.
Back in camp around five we partied ‘til the sun went down and partied some more after that. Green Lakes is a bit out of the way for a climb of S. Sis, imo, but what a beauty camping spot it is! Gorgeous lipstick sunset streaming over the mountain with a nearly full moon rising over Broken Top much later in the eve. The milky way and whatnot in the meantime. Many scenics, many sessions.
Sunday, we crossed over the lava field and took a high (7200-8000) traverse back to a sweeeet treeline that dropped us off on the NE side of Moraine Lk. Then we followed Hells creek back to Devils Lake. We dropped our packs at the truck and climbed back up to retrieve the sled and the much missed beer. After a congratulatory beer or two we packed up the rig and drove home to P-town. A completely mellow trip, all in all, but it would’ve been fun to meet up the rest of you mystery Plabfesters.
Maybe another time...
This past weekend we did a fantastic run down the Wy’east face. Camped on a snowledge @ 8600’ and watched the now full moon come up. Colder temps and a nightlong katabatic wind kept the snow nicely styro-ed for the climb in the AM. We quickly cramponed the last 2k and hung out among the hot rocks on the ridge until around ten when the corn timer went off. Awesome run down. My first time. Love the rollover just out of the box! Snow was good all the way back to our high camp. Absolute crap below that. That trip goes on my “yearly” list from now on!