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[TR] South Sister - Devils Lake climbers trail 06/01/2019

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Trip: South Sister - Devils Lake climbers trail

Trip Date: 06/01/2019

Trip Report:

Started hiking at 4:35 a.m. and lost the trail under the snow about ten minutes later.  We went too far west and ended up on top of the small Butte between Kaleetan Butte and Devils hill. If there is snow when you go stay climbers right,  and find a narrow canyon with a tiny flow of  water. There will be ski tracks.

Across the plateau we had a rousing  discussion about wealth inequality,  which ended when we started climbing and had to breath. It was so warm, 40 degrees,  we were  wearing low-top trail running shoes, and getting plenty of purchase and grip,  no slippy slippy.  We had our climbing boots in our packs in case it got cold,  icy up top, or we wanted to use them for the descent. There were several parties in front of us doing all the step kicking all the way up to the pool at the base of the Lewis glacier. Yes please,  and thank you! It was possible to walk on lava cinder from the Lewis glacier about halfway up the final ascent. This is when it was really nice to have trail shoes instead of our climbing boots and we decided to stick with our trail shoes all the way to the summit.

After some quick pictures on the summit we descended to The Summit glacier to get out of the wind and took an hour break eating lunch, and switching to dry socks and boots. After that it was all downhill on our butt sleds. The snow was incredibly soft and it was difficult to slide on anyting less than a 20° slope. Had a straightforward hike back to the car and we both got sunburns on the way. Joy!


FOR SKIERS: The snow is starting to thin in places up top,  and definitely once in the trees on the descent there are bare spots. 

Mileage: 12
Time on route: 7 hours 45 minutes
Elevation gain: 5239

Gear Notes:
Waterproof trail runners, ice axes for the first 1000' of descent

Approach Notes:
Glad we started early, it was warm

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