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corvallisclimb

three sisters traverse

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Never done it and I'm sure lots of "marathoners" will weigh in. From most I've talked to and what I've read, it starts at Pole Creek, up North via South/Southeast ridge (get most difficult peak down when you are fresh), down to Prouty Point and up North Ridge of Middle Sis on easy terrain. Down South ridge of Middle, over and then up North ridge route on South (can be a little tricky when tired so I hear). Walk off to road via trail highway & drive back (via your other wheels) to the starting place.

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Did the traverse two weekends ago. I didn't do it this way but next time I would start at Pole Creek, carry up the hayden, bivy on the saddle. Do South Ridge of North, then north ridge of Middle. Descended the southeast ridge of Middle, bivyed in the Chambers lake area. Then ascended the Carver and Prouty Glacier. Descended the south side to Devil's Lake TH. Its a blast and exhausting. (edit-I never said I did this as a Marathon attempt).

Edited by Ducknut
  • Rawk on! 1

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come on.... two bivys to climb the Sisters? Whatever floats your boat but I thought the common concept of a 3 Sister's Marathon was to do in in a day in a single push.

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i haven't done it, but if i were to do it, err i should say, the ONLY way to do it would be in spring, with skis. right now the sisters wilderness is smoke filled, chossy arse scree piles with skeeters sometimes all the way up to 9k+. no thanks!

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bwahahahah! zactly what i'm takin bout. the only thing missing from the picture is an air life helo plucking gapers off south sister slog route.

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I thought the ante was upped years ago when the complete enchainment was done N Sister->Middle Sister->S Sister->Broken Top->Bachelor in < 24 hours?

 

Its a hella long haul to contemplate any time (I've done most of it in spurts) but I can't imagine not doing on skis in the Spring, its too long to do sub 24 hours any other way.

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It was but they had a car shuttle from Broken to Bachelor.

 

The real deal would be north sister -> bachelor on day 1 and then 3 finger and Washington day 2 (which the later is easy to do).

 

Or even better go link stuff in WA.

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imho the real deal would be a wintertime traverse from bachelor to santiam. probably not a 24 hour jaunt. in oregon high thomas mentions an attempt of this back in the 80's(?) from bachelor to mckenzie, i'm guessing they had a sled shuttle out... but the party didn't climb north sister... that is how I'd like to do the traverse, wait for a nice high pressure system in feb or march... SICK@!

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When I did it, we climbed North up the Thayer glacier, Middle from the saddle then the long slog up the north ridge of south. 14 hours car to car with an hour spent being lost trying to find the pole creek trail coming off south. Summer time lots of scree but no skeeters.

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Thayer Glacier in the summer? Isn't it mostly steep dangerous scree and mixed loose rock? Must of been a heavy snow year.

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July 23rd 1980. I remember cramponing straight up to just south of the pinnacle at the top of the ridge. On top of north at 8:40, middle 10:30 and south 2:37. thanks for the thread so I could look up a great memory in my climbing journal.

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I solo'd the marathon last summer, early August I believe. Only did the 3 major peaks--screw the anty in "Oregon High". I do agree that the goal is 24 hours--so bivies definitely aren't allowed. yellowsleep.gif

I've always felt that the North Sister requires a little bit of luck without snow cover, but that's my opinion. Graham crackers probably would be preferred in some spots! I hit the southeast ridge of NS, backtracked to the south ridge after sunrise summit, crossed over to the north ridge of middle (crampons for 5-10 minutes), up & over & down to the base of the SS. This is where I wussed out. I'd been planning on the North Ridge the whole time, but after talking with a guy on MS I decided to move over to the Northwest Ridge. This was time consuming and more hiking than climbing. I wasn't familiar with the traverse on the North Ridge of SS but was told it was sketchy--still don't know for sure...

That walk down the trail on the south side of SS was the longest 6 miles I've ever walked in my life! Luckily my ride waited for me as I was a couple hours late--cheers to our handhelds bigdrink.gif

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Funny thing a guy named Willi Unsoeld started out climbing in the three sisters. Jon Krakauers first climb was the south sister at eight years old. Must be something in those graham crackers.

Edited by TJD

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I have splendid memories of traversing three lovely sisters from Oregon.

We shared an enchanted holiday indeed.

The first required a bit of work...

The other two were in the bag, just a matter of patience and good fortune.

382746-The%20sisters%20and%20I.JPG

 

The climbing was good as well, a bit dodgy.

5a1a55b63ef60_382746-ThesistersandI.JPG.4a94ae7ac041756ab63149ea49055d7d.JPG

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I enjoyed the picture you posted. I am 46 years old but have a greast respect for the early climbers in the north west. The distances and hard ships they faced just on the approach, has made me feel like a wimp at times. Reading books about the first climbs ,shows what classy people they were.

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Hi - I just found this site and seen the mention of the winter Three Sisters climbs - As a particpant of that

trip I thought some information about it would be of intrest - The whole trip was done on skis - No sleds

The packs were damn heavy - We packed for 10 day trip to allow for weather - Winter camping and climbing

equiptment added a lot of extra crap - First day to Green Lakes camp - 2nd day climbed Broken Top - 3rd

day South Sister - 4th day to Chambers Lake area to camp and rest/repair - 5th day spent enjoying the

area and contiued rest - 6th day over to Hayden Glacier and up and through the notch - Camped on

the flat area beyond - The other 3 decided to dash up the Middle while I was appointed camp cook - The

next day while I soloed the Middle, they made an attempt on the North - They were stopped at the base of the

summit pinnacle due to the 27 types of snow and ice which made climbing very dangerous - They decided to

return to camp and we packed up and headed down - The ski down was awesome - When we reached White Branch

we followed the creek down to where it was close to Deadhorse Grade on Mckenzie Highway - Then it was just

follow the tips of our skis to White Branch camp area where a friend picked us up for the trip home. We felt

even though we had not climbed the North the trip was a great sucess.

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7 days in the mountains during winter is impressive even without A summit, let alone a 4th...

 

To up Iain's winter traverse idea, I think this would be the ultimate:

NS (Northeast Arete, descent headwall under souteast & south ridges); MS (northeast gully, descent south side); SS (Silver Couloir, descent via Prouty Glacier or Green Lakes); BT (north face, descent west face)

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