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DrCaterpillar

North sister conditions/trailhead access

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Anyone been up to the sisters and know if the trailhead is accessible? Any info on current snow conditions?

 

Considering climbing north sister this weekend...

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Anyone been up to the sisters and know if the trailhead is accessible? Any info on current snow conditions?

 

Considering climbing north sister this weekend...

 

Me too. Last word I saw was the Pole Creek road not melted out the whole way, adding a mile or so on that end.

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I'd be curious too - am possibly planning a ski trip to the Middle over Memorial Wknd. Called Deschutes Co. today and they said the Cascade Lakes Hwy likely won't be open by Memorial Day. Gate there is at Lava Lake as of today and still 7-10 feet of snow at Elk Lake....

Edited by stoudema

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I'm headed up for the weather window thursday/friday. 30 days ago it was 3 miles to the TH and deep, so I hope it's improved. Bachelor got 4 inches last night though.

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Three of us drove down on Sunday for some touring in the Sisters, but the weather hasn't been kind. We ended up just climbing at Smith.

 

According to the rangers, Cascade Lakes Hwy is open only to Bachelor (still 2-4 ft snow beyond), so still a 4 mile skin in to the Green Lakes TH. On the east side, the road (I think it's state road 16?) is plowed about 2-3 miles from the Three Creek TH.

 

Have fun, post a conditions report if you get out!

 

-erik

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You can drive within 1 mile of the TH, basically right to the 10 mile marker. There are a few snow patches(very short though) that may give a low clearance vehicle a hard time, but just punch it.

 

Nobody has tried past the 10 mile marker, snow was too mushy even for 4x4.

 

JL

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Climbed middle today alongside a nice couple from eugene. The extra mile is cream cheese. Super nice weather out and the remaining snow on the road is melting fast. You could make it to the TH on top of the morning crust, but you'd have to wait until the next freeze to get out.

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Summited Middle 5/24 (boy from NC) Road open. Wore snowshoes almost all way in. Snow bridge over creek off North Sister(Soap?) still intact. Punching through in places on hike out around noon, even with snowshoes. Firm from tree line to MS summit early morning summit day but snow balling on crampons on return. My Portland friend crapped out in the saddle.Had the summit to myself (except for a field mouse in a little depression, very odd). No mountains like this around these parts :(

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Had the summit to myself (except for a field mouse in a little depression, very odd). No mountains like this around these parts :(

 

Well done ol' smokey-craft, and good maximization of your time while in the Cascades. Any images?

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June 5th I'm wanting to go down and climb the north. Which trail head are you talking about for access? I want to start at the obsidian trailhead do you think I'll have access by the 5th?

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Unlikely. ODOT is not planning to plow McKenzie Pass this year. Pole Creek TH is definitely open for business though.

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Thanks iain

 

Is route finding hard this time of year or is it pretty straight foward? Using the pole creek entrance.

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IMG_5753.JPGIMG_5772.JPG

IMG_5786.JPG

 

East slopes are still pretty loaded with snow and the conditions on the ridge were highly varied. First photo taken just before sunrise and the snow was all ready starting to soften up. The second was taken a couple hours later just in front of the camels hump. We weren't moving fast enough but conditions on the west side still seemed good, but everything seemed pretty good...until the sun hit it.

 

We bailed and made an interesting and hasty decent off the south ridge. Off the mountain and wading through slush with snow shoes by midmorning. We left at midnight and still didn't get to the traverse early enough. Maybe next time.

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I would just camp on the Collier gl at the base of the west face and get to the gendarmes in the dark.

 

When we did the North last year, we overslept, started late, and once the sun hit the ridge, the posthole fest had begun - it took freaking forever. The Terrible traverse and the bowling alley were in the shade for much longer than we expected, but still, we got to the gendarmes on our way back at 1 p.m. Horrible slow descent, like you said "interesting" - in our case we triggered a wet slide off the ridge down the SE slopes (the ones that would go at 45 deg) and rode it for 1000' to get down to the camp.

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Turn your head sideways for this one. The bowling alley is still layered in rime. I took the ramp on the right side and it lead up and underneath a good size rime mushroom

IMG_21951.JPG

 

From below

IMG_22011.JPG

 

Skiing back down Thayer from the south ridge just below prouty. It was all beautiful corn until I hit some deep runnels in the choke.

IMG_22072.JPG

 

 

Edited by keep_it_real

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Nicely done! Thanks for the pics of the bowling alley. Looks like we missed out on a good time. I gotta get me some of those ski things you were using. :rocken:

 

How was the traverse?

 

 

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awesome job! ski down thayer... dropped in really from just below the summit? *bows* that impresses me!

 

thanks for the updates from both of you. last weekend just looking at north from middle had me quaking--cloudy night and snow was mush from the first step onto it from camp--never crusted over. looked very rimed up as well.

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Originally I was planning on climbing to the saddle between Prouty and Glisan and would ski from there without summitting. I'd heard that last slope up prouty from the saddle was filled in with some sketchy sugar. Unfortunately, the sun looked like it would be hiding out behind some clouds for a while making the ski rather icy so I changed plans and decided to try for the summit through the bowling alley. By the time I got off the traverse though the sun had come out so I skied down thayer just south of prouty, not from that upper saddle.

 

KirkW:

The traverse was covered in a soft crust with sugar underneath. You could get a good self belay for most of it but it took some searching for a placement.

 

And the skis rock! The fish scales are no substitute for skins but on the flats and slight uphills, they're awesome.

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For those interested. 6/16/11.

 

Snow begins approx. 30 minutes in from Pole Creek. Slowshoes useful a little after the Soap Creek crossing. SE Ridgeline is normal...although I may have cramponed up lower than normal due to higher snow levels. Dropped over to the west aspect at the camel's hump and navigated through more gullies than I recall from previous visits. Significant rime build-up is present above the traverse - be early. Depending on which gullies you choose there are some sections where two tools were appreciated on the traverse below the pinnacle. Typical mix of rotten snow, good ice, shitty rime, and solid spring snow throughout. Bowling alley has a couple options left or right - it looked like left would have been scary solo so I opted for right. All fairly typical if not for this time of year. No sign of boulders or rap options so be prepared to downclimb. Summit is still fully covered of course.

 

Weather looks to be opening up again after this weekend. Have fun.

 

IMG_65271.JPG

 

IMG_6530.jpg

 

IMG_6542.jpg

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Anyone headed up North in the next week or so? If so, would love fresh beta. We're planning to climb it on the 4th. Thanks.

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Any recent reports on North? We're looking at the weekend of July 24th, but I haven't seen anything recent... mtnhippy, did you go up over the 4th?

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We decided to climb South via the Prouty instead. Our trip leader wasn't interested in the Bowling Alley with the mixed snow and ice.

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