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LonelySummit

South and Middle Sister AT ski season?

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Looking for a little beta on when ss and ms are great for some touring this year. Is there a "better" route for AT then the standard climb routes? Is May to late? Water; have you toured here?

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I skied South Sister on July 4th weekend last year. We had approximately 500-700 vertical feet of trail and then were skinning with occasional sections of booting over the rocks all the way to the summit. It was a nice ski, but the plateau at about 6k above sea level was a hellacious oven of suncups. I believe the Pole Creek trailhead is still closed due to the fire last year.

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Like JBo6 says, it's totally condition dependant.

Did it last year right around the same time, maybe one week after July fourth, and, while the upper section, maybe upper third was decent(according to my partners; I bailed about halfway up), the middle and lower sections were survival skiing, at best, due to the deep suncups and runnels. . Gnarly, and very challenging. . . to say the least. .

The year before, however, skied S.S. on the fourth, and it was fantastic! Great corn, no suncups, etc, and just very fun skiing.

Kind of depends on how the spring weather treats the mountain, ie, lots of rain followed by sun, can make for very shitty conditions. Best to keep an eye on it, look for any trip reports as the time nears, etc, etc.

Good luck, and maybe see ya there!

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Heya there Mr. Summit. Yes I went in there to tour I think late may 2012 and was met by a lot of lousy dusty blowdown crossing in ski boots from pole creek before we donned skins sometime after soap creek. 2011 was much kinder in the spring with snow going to the trailhead in early june I believe. From what I've seen on a few volcanoes around 6k and lower the snowpack is hurting and early as possible is going to be good. If you can manage to get in there that is [fire closure]

 

Will have to look at access to middle and north from 242 which opens later and is longer i think.. booo. upside is i heard the pole creek fire burned intense so manybe when it does open the b-line from the trailhead to north is really direct

 

last year skied south sister a week or so after the road opened (late june??) and it was car-to-car on skis but the ~2 miles of plains blows on the way down when you just want to be skiing and not putting on skins again. some scaled skis would be nice then for sure.

 

 

 

 

 

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Interesting to hear dhrmabum, with the exception of the suncups on the plains everything skied real nice for us. Of course the day we skied was the beginning of about 5 days of 90+ degree temperatures in Bend, so I can believe it got a little warm.

 

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last year skied south sister a week or so after the road opened (late june??) and it was car-to-car on skis but the ~2 miles of plains blows on the way down when you just want to be skiing and not putting on skins again.

Sounds like I have a big window in front of me then; thanks all! Water, if your up to it again this year for a SS-MS traverse in a long push let me know. I'm not sure if this is an easy one dayer on AT gear, or if a short bivy would be better, but either way; I need to hit the Sisters this year.

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last year skied south sister a week or so after the road opened (late june??) and it was car-to-car on skis but the ~2 miles of plains blows on the way down when you just want to be skiing and not putting on skins again. some scaled skis would be nice then for sure.

 

Ski down to Green Lakes and then out and you won't have to cross the plains. A good drop is to head over to toward the SE satellite peak, drop S to the glacier below, traverse E and boot up to reach another good straight drop a little more SE; when that flattens out traverse and boot up again to reach a drop more toward the lake below. From the Lake, just head down toward the trailhead.

 

It is a little longer if you head up via Green Lakes but not much and you'll have the descent route scoped.

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I was down there last week and they had the road cleared almost to the gate by Bachelor. If the gate is still closed you could bring a bike and ride the road to the trailheads.

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If you are wondering about cascade lakes hwy going past bachelor, I read that it was scheduled to open on Wednesday may 8th. So if that isn't indicative of a low snow year...get after it pronto! Late June will be too late.

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Skied South Sister yesterday summit to car, but it's going fast. Looks more like late June up there.

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Kinda old beta: We skied MS in a day in the last week of March '13 via 3 Creek rd. Approaching form the East; Until we reached the un-burned/1/3 mi from tree line, the snow was very thin. Skinning towards Pouty point was bony. Skiing down consisted of (exciting!) boiler plate snow until tree line via the same route (normal route from Pole Creek). Snow was as expected for 20% ish below normal snow pack.

P3250366.JPG

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