Saturday, September 28, 2002

Middle Sister Climb

We climbed South Sister a year or two prior and had always planned to come back and climb Middle Sister. In 2002 Todd, Dan and I set off for the Three Sisters Wilderness in the heart of the Oregon Cascades. It was your typical beautiful August weather and proved to be a great trip. These early trips taught us some valuable lessons. The lesson from this trip and the one before it; cut down on the mileage. We frequently charged down the trail covering 15 to 20+ miles in a day. This coupled with the overly heavy packs we had at the time made for what came to be affectionately called "death marches." These were marginally enjoyable, exhausting hikes jammed into weekends. We saw some great places, such as Middle Sister and South Sister, but I found the experience to be lacking some of the enjoyment it should have had. Nonetheless, we had a good hike and climb.

Todd with South Sister in the background as we work our way to Middle Sister

We hiked into the saddle between South Sister and Middle Sister to make our first camp. It was a great location and one that I have revisited. We got up early the next morning with our sites set on summiting and hiking all the way back out.

Todd headed up Middle Sister with South Sister in the background

Because it was August, the snow had all melted and we were left with a climb over the biggest boulder field I have ever tried to cross.

Todd and Dan make their way up the boulder field

Dan and Todd push on with the Husband in the distance

The tough hike and climb took its tole on Dan and with the long hike out still waiting for us he chose to stop and wait for us to summit and come back. Todd and I continued on as quick as possible so Dan wouldn't be left on his own too long in the unforgiving sun.

Todd enjoying the views from the top of Middle Sister with the northern Oregon Cascades behind him.

The hike down and out was long, hot and exhausting which by itself was enough. Then they arrived. Mosquitos. We couldn't hike fast enough to get away. Bug spray was only marginally effective and our thin cotton shirts did little in the way of protection. We quickly headed down the trail back to the car.

The views were great and a trip I have since repeated. It's well worth the effort and is not a technical climb.

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