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Author Topic: 6/23-28 Bend Area (Broken Top & North Sister)  (Read 3522 times)
jd
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6/23-28 Bend Area (Broken Top & North Sister)
« on: 06/30/08, 04:40 PM »

Eric, Chuck and I headed down to the Bend area last week to see what we would find in the Sisters after reading many good TRs. We took I90 and drove down the east side of the mountains through Yakima and on down 97 to Bend - much more scenic and relaxing than I5.

Sisters-Adams Panorama from Hwy 97

There was plenty of snow left, and we beat the heat by a week. Our first foray was an attempt on the west face of Broken Top approaching via the Green River Lakes trail. We got a late start, but luckily it never got too hot and firm snow made for easy booting up through the forest, but it was hard to follow the trail. Eric and I had done the west face many years ago and remembered the approach being much shorter (funny how that happens). Once below the face we were all dragging so we climbed to the top of the lower SW ridge for a view and skied down a nice, but all too short a shot for the long approach.
 
Chuck climbs to the ridge of Broken Top, South, Middle, and North Sister behind.  Chuck skis down with Broken Top's west face behind.

Views from Tumalo Reservoir:
   
Sunset, dawn, sunrise.

After a rest day Eric and I headed up to North Sister to repeat the Villard Glacier route we had done years ago.
 
Middle - North Sister, North Sister Moon Set

We should have followed Amar's advice and headed up on the north side of Soap Creek (we found a good trail there on the way out) but instead we kept on the trail and had to angle up and back across once we were skinning the higher open slopes, but it wasn't too much trouble given the good snow conditions and open forests (and provided some new views).

I was wondering if the snow would be too firm on the face (which is quite steep at the top), given the hard snow we found on the approach, but it had softened up a bit too much for good skiing. Booting was pretty easy, with a few inches of mush over a firm base most of the way.
 
Three Fingered Jack, Jefferson, Hood, Adams from North Sister. Looking down at Eric on the climb.

Eric stopped at a protected rock while I booted up the steepest bit. The mushy snow had me worried, so I didn't go to the summit cliffs, but stopped at a platform other climbers had kicked out on a snow ridge and put my skis on. The skiing wasn't much fun - jump turn, push the 5 inch wave of snow off, stop and watch it slowly gather speed and entrain more surface snow until it roared off the cliff far below, repeat to the other side. This took a long time and by the time I got back to Eric the slopes were lumpy junk (I took my skis off and climbed down through the steepest and narrowest point). We did find some good snow once we were down around the corner where we let em rip back down to our hiking boots at the bottom.
       

A rest day, then the long drive home finished off the trip. We didn't get a lot of turns in, but it was great to get back down to those beautiful uncrowded mountains.
 
Bear claw marks on a tree below North Sister, Mt. Washington sunset
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jtack
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Re: 6/23-28 Bend Area (Broken Top & North Sister)
« Reply #1 on: 06/30/08, 05:04 PM »

Thanks for the wonderful pictures. jt
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Stugie
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Re: 6/23-28 Bend Area (Broken Top & North Sister)
« Reply #2 on: 06/30/08, 06:02 PM »

FANTASTIC photos! Wow.  I really like the bear claw marking on the tree.
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"The mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals; the houses where I practice my religion." - Anatoli Boukreev
pin!head
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Re: 6/23-28 Bend Area (Broken Top & North Sister)
« Reply #3 on: 04/11/09, 07:30 AM »

Great pics of the EMC!
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