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| |-+  June 2008 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  June 27-29, 2008 S. Sister via Pole Creek and Prouty Glacier
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Author Topic: June 27-29, 2008 S. Sister via Pole Creek and Prouty Glacier  (Read 2550 times)

Posts: 81

June 27-29, 2008 S. Sister via Pole Creek and Prouty Glacier
« on: 07/01/08, 11:09 PM »

Why pole creek?  3 reasons.  One, because I didn't know how long of a walk it was going to be.  Two, I hadn't come in from the east before.  Finally, we had lofty plans of skiing at least the south and middle sisters, if not the north as well.

The trail 1.4 miles to the intersection was snow free.  Off trail was snow free, then patchy, then skinable starting at about 6500' up pole creek.  We spent a lot of energy trying to find the best way south, pretty much the tops of the south facing ridges above treeline are bare, but we didn't know until we came out that a little lower in elevation there was continous snow protected by some big stands of neat old hemlocks.

My brother and I made it to Camp Lake later than we expected, so we set up camp.  The partially thawed lake immediately started refreezing when the sun went down over the hills at around 7:30.  I had never seen surface ice cystals grow before then.  It was pretty cold Friday night.  We got up Saturday morning and got a late start towards S. Sister, no suprise to Telemon I'm sure.  We were either going to go up the north ridge, the prouty glacier, or wrap all the way around to the south side.  The north ridge looked the most direct, but the prouty glacier looked like we could ski the whole way.  The bergschrund at the south end of the glacer was barely open, easily passable.  The later timing was actually pretty good, the snow was soft enough to kick nice steps in and no crampons were needed.  There was a bit of rockfall, but nothing too bad.  The rest of the way was up the SE slope to the summit rim was straightforward.  The skiing down was really nice.  A little late, but not too bad considering how hot it was.  We started some surface sluffs down the 45 deg couloir, but otherwise it was a really fun route that I would do again.  Not sure how long it will be in, probably not long, but I don't really know since this was the first time I've ever seen that route.  We were able to ski all the way back to camp lake minus one 20' carry. 

Saturday night we were treated to a light show, but the thunder was really soft.  Must have been quite a ways off.  The temperature was really warm, and the wind blew hard.  Sunday we just headed home without even contemplating heading up middle sister. 

There was evidence of a big slide on the diller glacer on Middle Sister that I would guess went after that last snowfall then warm period.  Probably 1000' run with a crown at least a few hundred feet wide.  Other than that, it looked like a really nice slope to ski.

Final note:  Saw some nice tracks below middle sister on our way out Sunday.  Also saw a lot of mountaineers coming down on foot.  It brought back bad memories of walking down perfectly skiable snow.

* South_Sister_Prouty_Glacier.jpg (53.67 KB, 690x485 - viewed 408 times.)

* Middle_and_North_Sister.jpg (96.33 KB, 780x518 - viewed 427 times.)

* Middle_Sister_From_Camp_Lake.jpg (95.16 KB, 720x478 - viewed 406 times.)
« Last Edit: 07/01/08, 11:13 PM by Slo-Steve » Logged

Posts: 236

Re: June 27-29, 2008 S. Sister via Pole Creek and Prouty Glacier
« Reply #1 on: 04/11/09, 07:22 AM »

GReat TR.

We were up a few days before you and camped 400' above you under the cliffs at the bottom of the SE.R.MS.  That is the route the Avy was on....not on the Diller.  THe diller is the steep chute to lookers right that ends in a basin.

Nice pics.
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