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| | |-+  July 2, 2012, Middle Sister, Renfrew Glacier
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Author Topic: July 2, 2012, Middle Sister, Renfrew Glacier  (Read 3063 times)
DG
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July 2, 2012, Middle Sister, Renfrew Glacier
« on: 07/04/12, 08:27 AM »

It's funny how after three consecutive seasons of wet, cool springs, it now seems normal to have plenty of snow options left come July.  We originally planned to head north, but the forecast sounded a bit more dependable to the south, so we opted for the NW side of the Three Sisters Wilderness via the Obsidian trailhead.

We arrived at the trailhead late on Sunday afternoon and encountered snow right from the get go, in progressively larger and deeper drifts, until it turned continuous about 3 miles in (~5,500 feet).  We found a nice camp on a tree island in the lava flow, where the chief entertainment was watching a picturesque full moon rise over the Middle Sister.

On Monday morning, we set out for Middle Sister, skinning up through the forest along Glacier Creek and then picking our route up the snowy slopes separating the Middle and North Sisters.  By the time we made it to the head of Renfrew Glacier, the wind was really picking up and a steady progression of clouds were lowering our way.  The route to the summit was only another 800 feet or so of elevation, but involves a 45ish degree north-facing pitch that didn't seem likely to soften any further, so we called it there.

The run down Renfrew and a set of west facing bowls was well worth the climb, and went without a carry for a great 3,500 ft of continuous skiing.  It should be good for a while with the amount of snow in there.  At camp, the clouds set onto us and steady rain ensued over night and Tuesday morning, so we were happy to have gotten the one good day in.


* 3Sisters1.jpg (103.67 KB, 800x600 - viewed 787 times.)

* 3Sisters2.jpg (58.63 KB, 800x600 - viewed 844 times.)

* 3Sisters3.jpg (43.57 KB, 800x600 - viewed 769 times.)
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stoudema
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Re: July 2, 2012, Middle Sister, Renfrew Glacier
« Reply #1 on: 07/04/12, 08:51 AM »

Nice work!  The ride down the Renfrew is really fun, even if low angle.....lots of wide open cruising!
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There is nothing more practical in the end than the preservation of beauty." - Theodore Roosevelt
skiology
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Re: July 2, 2012, Middle Sister, Renfrew Glacier
« Reply #2 on: 07/06/12, 10:43 AM »

Any thoughts to what kind of coverage the south route might have... not sure if you were able to take a look but thought i'd ask.
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frankfrank
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Re: July 2, 2012, Middle Sister, Renfrew Glacier
« Reply #3 on: 07/06/12, 12:07 PM »

Any thoughts to what kind of coverage the south route might have... not sure if you were able to take a look but thought i'd ask.

Here is a view from the (far) south, taken on July 4.
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skiology
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Re: July 2, 2012, Middle Sister, Renfrew Glacier
« Reply #4 on: 07/06/12, 12:32 PM »

hmm, good terrain for the rock skis
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DG
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Re: July 2, 2012, Middle Sister, Renfrew Glacier
« Reply #5 on: 07/06/12, 01:13 PM »

We didn't get a look at the south route up Middle Sister, but the remaining snow on the southern aspect of North Sister was looking anemic.  It probably gets less snow being directly behind M Sister, though, and I was pretty surprised at how good the coverage is on western and northern aspects, so it may still be worth a shot.

Thanks FrankFrank for your report from a couple weeks ago - that was great beta for us heading in that way.
« Last Edit: 07/06/12, 01:20 PM by DG » Logged
frankfrank
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Re: July 2, 2012, Middle Sister, Renfrew Glacier
« Reply #6 on: 07/07/12, 12:27 AM »

Oops, that was definitely the wrong image link.

Maybe this one will make more sense. Sorry for the confusion...
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