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| | |-+  7/6-7/7 Middle Sister (FAIL) and South Sister
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Author Topic: 7/6-7/7 Middle Sister (FAIL) and South Sister  (Read 1961 times)

Posts: 12

7/6-7/7 Middle Sister (FAIL) and South Sister
« on: 07/09/13, 08:40 PM »

Middle Sister
We attempted to ski Middle Sister on July 6. Unfortunately, FR15 (the access road to most Middle Sister and North Sister routes) is closed indefinitely due to fire restoration/logging. One of the attached photos shows the Forest Service's map of closed roads in that area (red = closed). While we tried to reach the trailhead via back roads, the road condition eventually exceeded our Honda Element's capabilities. Our attempts to bushwhack to the trailhead from where we abandoned our car were thwarted by our dog's sensitive feet (road was too hot for him to walk on). SO...we planned for a South Sister ski the following day.

South Sister
Snow is melted until you hit the unofficial Canyon Trail, just up from Moraine Lake. We hiked into Moraine Lake, spent a lovely evening there enjoying the stars, and set off on our hike up the mountain Sunday. Snow was frozen solid until about 10 a.m., so we were in no rush to start the day. We ended up hiking to the Lewis Glacier and turned around at about 2 p.m. for our descent. From there had a (nearly) continuous 3,200-foot ski downhill. As you can see from the photos, snow was patchy, but still ski-able and fun.

* closed_roads_sm.jpg (93.94 KB, 299x400 - viewed 894 times.)

* South_Sister_sm.jpg (64.83 KB, 400x300 - viewed 875 times.)

* Patchy_Snow_sm.jpg (81.67 KB, 400x300 - viewed 883 times.)

Posts: 699

Re: 7/6-7/7 Middle Sister (FAIL) and South Sister
« Reply #1 on: 07/12/13, 09:53 AM »

After seeing your post, I tried to find more information about the closure, eventually calling the Sisters Ranger District. The person I talked to suggested that you can use the road, just not with a vehicle. It is ok to walk, or ride a bicycle to the trail head,  I think it is around 4 miles, so it adds a long slog to the trip.  I ask why the road was closed, and it finally got to just cause I say so (guessing they did not really know).  Don't know what the road looked like, but I might try riding my bike in, guess I'll have to weigh that against  the other possibilities.

Posts: 12

Re: 7/6-7/7 Middle Sister (FAIL) and South Sister
« Reply #2 on: 07/15/13, 08:34 AM »

Good to know the feedback from the ranger. The road closure warning made it sound like being on the road in any capacity was not allowed (and we weren't about to risk a $10k fine and 6 months in jail by walking on it)! If our odometer was correct, parking at the closure sign would add about 10 miles of hiking/biking each way. Would love to hear if you made it there, jtack!
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