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Middle Sister Climber's Log

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justingBluebird day  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 9, 2004


She's the shortest but don't tell her that.
Posted Feb 17, 2009 5:06 pm

PallandoWho cares about mosquitoes?  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 9, 2008


My roommate and his brother visited from out of state and I told them I'd take them up a mountain. Middle was my first mountain, it's got some basic glacier travel and it's over 10,000 ft, so I got Friday through Monday off of work and we got packed.
Hiked in late Friday morning (9:00) and camped at Demaris. Set up camp, took quick swims, and got water at my favorite spring. My friends hated mosquitoes. I might be the only one in the world, but I'm okay with them. There were a lot, though. Slept outside, but when it started to rain, we managed three people in my solo tent until we got up to make breakfast.
Packed one gear bag and small daypacks and headed out. I took the gearbag, which was heavy, but my friends had never been this high before. We kept about the same pace most of the way up.
Roped up for Hayden Glacier. Had axes, but no crampons. This late in the summer and this late in the day, we managed fine following another group's tracks up the ridge of Hayden.
Left the gearbag in a bivi near Prouty and summited. Snow on the top in August! It was a cold year. Friends were gasping for air at the summit. Didn't spend much time before I took them back down. Crossed on the West side of Prouty and glissaded down Collier. Made it to camp. Friends decided mosquitoes were too much, so we came down two days early. Went to work on my day off, but content.
Posted Sep 18, 2008 1:49 am

oregonrpaMiddle Sister (3 sisters marathon)  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Sep 6, 2008


Perfect day on Middle Sister as summit #2 of three sisters marathon. Ascended north ridge route after coming down the south ridge of North Sister. On summit of North at 1040, and summit of Middle at 1340.

Climbing partner lost his digital camera (Canon ultracompact in a blue case) somewhere along the route between the south ridge of North and the summit of Middle...otherwise a perfect day doing the Three Sister's marathon!
Posted Sep 9, 2008 2:18 pm

physicsRoute Climbed: N. Ridge via Renfrew Glacier Date Climbed: August 19, 2008  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 19, 2008


Climbed it solo 4 hrs up from Linton meadows during a backpacking trip with my family and cousins. Made it back to camp by 10AM. Easy walk up but was happy I brought crampons (needed them).
Posted Aug 20, 2008 11:23 pm

LeviSoutheast Ridge  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 26, 2008


Walked into Chambers Lakes on friday and camped. Started the ascent at 5 the next morning. Found our way up the ridge and made the summit at 9:30. Views were great, from Adams to about McLoughin. Finding the way in the snow was no problem at all. It was a great climb and I will definetaly come back to do the Hayden Glacier Route.
Posted Jul 27, 2008 11:18 pm

Steve RydinNorth Ridge  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 31, 2003

Steve Rydin

What a great climb and beautiful weather! A little tricky traversing one of the glaciers - crampons would have been nice!
Posted Jul 8, 2008 12:13 pm

dannottiperfect day on Middle Sister  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 14, 2008
Climbed via Hayden glacier, great weather and views.
Posted Jun 16, 2008 12:08 am

seabre23Re: perfect day on Middle Sister
Not Too much snow?...Two day trip due to distance? 242 on west side still closed no?
Posted Jul 29, 2008 2:40 pm

Karl HelserHayden...  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 8, 2008

Karl Helser

From Pole Creek TH Hiked about half mile before hitting snow, then another quarter mile before loosing the trail under snow. With my GPS in one hand and moving tree branches with the other, we made it to our 7000' camp in great time. Not a cloud in the sky...
Sunday left camp for the summit at about 6:00am. Conditions were perfect. Snow was firm under crampons. As always this time of year, the crux of this climb was the last 700' up the north ridge/face. Down climbed about 200' facing the mountain.
The visibility was clearer than I've ever seen it. Shasta to Adams...crystal clear.
Posted Jun 9, 2008 3:38 pm

Dan WinterNorth Ridge  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 10, 2003

Dan Winter

My first trip with the Mazamas. From camp at Arrowhead lake we hiked to the top. At least 30 people on the summit!
Posted Apr 29, 2008 1:57 am

cdoggreat climb  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 17, 2003


climbed the north ridge via North Sis during a TS marathon push. Met a bunch of mazamas at the saddle and shared a candy with them at the top before pushing on down the se ridge and on to the south sis
Posted Apr 15, 2008 11:11 pm

Mr. ClamWinter Ascent  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Feb 15, 2008

Mr. Clam

Long approach but well worth it. Great weather on the summit, but the winds picked up and destroyed my tent later that night forcing me to do the 12 mile snowshoe back to the truck in the dark.
Posted Feb 17, 2008 3:11 am

outdoorgirlNW Face  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 1, 2007


A great summit at the top with a great four person group, enjoyed the views from the top, and a fun camp the prior evening.
Posted Oct 9, 2007 3:34 pm

KMMPost 58!  Sucess!


Did this one with Dan, David, and Steve Levine!!! great climb.
Posted Oct 7, 2007 1:42 am

YEMDiller Glacier  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 14, 2006


A variation on the Southeast Ridge. From the Chambers Lakes area, climb on the edge of the glacier until the ridge is your only option. Much more fun than the rocks. Watch out for head pecking, food stealing ravens.
Posted Aug 20, 2007 5:27 pm

cjwhatHayden Glacier  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 15, 2007


Kyle and I started from Pole Creek TH. Used crampons and rope for the Hayden Glacier. The ridge on the glacier looked tight although there are crevasses on the sides that obviously go under the route, but the snow was firm on top. The hike was 6.75 hours up and 5 hours down.
Posted Aug 18, 2007 1:56 pm

vancouver islanderNorth Ridge via the Collier  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 1, 2007

vancouver islander

From a glorious camp just below the Collier from which we climbed North Sis the previous day.

Slots opening up on the upper Collier and we had to do two end runs to avoid them where we trended right (SE) to the foot of the north ridge of Middle Sis. Crampons VERY useful for early morning approach.

About 3.5h up from camp of which 1h was the N ridge proper. No snow on the ridge. Some loose scree but a paved highway compared to North. Under 2h back to camp.

Have now bagged all the "girls".
Posted Aug 8, 2007 10:26 am

jnalewayCollier Glacier Sliding
Date Climbed: Jul 29, 2007


This was my first attempt at Middle Sister, Oregon, and I was climbing with my friend Ed from Newberg, who is an experienced mountaineer in the Cascades. That was lucky, because there are many confusing routes up the mountain, on the snow fields and glaciers. But he had a lot of experience and could help us find the way, with a map and compass and GPS at our side.

We started from the Obsidian Trailhead, and hiked in to Sunshine meadows campground. You need a special wilderness permit to hike in this area, but they are available free from the McKenzie River Park Ranger's office, and they can FAX the permit to you in advance. You also need a Northwest Forest Parking pass to park at the Obsidian Trailhead parking lot, but I parked just down the road at the Scott Lake turnout and walked the extra half mile to the trailhead.

Just over the Jerry Lava Flow, bear left onto the trail marked for Minne Scott Springs, and follow that about a mile until it ends at the Pacific Crest Trail. At the intersection, head straight forward, toward the mountain across the meadow for the climbers trail up. As you reach the scree, head for the only line of scraggly trees on a ridge ahead, at this altitude, and the trail that skirts them on the right (South) and up the mountain. After about a thousand feet, the trail ends and it is necessary to walk up on the glaciers and snow. Keep the Black Finn, a giant twisted fin of lava, on your left as you climb. Once on top of the first rise, the mountain will come into view. Keep heading east and you will get to the Collier glacier, which spans the two mountains, North Sister on the left and Middle Sister to the right. Walking up Collier Glacier on this hot sunny (eighty degree) summer day was a bit dicey, as the snow would give way in parts, and once I broke through the crust to an alarming fall, which I caught myself with my other bent leg. No actual crevasse was showing but there were probably some forming on the snow fields. Some crampons would have been great, as walking across the middle of the glacier was a frightening experience. Also some technical rock climbing was necessary in parts, to shimmy around some sheer outcroppings near the top. Coming down was a simple glacade slide back down on the snow.

All in all a wonderful day up in the high country, and well worth the effort. But bring some extra sunscreen and lip balm, as I got a nasty sunburn on my lower lip, probably from the reflection off the ice. Well recommended, but with crampons and ice axe, as it would have been a much easier climb with them in hand.
Posted Aug 3, 2007 11:38 pm

Noah (Oregon)Total Solitude
Date Climbed: Jul 13, 2007

Noah (Oregon)

I had already climbed Middle Sister from the east side (South Ridge) so I wanted to try it from the other side. I am pleased to say that I think the Obsidian Trail approach is even more beautiful. The mix of forest, lava field, meadow, moraine, glacier and rocky ridge makes this one of the best routes I have done. It didn't hurt that I didn't see a single person from the car to my camp, from my camp to the summit and from the summit back to my camp. I was the only person on the mountain! Amazing... there weren't even any campers at Sisters Spring or hikers on the PCT.

I do have to add that the mountain isn't as close as it seems from below. I climbed quickly to the col between North and Middle but was surprised that I still had over 1000 feet of climbing to the summit. Somehow I thought the col was "almost there" and in the end it took another hour.

Another note, the snow field on the north ridge was not melted out and because it is not mentioned in any of my books, I was caught off guard by how steep it was. I had to sweat to cross it without my crampons. See the route description for more details.
Posted Jul 15, 2007 12:10 pm

Karl HelserNorthwest Face Variation  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 1, 2007

Karl Helser

I, along with a couple of good friends left the Obsidian TH Saturday mid morning. Camped at Arrowhead Lake (Still frozen over) under a full moon and calm sky’s. Headed for the summit at dawn. Started out on the standard Renfrew Glacier route, then headed south around a rock buttress then straight up the northwest face. It was stair stepping large boulders instead of fighting the small loose scree like you'll find on the North Ridge. Good views and a long walk out..
Posted Jul 10, 2007 10:28 pm

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