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Current Conditions? (South Sister, Thielsen, McLoughlin)

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Current Conditions? (South Sister, Thielsen, McLoughlin)

Postby Redwic » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:45 pm

I have the read several reports from a week or earlier, including the link (http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOC ... 299503.pdf) that another SP member posted earlier this month.

I would like to see if anyone from SP has been to South Sister, Mount Thielsen, and/or Mount McLoughlin during the past week. I just want to get a feel for the current route conditions one can expect on those peaks. The Forest Service stations won't have more-updated information until Friday afternoon or later, and if I go this weekend I will already be on my way by that timeframe. The recent Forest Service information has not been completely accurate in places, either.
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Re: Current Conditions? (South Sister, Thielsen, McLoughlin)

Postby Buck » Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:27 pm

I climbed the South Sister last Friday. Conditions were good. I was somewhat taken aback by how poorly prepared many of the climbers were. No first aid supplies, inadequate water or spare clothing, little if anything to help them through an unplanned situation. One climber in tennis shoes described to us that his plan to get through an emergency was to count on other climbers being around with enough extra clothing, first aid supplies, water, etc. to keep him alive until the helicopter arrived. Yikes!
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Re: Current Conditions? (South Sister, Thielsen, McLoughlin)

Postby philoparts » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:29 pm

Buck wrote: One climber in tennis shoes described to us that his plan to get through an emergency was to count on other climbers being around with enough extra clothing, first aid supplies, water, etc. to keep him alive until the helicopter arrived. Yikes!



I'd throw the dude a bandaid and tell him to have a nice time waiting for that "helicopter"........ How much snow past the moraine? I'm looking at McLouglin or SS later this month as well.
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Re: Current Conditions? (South Sister, Thielsen, McLoughlin)

Postby splattski » Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:05 pm

We climbed Thielsen on the 27th. Nothing to report other than sunny, dry trail. A few skeeters, but not bad. Trip report:
http://www.splattski.com/2012/celebration/index.html

IMHO, FS isn't there to help you. They are there to keep you from costing them $ or damaging the resource. I almost never call them because they don't really know anything you can't see out the window of a car. And sometimes not even that. Not their fault- it's a budget thing.
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Re: Current Conditions? (South Sister, Thielsen, McLoughlin)

Postby billisfree » Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:46 am

Buck wrote:I climbed the South Sister last Friday. Conditions were good. I was somewhat taken aback by how poorly prepared many of the climbers were. No first aid supplies, inadequate water or spare clothing, little if anything to help them through an unplanned situation. One climber in tennis shoes described to us that his plan to get through an emergency was to count on other climbers being around with enough extra clothing, first aid supplies, water, etc. to keep him alive until the helicopter arrived. Yikes!


I think it's quite common to climb some mountains on a "day hike" basis. I've done just that ocassionally. The bottom line - don't take risks. Don't climb in areas of rock falls or places where an accidental slip could be highly risky. I've heard of people getting killed on steep hiking trails where NOBODY ropes up or takes extra clothing.

Last June, I wittnessed a fella walking on rocks in front of a waterfall in the gorge. He slipped, his foot jammed between two rocks and he broke his ankle. Then had to sit there 2-3 hours until the rescue people got him out. Bottom line... he wasn't too experienced to realize that wet rocks can be highly unpredictable.

In a few moments... a gent will slip on the rocks down below and break his ankle...
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Re: Current Conditions? (South Sister, Thielsen, McLoughlin)

Postby Fred Spicker » Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:24 pm

As with any other organization - it makes a big difference in WHO you talk to with the USFS. It is just random chance if you call them.

The trail up to Thielsen is the only one that I have paid to hike (NW Forest Pass) that I kinda thought they might have earned their money...huge wind throw area - lots of cutting.

You only NEED the rope if you fall. Except for in aid climbing, the rope is an insurance policy. People have fallen to their deaths on the summit block of Thielsen.
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Re: Current Conditions? (South Sister, Thielsen, McLoughlin)

Postby Snidely Whiplash » Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:07 pm

splattski wrote:IMHO, FS isn't there to help you. They are there to keep you from costing them $ or damaging the resource. I almost never call them because they don't really know anything you can't see out the window of a car. And sometimes not even that. Not their fault- it's a budget thing.


Amen!! Most of them are sitting on their butts in an office, and will tell you practically anything to keep you away. So few of them get out of the office, they rely on reports that are usually weeks old. They just don't want to be in a position of potentially having to rescue anybody. After many erroneous reports, I have learned to take anything they say with a huge grain of salt. The best they can do is advise of road closures and things of that nature.
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Re: Current Conditions? (South Sister, Thielsen, McLoughlin)

Postby dskoon » Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:43 am

etsnyd wrote:
splattski wrote:IMHO, FS isn't there to help you. They are there to keep you from costing them $ or damaging the resource. I almost never call them because they don't really know anything you can't see out the window of a car. And sometimes not even that. Not their fault- it's a budget thing.


Amen!! Most of them are sitting on their butts in an office, and will tell you practically anything to keep you away. So few of them get out of the office, they rely on reports that are usually weeks old. They just don't want to be in a position of potentially having to rescue anybody. After many erroneous reports, I have learned to take anything they say with a huge grain of salt. The best they can do is advise of road closures and things of that nature.



To be sure, there are some that are out in the field. . . They're the ones patrolling parking lots at trailheads and such, writing tickets to those without the proper parking permits, etc. . Oh, wait, are those really F.S. "rangers?"
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Re: Current Conditions? (South Sister, Thielsen, McLoughlin)

Postby Buck » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:23 am

philoparts wrote:
Buck wrote: One climber in tennis shoes described to us that his plan to get through an emergency was to count on other climbers being around with enough extra clothing, first aid supplies, water, etc. to keep him alive until the helicopter arrived. Yikes!



I'd throw the dude a bandaid and tell him to have a nice time waiting for that "helicopter"........ How much snow past the moraine? I'm looking at McLouglin or SS later this month as well.


Been a bit now, but there really wasn't much snow at all on Aug 3rd. Melting fast so I expect it's pretty snow-free now. Interesting about the climber in tennis shoes. He noticed that my climbing partner and I had summit packs and commented that it looked like we had quite a bit. My climbing partner mentioned we had the bare "10 essentials" and that there really isn't a "quick exit" from a mountain in an emergency, so it pays to be prepared. We also mentioned we had just seen a guy take a header descending the steep scree slope and tore up his leg and that if he had broken a bone, a helicopter couldn't get to that point on the slope for rescue.

That's when he made the comment above. Good Plan!
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Re: Current Conditions? (South Sister, Thielsen, McLoughlin)

Postby philoparts » Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:48 am

Hey, if anyone following this thread is still planning a McLoughlin trip, I'm probably going to be there 24-25th or 25-26th. Going to head down in the afternoon and camp out at the TH then head up the mountain in the A.M.
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