Middle Sister Climber's Log

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aishv - Jul 5, 2004 12:47 pm

Route Climbed: Hayden Glacier Date Climbed: June 19th, 2004  Sucess!

Climb Party: Mazamas Climb - Portland OR

E. side ascent of Middle sister via the Hayden Glacier. Started from the Pole Creek TH (drive to Sisters OR, sign in at the Sisters Ranger Station and head to Pole Creek TH off of Hwy 242). Packed in to ~6200 ft and 5 miles from the TH for an overnight stay on June 18th. Early AM start at 03:00 up the Hayden Glacier to Prouty point. Had to use crampons almost all the way to the summit. Reached summit at 10:00, descended back to camp at 13:00. Broke camp and back at car at 17:00. Great climb with great weather and views from the summit. Since climb was early in the season, very few upper level crevasses were just starting to open up.

pjc30943 - Apr 17, 2004 12:48 am

Route Climbed: North Date Climbed: August 1998  Sucess!

Left Eastern Oregon at 3am, and began climbing at 7am. No special equipment needed, just ski goggles and plenty of water. The scree was two steps up, one slide down, as everyone knows:(

The ridge was a fun route, I have to say I saw the heels of the person in our group hiking in front of me, once too often though:)

Good memories from this climb


annaleiserabinek - Aug 30, 2003 3:20 am

Route Climbed: North Ridge via Renfrew Glacier Date Climbed: August 9, 2003  Sucess!

See Cornvallis below for a detailed log. The Obsidian area is gorgeous. Take the time to get a Limited Entry Permit. You will not be dissapointed. Its one of the most beautiful areas I have ever been in.


brandon - Aug 22, 2003 1:41 pm

Route Climbed: North Ridge Date Climbed: Aug 17, 2003  Sucess!

Traversed here after doing N Sister


dkantola - Aug 20, 2003 12:38 am

Route Climbed: North Ridge via Renfrew Glacier Date Climbed: August 9, 2003  Sucess!

See Cornvallis's entry below. Great views from the west side of the Sisters. The quota system is a pain. This route is reasonable to do in a day, but the hike out can feel a bit long.


cmc56789 - Aug 19, 2003 11:42 pm

Route Climbed: North ridge via Hayden Glacier Date Climbed: august 19, 2003  Sucess!

I left the pole creek trailhead solo at about 12:15 AM and reached the summit at 7:15. It was the best conditions i could have possibly asked for. I could see from St. helens and Adams all the way to Shasta and everything in between. no clouds at all north or south for about 45 minutes. also only a very mild breeze made the summit pleasant. the Hayden is pretty broken up with lots of crevasses. I would reccomend crampons and ice ax for safety. a fall could easily end up in a deep crevasse.


Cornvallis - Aug 11, 2003 9:41 pm

Route Climbed: North Ridge via Renfrew Glacier Date Climbed: August 9th, 2003  Sucess!

Annaleiserabinek and I left Corvallis at 1:30 AM to meet fellow SummitPost member dkantola at the Obsidian trailhead by 3:30. We were late though, sorry dkantola, that road was crazy. Left the trailhead around 4:30 AM under starry sky’s. We reached the lava field and the first view of Middle and North Sisters as the dawn’s soft glow made for an incredible view. Saw a couple of deer in one of the many gorgeous wildflower meadows on the way up. Cached my huge pack near Sister Springs and headed up the climbers trail. The Renfrew was mild and crevasse free, crampons were not necessary, but would have been nice in a couple of spots. I was tempted to stop near the top of the north ridge and build a sand castle....it was deep. Enjoyed one of the best views anywhere for over an hour, most of the time we had the summit to ourselves. A bit cloudy, but other than that perfect. On our way down we enjoyed a few good glissades. Parted ways with dkantola at the Obsidian Trail and headed up the PCT to camp on a cliff at Sunshine with awe-inspiring views over Glacier Creek of Mt. Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Little Brother, North Sister, and Middle Sister. Asleep before dark, beautiful day. Surprisingly not crowded at all, only saw about 15 people on the mountain all day. Highly recommended, much nicer climb than South Sister with better views.


jtschanz - Jul 24, 2003 10:01 am

Route Climbed: Southeast Ridge Date Climbed: Sept 22, 2002  Sucess!

Hiked into Camp Lake area and set up camp beneath the shadow of South Sister. The next morning we followed the rocky SE ridge all the way to the summit. Views from the top were incredible.

K Williams

K Williams - Jul 22, 2003 1:36 am

Route Climbed: Hayden Glacier Date Climbed: 5-24-03  Sucess!

We hit snow level just after the foot bridge makeing route finding hard. Thanks to GPS we made good time to base camp. Weather was prefect, with great veiws of surrounding Mountains till we were half way down, when a fast arpoaching storm rolled in.


Hammer - Jun 17, 2003 11:50 am

Route Climbed: North Ridge via Hayden Glacier Date Climbed: June 15, 2003  Sucess!

Trail in from Soap creek still had a lot of snow making it a little difficult to saty near the official trail. We ended up backtracking slightly and reaching the toe of the Hayden. We camped at around 7200' on a small moraine. Wind started picking up in the evening so we moved our camp on the downslope of the moraine and we were much better protected.

Had planned to start at 0400 but ended up sleeping in till 0630 before we got started. Took our leisurly time climbing up the right hand side of the glacier where we reached the saddle next to Prouty Point. It started it getting pretty warm. We gained the ridge and followed it up. Most of it was covered in snow and we experienced a short 50 degree section which required a little front pointing shortly before the summit. Had the summit to ourselves when we noticed a coupl eof people slowly making their way up the route. We started ou descent here we experienced softening snow and very warm temperatures. Since bith me and my partner had forgotten sun screen and lip protection we hurried down to our camp and the safety of the trees. When we got back to our camp a raven had decided to deposit my belongings all over the place.

The hike out was like always hot and long.

techboy - Dec 3, 2002 11:51 pm

Route Climbed: North Ridge via Hayden Glacier Date Climbed: October 12th, 2002  Sucess!

Part one of the the Sisters' Trilogy:

Car camped at Pole creek and hit the trail by 6 AM. No crampons were necessary during the climb, although we did employ our ice axes at some points. Reached the summit by 2 PM feeling nauseous and with a splitting headache - altitude sickness? Went away after downing some Ibuprofen. It was a gorgeous climbing day and the view from the summit was spectacularly clear. It wasn't as windy as others had described, so perhaps we lucked out. We got back to the parking lot by 7 PM. 13 hours for the whole shebang. Very long day - next time we'll hike in and camp. This was my first summit of Middle Sister and in fact, my first Real mountain summit!


zzril - Nov 22, 2002 12:58 pm

Route Climbed: N Ridge Date Climbed: July 1997  Sucess!

Beautiful climbing with only one other party on the mountain.


mtndave - Oct 22, 2002 9:30 pm

Route Climbed: Frog Camp Trailhead Date Climbed: August 1977  Sucess!

My first 10K peak , climbed it when I was 17 . Hiked in from Frog campground , headed up south of Renfrew Glacier since we didnt have crampons also the low snowfall of that year contributed to an easy scree walk up . There was a lake at about 7500 ft , boy it was cold but refreshing ! Clear and beautiful weather the whole trip !


cluck - Aug 25, 2002 12:02 pm

Route Climbed: North Ridge via Renfrew Glacier Date Climbed: August 18 2002  Sucess!

1st time up for our group of 5. Lessons learned:

1) Plan ahead to get camping permit rather than climb round trip from Frog Camp/Obsidian Trail entry in one push. Makes for a very long day.

2) Obsidian along the trail was very cool. If you haven't seen a bunch of this black, glass-like rock before, you should check it out.

3) Climber's trail - headed East from a spring along the PCT - is easy to miss the 1st time. If you get to Obsidian Falls, you went too far.

4) The Renfrew Glacier was tame. Crampons were great, but no obvious crevasse danger, particularly versus the Hayden on the East side

5) The scree slog up the North Ridge is pretty awful. If I climbed this moutain again, I would do it earlier in the season and stay on as much snow as possible.

6) Climb was much less crowded than I figured. Saw only 5 other parties and 1 came up from Southeast ridge

metetr - Aug 14, 2002 1:51 am

Route Climbed: Southeast Ridge Date Climbed: August 10, 2002  Sucess!

Joe, Dan and I left our camp at Camp Lake at about 8:30am and slowly picked our way through the boulders and scree of the SE ridge. We arrived at the summit at about 1:00. The weather was perfect - sunny and clear - allowing views as far as Mt. Adams to the North. It was so nice we didn't want to leave. I guess everyone felt the same way; the summit was a little crowded. We hung out 'til 2:30 watching the frequent rock fall on the East face - quite dramatic and entertaining. We trudged back down the SE ridge, arriving back at camp at about 5:30. Next time we'll hit it from the North ridge.


jgoodell - Aug 12, 2002 4:05 pm

Route Climbed: North Ridge via Renfrew Glacier Date Climbed: August 10, 2002  Sucess!

Hiked in on the Obsidian Trail Friday night and made camp about Midnight, just south of Obsidian Falls. My stepson David and I were on the mountain by 7:00. We took a fairly direct route east up a ridge and across a small ice field West of Renfrew. We climbed up a boulder ridge and over to Renfrew, with a straight shot to the North Ridge. Instep crampons were a big help on the morning ice. We reached the summit at 10:30. We had avoided the North tail of Renfrew on the way up, but took it all the way down. Tried to glissade, but it was a little too soft. The last few hundred yards are very steep and it was a bit of a chore even with the crampons. The hike back out to the car was the toughest part of the whole trip.

brooktrout - Aug 10, 2002 8:38 am

Route Climbed: South Ridge Date Climbed: august 9, 2002  Sucess!

Started at Pole Creek trailhead @ 8:30 A.M.. We wanted to summit from the North Ridge but the trail was poorly marked. We ended up climbing the south ridge but we essentially made our own trail. Once again, trail poorly marked. We could see where some peole had climbed, so we tried to follow their markings. HEAVY bouldering all te wa up the south ridge. Reached the summit @ 3:30. Decended down the north ridge. Could not gissade due to Crevases EVERYWHERE. For a trail that the Falcon Guide To Cascade Volcanoes rates as the same difficulty as the sout ridge of South Sister, we found this quite stressful.


artg - Jul 29, 2002 10:35 pm

Route Climbed: North Ridge via Renfrew Glacier Date Climbed: July 27, 2002  Sucess!

Our trip originated from the Obsidian Trail early Saturday morning. The trail was unremarkable until reaching the lava flow. After the lava flow region, the trail crossed several creeks and entered into some green pastures.

We climbed the Renfrew Glacier without any difficulty using our crampons; make sure you have some sunblock because the reflection off the glacier is intense. The summit was approached via the North Ridge route. Loose rock and several small rockfalls were evident, so we decided to use our helmets. We reached the summit at around noon and the view was amazing!

J-Man - Jul 17, 2002 9:23 pm

Route Climbed: North Ridge via Hayden Glacier Date Climbed: July 14, 2002  Sucess!

The approach trail from Pole Springs was pleasant, except for the mosquitoes. The weather was great, and all the snow was gone from the trail. After making a three-mile detour to retrieve my camera from the car, and then making a two-mile wrong turn toward the PCT, I finally made it to Squaw Creek, where I crossed the creek on the obvious trail and followed the signs to Camp Lake (WRONG!).

The trail switchbacked and then disappeared and I ended up cross-country scrambling for three-and-a-half hours before finally making it back to Hayden Glacier. I crossed from the Southeast Ridge near Chambers Lakes all the way across the East Face (lots of loose rock here), and headed up to the saddle. I ran out of water, and stopped to melt and filter snow.

At the saddle, I got a call from my wife on the cell phone, and as we talked, I was swarmed by literally thousands of butterflies! For over twenty minutes, the endless streams of butterflies flew by. They continued as I scrambled up the ridge toward the summit, and as I rose in elevation, I could see the hordes down below me. Quite cool.

The trail up the steep loose-rock slopes was hard to follow, and I lost it several times. I ended up climbing class-5 rock, with my ski poles in one hand, trying to rediscover the trail, and then traverse the ash-covered slope of loose rock over to it once I found it again. I had to traverse around a small crevasse that was remaining on the slope, and found the final pitch to be quite exposed and dangerous, albeit short.

All told, I made it back to the car after a 12.5 hour hike, totalling 23 miles and over 7,000 feet of elevation gain. Quite an effort for one day.


rpc - Jun 17, 2002 9:13 am

Route Climbed: Hayden Glacier Date Climbed: 6/13 - 6/14  Sucess!

Camped at foot of Hayden Glacier after hiking in from Pole Creek TH. Perfect weather both days with some strong winds and thunderstorms at night. Some crevasses were beginning to 'uncover' on Hayden.

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