North & Middle Sisters
July 29-31, 1977
Most of the group left Eugene at 4:00 p.m. on Friday for the drive to Frog Camp and the hike into Sunshine Meadows. Colin was picked up at Frog from the comfort of his camper and joined in. Gene and Tammy had gone into Sunshine earlier in the afternoon, and Mike and Ron came in after getting off work. Consequently, it was 9:00 p.m. before the whole group came together. It didn’t take long to settle down and get to bed though sleeping was made a little difficult because of the bright full moon shining down like a spot light.
By 8:00 a.m. on Saturday we were packed and under a cloudless sky, began the hike up to the saddle, between the North and Middle Sisters, arriving at a suitable campsite by 11:00. After a leisurely lunch and some rest, the group climbed the Middle and spent over an hour on the summit basking in the sun and admiring the view which even included Mt. Rainier. The remainder of the day was spent playing, loafing, walking, and eating. Since Sunday was Colin’s 67th birthday, the evening meal was ended with a birthday raspberry cobbler complete with candle. Saturday night was warm, clear, windless, and bright, but fraught with danger due to the risk of snow and rock slides from the resonant snoring of Lee Hatch.
In spite of Lee’s efforts, the mountains held together and by 6:00 a.m. we were on our way up the North preceded by six Mazamas who started at 3:00 a.m. The snow traverse beneath the pinnacle was snowless, so the group cautiously stepped from one “dinner plate” to another. The weather and view from the summit was ideal so there was no hurry to leave. The descent was speeded up as Gene put a fixed line down the lower portion of the chute. Recrossing the “snowless traverse” kept everyone alert otherwise the rest of the descent was routine.
Everyone was packed by 2:00 p.m. and began the return trip. Once off the mountain the group split with most arriving at Frog Camp around 5:30. The last official gathering was a stop at the Rustic Skillet. The group consisted of Tim Cook, Dave DuBois, Lee and Wayne Hatch, Pat Lindahl, Mike Newman, Ed Orth, Gene and Tammy Thaxton, Colin Macdonald, Ron Whisler, and leader Bud Proctor.