Middle Sister (Instructional Climb)

July 21-22, 1984

The second Middle Sister Instructional Climb of the season proved to be a testing and successful outing. The group left Frog Camp at 8:30 a.m. on July 21, and discovered the trail to the lava flow to be 90 percent free of snow. Camp was established on the still plentiful snow above Sunshine Camp. The afternoon was spent practicing snow climbing techniques on nearby snow slopes, under a beautiful blue sky.

A strong breeze late in the afternoon hinted at a weather front that came through later that night, bringing with it strong winds estimated by a Forest Ranger, we met the next day, to be in excess of 40 miles per hour. The tent poles of one of our tents were badly bent, forcing us to strike the tent at 4 a.m., while a second tent required emergency anchoring during the night.

The wind blew in cloud cover and classic examples of lenticular clouds over both the North and Middle Sisters. Despite the clouds and high winds, we set out to climb as high as possible. Our perseverance was rewarded by clearing skies as we approached the saddle. To our delight, the strong wind was blocked somewhat on the summit, allowing us time to enjoy a fine view. The group enjoyed glissading on several slopes on the descent.

Climbers included Dan Bretheim, Jim Russell, Bob Crook, Bob Nickel, Mike Tharp, Carol Baker Tharp, and leader, Lee Lashway.


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