Broken Top/South Sister

August 16-18, 1985

What was scheduled as a climb of Broken Top was expanded slightly to include the South Sister for those who wanted to do two mountains for the price of one.

The majority of the group of eleven left for the Fall Creek Trailhead at various times on Friday afternoon with the hope of making the hike into Green Lakes and getting their tents set up before dark. Most made it, but found the Green Lakes area a veritable tent city of screaming kids and barking dogs. In spite of all this, we were able to get some sleep before getting up and off about 6 a.m. Saturday to find our scattered group for the ascent of South Sister. By 6:30 a.m. we were together and on our way.

The climb of South was great with clear Skies and cool, comfortable temperatures. The snow fields below Lewis Glacier were much smaller this year than the past several years, but the streams and water falls from Lewis Glacier were more rapid and spectacular. The Red Ridge was the normal “long haul”. The group of Betty, Brian, Sally, Bert, Janet and John made the Summit about 11 a.m. to enjoy a somewhat hazey view. As we ate lunch the top became increasingly littered with people, and as we headed back down we passed a parade of people coming up. An easy descent put us back in camp about 3:30 p.m. even with a couple folks reclimbing the lower snowfield in search of lost sun glasses (which were found).

Lee and Jane chose to spend Saturday on a hike to Golden Lake while Rick (Ahrens) hiked toward the Chambers Lakes area. Saturday afternoon was spent at the Green Lakes camp swimming and discussing the finer points of the Obsidian club.

Rick and Aaron arrived in camp late Saturday evening in time for bed. During the night the clouds moved in and we got some rain. By morning the rain had stopped, but the clouds did not look too good. The group vote was to start out for Broken Top and see what would happen to the weather. So we took off about 6:30 a.m. Luck was with us—we had a brief early sprinkle, but the clouds stayed high and by the time we hit the saddle on the west ridge to Broken Top the sprinkling had stopped. There was a cold north wind blowing as we climbed the ridge, but the changing clouds over the High Cascades provided for some interesting views.

The belay point was reached about 9:30 a.m. Everyone in the group summited, but the cold wind and threat of rain kept the climbers’ stay on top to a minimum. Another group of seven climbers waited patiently as we came off the belay point, but that was OK because we had to listen to their barking dog that was tied to a tree near the saddle. As the last folks left the summit the sprinkles started, and as we started down the great scree run, the shower picked up. We were back in camp by 11:30 a.m. to have our lunch (still listening to the dog). As camp was broken the shower stopped and we returned to the trailhead about 3 p.m. without rain. A stop at Elk Lake for a hamburger fix was necessary before our drive back to Eugene.

Climbers were Rick Ahrens, Brian Barber, Bert Ewing, Aaron, Rick and Sally Grosscup, Jane Hackett, Lee Hatch, Betty Macy, Janet Baker Jacobsen, and leader John Jacobsen.


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