North Sister

August 24, 1985

Another uneventful climb of North Sister brings drama once again. Leaving a hot and sultry Eugene on Friday afternoon, Sally and Jerry arrived at camp below the cliffs at the upper end of Sunshine Meadow where we met John, who had been on a 2-day, 18-20 mile hike beginning at Lava Lake Campground. Arising between 4:30 and 5 a.m. we left camp at 5:45 a.m. and made a quick 5-hour ascent of snowless North Sister. The dinner plate was completely “dissolved” leaving only the loose shale rock below. The summit was cool with some wind and threatening rain clouds in the distance. An early descent tempted us with a climb of Middle Sister as the sun occasionally peeked through the cloud cover, but we opted for an early return to camp for a swim and to laze in the sun. At the 7800 foot elevation level we encountered a 28 year old female experiencing severe lower abdominal pain. After attempting to assist her boyfriend in returning her to camp, the increased acute pain lead to suggest emergency evacuation. A physician conveniently arrived on the scene and concurred with our decision. Jerry, whose ham radio came in very handy, radioed for and secured a helicopter which arrived within 45 minutes.

After evacuating the patient, gathering our belongings and dispersing from the 30 odd people who had gathered, we completed our descent to Arrowhead Lake where we took a swim and bathed in the sun before returning to camp. After good food and good talk we stumbled into bed exhausted at 8:30 p.m. We broke camp the next morning under cloudless sky to return to Frog Camp and Eugene. So ended another valiant attempt by Obsidians to get away from it all in the mountain wilderness. Summiting were John Jacobsen, Sally Grosscup and leader Jerry Mohler.


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