South Sister via Green Lakes
July 26-27, 1986
The trip officially began and ended at Green Lakes.
As Warren and I were preparing to leave the trailhead, Tom and Christine drove in. After a few hellos, we started up the trail in some very warm weather.
After setting up camp, Christine, Warren, and I set out for the east side of Green Lakes to get some cool, clean spring water. On our way to the spring we met a couple of Forest Service officers. We talked for awhile about the overuse of the area. We learned that they had already issued a number of citations for open fires and we thanked them for doing their job.
After we got back to camp, Warren and I showed Christine and Tom that you do not have to suffer a dull evening meal when in the back country. On the menu for the night was open-face hot beef sandwiches with gravy, scalloped potatoes, and mixed vegetables in cheese sauce. After waiting until dark for the rest of the climbing party, we decided to go to bed. About 9:45 p.m. Brian and Robert came racing in. Being late, they decided not to pitch a tent so they threw their sleeping bags on the ground in the open.
At 4:30 a.m. Sunday morning, a nice cool 28°, I woke everyone up. To nobody’s surprise we decided it wasn’t just cool, but cold.
Warren and Robert were both supporting very large blisters on both feet from the trip into Green Lakes. Warren decided not to climb but to leave early for the trailhead as he had summitted the South Sister before. Robert, who had never climbed a mountain before, decided to cover his open blisters with moleskin and go for it.
We left our camp for the climb at 5:45 a.m., 30 minutes behind a Mazama climbing party of 21. We soon passed them well below the snowfield. We continued on up and over the snowfield without the aid of crampons on very marginal snow. (To rest everyone’s mind, we did have crampons with us.)
On the way up, Robert was questioning why I required wool and no cotton clothes on this climb. Upon reaching the Red Ridge, in a very cool breeze, he soon knew why. On the long climb up the Red Ridge, Christine gave a demonstration on the “rest step” to Brian and Robert. When we reached the summit, it was decided that Robert was suffering from dehydration and fatigue. After water and some food and about 30 minutes of rest, he was a new man and began to enjoy what he had just acomplished.
We spent about one hour on top. We decided to leave the summit before the Mazama group reached it. About 100 yards down the Red Ridge, we met the group looking very tired. When we reached the lower part of the snowfield, I had Robert take a few practice runs at self arrest.
After along day of up and down, then out, we all decided to stop at Elk Lake Lodge and have some refreshments.
I would like to thank this group for its patience, and a big thank you to my assistant leader, Christine, who was an asset to this climb and also to this club. This was my first official role as an Obsidian leader.
Those making the climb were Brian Barber, Tom Cawi, Robert Sullivan, assistant leader, Christine Ligneau and leader, Joe Turner; Warren Hayner did not climb.