Middle Sister (ski/climb)

May 23-25, 1998

This spring, the weather just hasn’t been the best. In spite of that, eight hardy souls headed out Memorial Weekend for a three-day ski/climb in the Sisters, with Middle Sister as the climb destination. Despite dreary predictions, we had good weather on the way in; the clouds kept it from being too hot, and the swirling mist around Middle Sister made it look more like the Matterhorn than the easy summit that it usually is. We had a pleasant, leisurely trip from Pole Creek trailhead into the area at treeline on the east side of Middle Sister. We set up tents, did a little self-arrest practice for those without much mountaineering experience. We then cooked dinner and settled in for the night.

A midnight nature call found me standing in clear moonlight, with not a cloud visible and just a gentle breeze to rustle the trees. I really thought that we might have called the bluff of the weather gods this time! However, by 4 a.m. the winds had picked up and the sound of rain hitting the tent did not bode well. By the wake-up time, it was mixed rain and slush, with a steady wind. Visibility wasn’t horrible, but wasn’t good either. A survey of the group found more “no” votes than “go” votes, so we elected to wait an hour. The weather didn’t improve, and part of the group elected to head back to the cars after breakfast. The remainder of the group decided to at least do a day ski since we had come all that way; we skied to just shy of 8000 ft. and enjoyed a few telemark turns on the way down before packing up and calling it a trip one day early. It was better than staying home!

Participants were John Pegg, Greg Nieckarz, David Goodman, Deb Carver, Lisa & John Manotti, Benjamin Donner and Susan Sullivan (leader).


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