North Sister

September 4-5, 1998

The crux on the, regular route was as always the “Dinner Plate” snow field near the summit. During the late summer of 1998, passage on the Dinner Plate was particularly challenging because the snow field was bulging, making the lower part where it is usually traversed nearly vertical. The Dinner Plate consisted of hard frozen ice at that time and at traverse level was shallow enough to make the use of ice screws impractical. The leader was belayed to the top and center of the Dinner Plate where he buried several snow pickets on a small platform or “moat” that was limited in size. Party members then prusiked on the anchored rope to the middle of the Dinner Plate, rappelled down a second anchored rope to loose rocks below where they prusiked on a fixed line traversing to the “Bowling Alley”. A fixed line was placed in the Bowling Alley that was prusiked up and rappelled down. The route back across the Dinner Plate was followed opposite the ascent traverse with ascenders and prusiks used in place of the rappel. From arrival at, to departure from the Dinner Plate, eight hours passed. Fortunately, the weather was perfect all day affording the party the time to cross the snow field under such unusual and difficult conditions. Summiting the North Sister were Ken Ball (leader) and non-members Ingo Korndoerfer, Julia Sunkler, Kevin Kohen and Greg Neckartz.

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