North Sister

July 17, 2005

A great group of Obsidians attempted the South Ridge of the North Sister but were unsuccessful. The weather looked great, the group was strong, but the conditions on the mountain finally turned the group back. It was 50 degrees F when the group left Arrowhead Lake at a little after 3:00 a.m. and the forecast was for 90 in the valley. But there was little snow for cramponing up the slope until we almost reached the Collier Glacier. Strangely enough the late Spring storms had piled and drifted snow high on the ridge making the approach to the “dinner plate” a major problem. The group lost valuable time negotiating these conditions only to find that the large gully that leads to the dinner plate was steep snow and ice, very possibly as hazardous as the traverse itself. At this point because of the size of the group, the quickly warming conditions, and the time it would take to belay through these obstacles the vote was to abandon the attempt. Even getting back from this high point was tricky and involved several roped belays over obstacles and exposure not usually encountered this time of year. Climbers were Doug Nelson, assistant leader, Larry Huff, Mark Slipp, Gordon Sayre, Brian Hamilton, Doug McCarty, Steven Stuckmeyer, and John Pegg, leader.


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