Middle Sister

September 12-13, 2009

Arrowhead Lake is a beautiful spot and it was especially nice on this trip because we were the only campers on the plateau and there were no mosquitoes. We hiked in from Obsidian Trailhead and arrived at the lake early Saturday afternoon, leaving plenty of time for resting, exploring, enjoying the views from Mt. Adams in the north to Mt. McLoughlin in the south, bird-watching, and even swimming. As the red sun began to set, it was framed by clouds moving in from the southwest and we saw lightning strikes in the distance.

The temperature stayed above 50 degrees throughout the night and we awoke to mostly cloudy skies. We started for the summit at 5:15 a.m., found the toe of the Renfrew Glacier by headlamp, and continued around Folding Rock toward the saddle between North & Middle Sisters. Just before reaching the saddle, we were passed by a couple of climbers who intended to summit the Middle and then continue to bag the South. Shortly after that, another climber in low-top shoes passed us. He had just summitted North Sister and was on his way toward completing a 24-hour Three Sisters Marathon.

We all reached the summit between 9:10 & 9:30, spent a half hour taking it all in, and then descended with threatening clouds coming in from the south. Back on the Renfrew Glacier, we passed two other groups on their way up, one of which was poorly outfitted to deal with the clouds that would soon engulf the top of the mountain. We were back at base camp at 12:30, but did not leave in time to beat the storm. Rain fell for over an hour during our hike and then the sun reappeared so that we were almost dry when we reached the trailhead at 4:30.

Climbers were April Anderson, Jennifer Galfin, Timothy Galfin, Bistra Hristova, Randy Sinnott and Brian Hamilton, leader.

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