South Sister, Prouty Glacier

Saturday–Sunday, June 15–16, 2013
Leader: Wayne Deeter
Climb: 19 miles, 4800 ft

Going by way of the Prouty Glacier is a very different way of climbing South Sister. You have wonderful views, but you can't hang out long to enjoy them due to rock fall and softening snow. We hiked into the Green Lakes basin by Fall Creek, most of the way on snow. We crossed the creek that comes out of the big lake, then cut across the snow-covered plain to the big spring spurting out of the east side of South Sister. Near the north lake we found an official campsite that had already melted out--#26. There was a little rain during the night, but the sky was (mostly) clear when we got up at 2am with the stars shining brightly. We left camp a bit before 3 and were roped up and crossing the glacier at 5. The route was past its prime with some rock showing at the neck. A Mazama group had climbed it a week earlier, but had apparently gotten a late start, so had left deep sockets in the (then) soft snow. Instead of following their zigs and zags below the bergschrund, I made a bee-line for the bridge on its right side. I was able to get a good picket placed in the relatively thin snow below the rock, then thrashed my way up through the snow/ice/water and rock--it's much nicer when there is good snow-coverage here! Rick then Danni did the same, and we were all safely into the Old Crater by 7:30. By 8:30 we were at the true summit with no other soul in sight! We returned to camp via the Green Lakes route, with about 1000' vertical glissading. Hiking out that afternoon we all agreed that this route would best be done as a three day trip.

Members: Wayne Deeter, Danneille Harris, Rick Harris.


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