TBT: North and Middle Sisters Ski (17 May 2018)
(Last Updated On: May 7, 2020)
This post is part of a Throwback Thursday series featuring trip reports that we haven’t had a chance to write about until now! Look for them on Thursdays!
The North and Middle Sisters had been on my hit list ever since my Pacific Northwest trip of 2013. During that trip, I was able to ski South Sister. After my friend Zach and I skied Mount Rainier in May of 2018, a storm was hitting the northern part of the Cascades. But, heading south allowed for better weather. It looked like I’d be returning to Bend.
We drove from Seattle to Portland and then made our way over the mountains, making a detour to stop at Bagby hot springs along the way. We skipped going to Bend that night, ate dinner in Sisters, and set up camp at the trailhead nearby.
The weather had been cloudy and rainy most of the day, but as we headed toward our camp, the clouds parted and revealed our objectives for the next day. Middle Sister on the left, and North Sister on the right.
Home is where my camp is 🙂
All the gear that needs to fit on me or in my bag for the next day.
Knowing we’d have an early morning, we headed to bed shortly after the beautiful sunset.
We started in the dark, but it was not long before the sun rose. We made our way through the forest, which was dry for a ways. After a few miles, we left the trail and were able to start skinning. Before we knew it, we found ourselves at the feet of North and Middle Sisters.
North Sister was first on the list since we’d be skiing the south side. A view of Middle Sister on our ascent of North Sister.
I first laid eyes on Broken Top when I skied South Sister. She continued to beckon me from afar.
Mount Bachelor, the ski area.
A view of South Sister.
The east face of North Sister looked appealing, but not in the works for us since we also wanted to ski Middle Sister.
The ridge we used to ascend North Sister was rocky and loose, and took more time then we expected.
We reached the top of our south facing line and enjoyed some more views.
Now, Zach took pictures on that day. But, somehow I never got copies of them and at this point in time he doesn’t know where they are. So, this report is just going to have a whole lot of photos of Zach. Here, he’s dropping in to our line on North Sister with Middle Sister in the backdrop.
We skied down quite a ways before stopping and putting skins on for an ascent of Middle Sister. A view of our line on North Sister.
Zach ascending toward Middle Sister.
As we climbed the north ridge of Middle Sister, the snow became too firm to continue skinning, so we switched to booting instead. I do love a good bootpack 🙂
As we rounded the summit of Middle Sister, we gazed upon South Sister, and the clouds that were engulfing her, and headed our way.
Weather has a tendency to move in quick in the mountains, especially in the PNW. Before we knew it, we were descending in the ping-pong of the clouds.
Eventually, we descended below the clouds.
We skied a long ways down before putting the hiking shoes back on to finish out the trail back to our cars. Another successful outing among the volcanoes! North and Middle Sisters were fun ones to ski. It was another a long day – 14 hours, 14 miles, and 6600 vertical feet!
Brittany Walker Konsella
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