South Sister and Middle Sister ONLY loop?

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Kerraeb
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South Sister and Middle Sister ONLY loop?

Post by Kerraeb » August 19th, 2018, 1:10 pm

Does it exist? I can't do the Obsidian area (no permit) and want to walk around mountains I've climbed. (not North!)

If I started at Pole Creek and went up the Hayden, can I just go down the Renfrew and then head south on the PCT until I cut around the south side of S Sister?


I've climbed Middle from the Hayden Glacier twice recently, so I'm familiar with that area. I've been up S. Sis and Broken Top, so I'm generally familiar with that area too.
Some days are diamonds, some days are stones.

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retired jerry
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Re: South Sister and Middle Sister ONLY loop?

Post by retired jerry » August 19th, 2018, 2:44 pm

not what you asked, but there's a trail to Camp Lake, then unofficially over the pass between South and Middle Sister, and over to the PCT

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adamschneider
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Re: South Sister and Middle Sister ONLY loop?

Post by adamschneider » August 19th, 2018, 11:34 pm

Kerraeb wrote:
August 19th, 2018, 1:10 pm
If I started at Pole Creek and went up the Hayden, can I just go down the Renfrew and then head south on the PCT until I cut around the south side of S Sister?
I don't see why not. This time of year, Hayden Glacier might be impassable due to crevasses, but it's simple enough to reach the North/Middle saddle by going up the rock and snowfields to the right (north) of Hayden and Prouty Point. On the west side, you could descend to the PCT between Renfrew and Collier Glaciers.

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Kerraeb
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Re: South Sister and Middle Sister ONLY loop?

Post by Kerraeb » August 20th, 2018, 9:44 am

I'd like to circle both S and M in one big loop.

I've walked up the side of the Hayden and am confident in my abilities to get to the M/N saddle and Prouty Pt. I have not done the Renfrew section down to the PCT though.

Will it be "easy" to navigate? Basically a scree ski?

I was there in June and there was still a lot of snow so I couldn't see a path if there was one. I know a lot of people climb Middle via the Renfrew, so it must be doable.
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5th
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Re: South Sister and Middle Sister ONLY loop?

Post by 5th » August 20th, 2018, 3:03 pm

You can hike thru the Obsidian area on the PCT as long as you stay on the trail and don't overnight there. That would allow a circumnavigation of all three Sisters without an Obsidian permit.

I called the ranger station to verify this just now.

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adamschneider
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Re: South Sister and Middle Sister ONLY loop?

Post by adamschneider » August 20th, 2018, 5:57 pm

Here's the Strava global heat map for that area:

Strava heatmap, Renfrew Glacier.jpg
Looks like the most common route is along the south side of Collier Glacier and then down the rubble between the two glaciers. By the time you get down to about 7100', most of the breadcrumbs coalesce into something resembling a trail.

(The PCT is the obvious pink strip along the left side; the Obsidian Trail comes in from the west about 2/3 of a mile south of where the boot trail heads up to the glaciers.)

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