So. Sis. Circumnav.

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dfhkvs
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Joined: August 11th, 2018, 3:50 pm

So. Sis. Circumnav.

Post by dfhkvs » August 11th, 2018, 4:08 pm

While I have lived here for 8 years, I have not really backpacked in Oregon. Instead, we head to the High Sierra every year to backpack with Berkeley friends. The fires down there cancelled our trip this year, and we scrambled to throw together an Oregon trip that would be slightly less hazy!

We decided on a CCW loop around S. Sister, starting at the Green Lakes TH. The parking lot was a s&%t-show and we ended up just parking on the side of Cascade Lakes Highway, hoping to avoid a ticket. I think 90% of the cars were day hikers, as we found Green Lakes relatively devoid of campers and we scored a lovely campsite. I hear a lot of talk of the overuse of Green Lakes, but we found the widely spaced campsites to be very effective.
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The next day, we struck off cross country, which was a great adventure, as we wound our way NW around the north flank of South Sister.
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. The going was slow, but made for fun route finding. The 5 girls (7-16 years old) we had with us all did great and before you knew it we were swimming in Camp Lake.
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On day 3, we headed west over the divide to the PCT past the two amazing Chambers Lakes.
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This was perhaps the best part of the trip, with lovely cold springs popping out of the moraines and snowfields around for awesome snowball fights.
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We spent the night at Mesa Creek, which was a lovely cold stream. Day four was a quick hike out to Devil's Lake and a quick hitchhike back to our cars (no tickets!). Maybe 24 miles in all. Excellent camping, excellent trail, and a memorable time in the wilderness with the best of friends.

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retired jerry
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Re: So. Sis. Circumnav.

Post by retired jerry » August 11th, 2018, 4:29 pm

How did you find the cross country route to Camp Lake?

Did that seem too dangerous for youngsters?

I've mentioned that a couple times and wonder if I'm getting people into trouble.

dfhkvs
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Joined: August 11th, 2018, 3:50 pm

Re: So. Sis. Circumnav.

Post by dfhkvs » August 11th, 2018, 5:39 pm

Jerry; not dangerous at all. But, it is all dependent on the route you take! We had studied maps prior, and decided to stay low (below Carver) and to aim for that one relatively flat bit. The final stretch down to Camp was a bit loose and steep, but not bad. Really a lovely loop.

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retired jerry
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Re: So. Sis. Circumnav.

Post by retired jerry » August 11th, 2018, 5:45 pm

yeah, lovely trip, thanks for report

I bet Camp Lake was cold :)

dfhkvs
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Re: So. Sis. Circumnav.

Post by dfhkvs » August 11th, 2018, 5:49 pm

No, it was GREAT for swimming. Way warmer than the main Green Lake, btw.

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retired jerry
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Re: So. Sis. Circumnav.

Post by retired jerry » August 11th, 2018, 8:09 pm

That's surprising. Maybe cold water inflow is less and it's shallow.

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oldandslow
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Re: So. Sis. Circumnav.

Post by oldandslow » August 12th, 2018, 12:28 pm

Remarkable route finding. In about 1975--a few years after the Outward Bound girls died of hypothermia in the Chambers Lakes area--I was part of a group of experienced hikers that tried to hike cross country to Camp Lake. We didn't make it.

rip
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Joined: March 14th, 2011, 6:14 pm

Re: So. Sis. Circumnav.

Post by rip » August 13th, 2018, 11:55 am

Awesome report. Thanks for sharing! Those are some hearty hikers!

The CC from Green Lakes on the "low-route" is a gorgeous adventure full of interesting route-finding decisions along the way. The same can be said for crossing the Chambers divide.

In search of some high mileage days, we headed clockwise on a similar overnighter from Devils Lake & folded in Broken Top via Bend Glacier. Intel can be found here: https://www.gaiagps.com/public/RNe9a0sA3ef3IhaHIKjJRgdu

Thanks again for sharing. The S. Sister Circ. serves up some of the best the 3 Sisters has to offer.

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