Placeholder Routes & Places

Trip Report    

Middle Sister (Oregon)

Successful trip up the Hayden Glacier to the summit of Middle Sister.

  • Wed, Sep 14, 2016 — Sun, Sep 4, 2016
  • Middle Sister
  • Climbing
  • Successful
  • Road suitable for all vehicles

Climb Date: September 3-4, 2016

Middle Sister/Hayden Glacier

Start Location:  Pole Creek Trailhead

End Location:  Pole Creek Trailhead

Elevation Gain:  4760ft

General Activity Notes:

Pole Creek trail has a pleasant grade, is well-maintained and easy to follow.  The climber’s path that heads up Squaw Creek is also easy to follow.  There are a few cairns placed but the boot path was really all that was needed.  We made camp at about 7000ft, between two steam beds, both active but one was pretty silty while the other was clear.  It took us just under 3 hours from trailhead to camp.

 In the morning we continued to follow the climber’s path up to the Hayden Glacier. We stayed in rocks following the edge of the glacier about as high as we could. About 1:30 hours from camp to edge of the glacier. In retrospect, a better approach would have been to transition onto the glacier lower, where the line of the hogback lies. As it was, we had to ascend a relatively short but steep section of ice/hard snow to the hogback that was a new challenge for most of the participants. We had one climber with crampon issues wait for us at the bottom of this steep icy section. From the hogback to the ridge proper there were no difficulties – no ‘schrund to cross and just one crevasse to skirt. The scramble to the summit was straightforward, mostly on climber’s right of the ridgeline proper. About halfway up there were several bootpath options to take; all were equally fine. From the top of hogback to summit about 1:40. From the top of the Hayden Glacier we descended straight down the hogback, which was a much gentler angle than our ascent route.  Crossed several crevasses and skirted a few others on the way down.  Returned to camp by 12:55pm.  Back to trailhead by 4:30pm.

 Permits required?

NW Forest Pass.  Self-issue wilderness permit at trailhead.

 Driving / parking notes:

There is a good sized parking area at the trailhead but with a holiday weekend it was very full. 

 Equipment notes: 

Carried and used ropes, ice axe, crampons. 

 Required Skills:

Glacier climbing skills, glacier route-finding skills.  Comfort scrambling on loose volcanic rock/scree with significant exposure. 

 Weather Notes: 

Day one was mostly overcast.  Some light precipitation in the early evening until 10pm. Day two was mostly broken clouds, with sun in the afternoon.  We were in clouds for most of the upper ascent, so no views. There was a cloud ceiling at about 6000ft on the west side of the range.