Tuesday, July 2, 2013

South & North Sisters via Mack's Canyon - 7/2/13

North Sister from Traverse

Painted Wild

The Super Tuesday hike today was a combination of peaks, South Sister with a traverse to North Sister. The group of hikers traveled out Mack's Canyon Road which begins just past the Sawmill Picnic Area off of Lee Canyon Highway. At the end of the road, they got out of the cars and the adventure began. Mike OC and Larry D. provide photos, GPS information and a narrative of the day. Thanks, guys, and well done!
Nine indefatigable hikers, 75 delightful degrees, one babbling brook, two not-so-wild horses and two towering sisters high above us.

Hiking Up Through the Columbines

Mike's New Friend

That was the setting at the Mack Canyon Campground at 7:30 in the morning on the second day of July.  It was also our starting point to visit those Limestone Ladies---the all-too-familiar South Sister and her elusive sibling, the indomitable North Sister.

The morning chitchat ended abruptly 20 minutes into the hike.  The mountain was the only one talking--"I'm steep and I'm in-your-face.  Pay attention."  We did.  And on a day when valley temps would soar well north of the 110-mark, we basked in 80-degree sunshine and a cool breeze atop South Sister.  One down, one to go. 
Hiking the Summit of South Sister

South Sister Summit Meeting

 Gazing toward her sibling, North Sister looked ever so close.  Piece of cake, eh?  Wrong.

The route to North Sister was anything but intuitive, but Larry & Paul both had copious notes and reliable GPS coordinates.  We stopped to get our bearing occasionally as the terrain challenged us all the way. 

Shadowplay (Who's the Ballerina?)

Starting Traverse from South Sister

 Mostly Class 3 stuff with a couple dicey spots.  But the cadre was up to the task and in no time we were enjoying the panorama from atop North Sister.  Mummy, Charlie, Mack's, McFarland, Bonanza.  They surrounded us.
Under This Rock

Down This Cliff

If our ascent was steep and daunting, the descent down the backside of the mountain was a veritable free fall.  Hazards everywhere:  Slippery slope, falling rocks and phantom ankle-grabbers.  Everything was out to get us.  Many arms and legs were leaking blood.  

But the biggest shocker of all was checking the GPS at the conclusion of the hike.  A mere 4.1 miles in an agonizing five hours.  Perhaps that 2400 feet of vertical played a role.  Thanks for having us over, ladies. ~MOC

Jump Down This Rock

Ta-Dah! North Sister Summit at Last!

1 comment:

Larry Dunn said...

Outstanding reportage! Thanks, Kay. It's almost as if you were with us! We wish you had been. It was a good hike. ...Larry