Sunday, May 31, 2015

Black & White Sisters - 5/31/15

Black & White Sisters

Black Sister from Bench Approach

View Back at Sisters Spur Road Canyon

Starting Up the Sisters Spur Road Canyon
 Thirteen club hikers decided, today, that the hike up to Black & White Sisters is a strenuous hike in May. In September, it may only be a moderately strenuous hike due to the fact that we would be in better condition and more acclimated to the higher elevations at that time. Nevertheless, all thirteen hikers made it up to that dark colored rock outcropping and over to the little white outcropping in due time. We began at the bottom of the Sisters Spur Road that turns off two miles in to Macks Canyon Road in the Springs Mountains NRA.

Cairn Junction at Wash to Ridge
 This was only our second assault on Black Sister using this route but we made it up and back without a hitch in navigation.

A few rotten trees cross the wash.

Clear View of the Mummy's Nose Trail Route
 Approximately, 0.65 miles up the Sisters Spur Road canyon, on the left side wash, we found the landmark we were looking for. It is a large flat rock leaning up against a ponderosa pine on the right side of the main wash as seen in a photo above. Here, is where we turned left to begin our climb up to the main ridge above. This wash is filled with pine cones and has a few rotten trees crossing the ditch. Besides that, it is an easy enough wash to climb if you have the strength. (Maybe the recent earthquake made this route steeper. Hmmm.)

Starting the Steep Climb
 Nearing the top of this wash, we veered off to the right to finish our climb. At the top, we found a very slight trail that balanced along the main ridge. We turned to our right and continued climbing.

Steepness of Climb to Bench
 We stayed on the ridge until we were faced with "THE STEEP CLIMB." The trail continues even though it is wise to zigzag your own way up this hill in any way you can!

Beginning to Level Off on Bench

Climbing the Bench
The group split with stronger hikers reaching the bench summit several minutes before the last ones crawled up. It was a great group today and everyone stuck together for the final assault up to the dark colored rock outcropping named Black Sister. At the rock, several hikers climbed to the top and a few stayed below.

We all made it up that hill!
 The accomplishment was measured by just reaching the area! Nevertheless, we all got our names written in the log book. There were not many other names in it!

Posing on Top of Black Sister
 Eventually, all the hikers took the small trail over to the tiny peak between Black Sister and North Sister called White Sister.

White Sister to Bench - Lee Canyon Beyond

Hiking Small Trail to White Sister
 This small peak provides contrasting color for the surrounding landscape with white rocks. The views from this peak are some of the best in the Spring Mountains. All Mummy parts except for the Toe, Mt. Charleston, Lee Peak, Mack's Peak, McFarland Peak, North Sister and South Sister are clearly in view. We enjoyed our break very much as several of us may never choose to climb that hill again!

White Sister to Charleston & Lee Peaks - North Sister to Right
 After our rest, we returned to Black Sister on the little trail and hiked out the bench to where we came up. (Always note where you come up!)

McFarland Peak from White Sister

Steep Down Climb
 Concentration on the steep down climb was palpable. Occasionally, we called out warnings to our fellow hikers. We do try to take care of each other. We followed the small trail along the main ridge together then found a reasonable way to drop down into the wash filled with pine cones. Gathering again at the ponderosa cairn, we started down the little Sisters Spur Road to the cars. A challenging yet enjoyed morning.

4 miles; 1650 feet elevation gain; 3.5 hours

View from Main Ridge

Starting Back Down to the Cars in the Sisters Spur Road Canyon


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