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Ascent of Middle Sister on 2020-07-04

Climber: Briana Jaskot

Others in Party:Michael Jaskot -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Date:Saturday, July 4, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Middle Sister
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:10854 ft / 3308 m

Ascent Trip Report

Did Middle sister as part of the Full Sweetwater traverse (E.sis, Middle sis, South sis, Patterson & Wheeler).

Middle sister report: Like everyone says the bushwhacking down towards middle sis is fucking awful. I brought rain pants so that my legs didn't get cut up and that actually helped. It didn't make it any faster but it made it a lot less painful. Once out of the brush we started heading up towards the ridge, making a point to tag the county high point. Which is a bit confusing because there are two rock piles not too far from each other. We went to both for good measure. The last push to the ridge is steep and rocky. I found the peaks to get progressively better as the traverse went on. So the summit of middle sis was a bit more fun than East.We had read that the bushwhacking down from middle sis was worse than E.sis to middle. Yay. We followed the ridge as far as could to avoid hopping down into the bushes too soon. Initially we thought we had avoided a good chunk of the whacking and were so proud of ourselves. But we were very wrong. The worst of it is not immediately below the ridge but further down the backside of Middle sis. We were in pokey brush that was taller than us and we are both tall....if someone were to bring a machete and make a trail through the thick bushes everyone who follows would be so thankful!


Full report continued from here: Drove down from the Pinenuts on Friday and camped off the road a few miles before Lobdell Lake in the van. Woke up at 4 a.m. and drove the van/truck the last few miles to Lobdell to drop the van. Drove the truck over to the start of the Sweetwater Traverse going North to South starting with East sis. Drove Risue rd for a few miles before parking the car at a junction of a 4wd road that Bob Burd marked as their starting point. Instead of heading up the ridge as others have done, we took the advice that it sucks and followed the road for 2 miles before splitting xc up towards the ridge just below East sis. The initial xc bit is gradual and sage bushy. Once the climbing gets steep its super sandy and very hard to move upward. I was literally crawling on all fours trying to get my ass up to the ridge and sliding back with every step. Once on the ridge it's a straight forward little push to the highest rock cluster. From there you can see the trek that is going to have to be made up to Middle sis and the horrid bushwhacking that awaits...
Like everyone says the bushwhacking down towards middle sis is fucking awful. I brought rain pants so that my legs didn't get cut up and that actually helped. It didn't make it any faster but it made it a lot less painful. Once out of the brush we started heading up towards the ridge, making a point to tag the county high point. Which is a bit confusing because there are two rock piles not too far from each other. We went to both for good measure. The last push to the ridge is steep and rocky. I found the peaks to get progressively better as the traverse went on. So the summit of middle sis was a bit more fun than East. We had read that the bushwhacking down from middle sis was worse than E.sis to middle. Yay. We followed the ridge as far as could to avoid hopping down into the bushes too soon. Initially we thought we had avoided a good chunk of the whacking and were so proud of ourselves. But we were very wrong. The worst of it is not immediately below the ridge but further down the backside of Middle sis. We were in pokey brush that was taller than us and we are both tall....if someone were to bring a machete and make a trail through the thick bushes everyone who follows would be so thankful! Heading up south sis is straight forward. We gained the ridge which was actually pretty nice rock, which eventually turned to white shale. Once on the ridge we were able to run to the summit of south sis, which is BY FAR the best summit of the three sisters. I kept joking that if anyone wants real sister mountain fun that they just need to go to Oregon. Once on the ridge to South sis, we got our first glimpse of the colors of the sweetwaters! Absolutely stunning! Like the painted hills in OR but mountains!
From South sis there was a trail that led to a 4wd road and we took that for 4-5 miles over to Patterson. The road is rocky/rolly but by far the fastest terrain we had been on all day. We crossed some dirt bikers but no other humans on foot. Heading up to Patterson was a steep trail/road. 5 cars drove down as we were hiking up. The summit has a massive american flag and gives way to more views of the colors of the range. From there we could finally see Wheeler and were a bit defeated with how far away it looked. But it was road down and over towards wheeler so it didn't take too long. Once the road starts to bend right (west) and go downhill, we split off left on a faint trail, xc up towards the summit. The summit is bronzey/orange and has tons of those rocks with crystals inside. So cool! Originally we planned to run the road down to Lobdell Lake but we made the decision on Patterson to follow Bob burds xc route following the creek down towards Lobdell. We backtracked a mile or so and then split xc down. We immediately saw the snow melt that started the creek and followed that until it eventually met up with a trail. The terrain wasn't that slow. Some bushes, some marshy grass but overall open and smooth all the way to Lobdell. Especially once on trail.

Total mileage: 19.44
Total vert: 7,992
Total time: 10 hours
Strava data: https://www.strava.com/activities/3718339392
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble



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