Ascent to North Sister-Terrible Traverse on 2015-07-29
|Others in Party:||Austin D. Smith|
|Date:||Wednesday, July 29, 2015|
|Ascent Type:||Unsuccessful - Turned Back|
|Point Reached:||North Sister - Terrible Traverse|
| Elevation:||9830 ft / 2996 m|
| Remaining Elevation:||255 ft / 77 m (5% left to go)|
Ascent Trip ReportWe approached on the Obsidian Trail which is far more interesting and scenic that Pole Creek. However, the Obsidian Trail requires a pass available only on-line. We had some difficulty obtaining a permit for the dates we wanted since we waited close to the climb date to apply.
In approaching the Collier Glacier we came upon a flat snow field that started to crack. Evidently it was melting by day and pooling water below the snow. After circumnavigating the snow we crossed the Collier Glacier fairly high up. Inadvertently we crossed a snow bridge over a long, arcing crevasse, although this wasn't apparent until we could view the route from the south ridge of North Sister.
All went well until the spot known as the Terrible Traverse. Given the low snow pack of 2014/15 and the warmest June on record, along with a very warm July, the Terrible Traverse would have melted by the end of July. Right? Wrong! A 40' width of the traverse was thin snow or thin ice. The ice was probably refreeze from melting snow above. We were unwilling to cross. One solution might be to use the mote along the cliff wall to work pass the snow, then rappel into the middle of the traverse to continue on rock. Perhaps within a week the traverse will have melted off. However, the refrozen water from melting snow may persist for some time. The snow on the traverse is visible from the road if you know where to look. The Bowling Ally appeared to be fully melted. Since the troublesome snow is just about the last snow clinging to the west face, it would be reasonable to assume that the west face should appear snow-free if you hope to complete the traverse as a rock-only scramble.
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||5750 ft / 1751 m|
| Total Elevation Loss:||5750 ft / 1751 m|
| Route Conditions:||Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb|
| Gear Used:||Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Tent Camp|
| Gain on way in:||5400 ft / 1645 m|
| Gain Breakdown:||Net: 5050 ft / 1540 m; Extra: 350 ft / 106m|
| Loss on way in:||350 ft / 106 m|
| Route:||South Ridge|
| Start Trailhead:||Obsidian Trailhead 4780 ft / 1456 m|
| Loss on way out:||5400 ft / 1645 m|
| Loss Breakdown:||Net: 5050 ft / 1540 m; Extra: 350 ft / 106m|
| Gain on way out:||350 ft / 106 m|
| End Trailhead:||4780 ft / 1456 m|
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