The excitement of the evening was the I felt a bit lightheaded and had to lie down in the tent for a while before we went to bed. This could have been the altitude since we'd climb to about 7000 ft. or dehydration since it was very hot and the sun was reflecting off the snow. My guess is the root cause was that I just made it through a week of midterms and was pretty much exhausted by Friday afternoon. Whatever the cause, I felt great the next morning after a long night's rest.
The Sunday of Memorial Day, we usually make out way along the snow fields below Middle Sister to get in some good skiing and a view into Camp Lake. The last couple years the weather has been much nicer so we've made our way up toward the Saddle on Middle Sister, then up to the top. This year, with terrific weather, we began the long climb up toward the Saddle with hopes of making the top. There is one steep pitch above the saddle which can get pretty hard and icy. Its hard to guess how it will be each time, so all we could do was hope for the best and enjoy the beautiful day.
|Middle Sister on the left|
|Mom and Jacob heading up toward Middle Sister|
|Dad, Mom, and Broken Top|
|Middle Sister and Prouty Point|
|Dad with South Sister in the background|
|Mom and South|
|Dad with South, Bachelor, and Broken Top|
The snow was already getting pretty heavy as we reached the Saddle and looked out to the west. Far off on the horizon was Mary's Peak. I always enjoy seeing Mary's Peak since I see it every time I look up while at my desk. We ditched the skies at the Saddle and had a quick bite to eat before starting up the ridge toward Middle. The first section was loose, open rock, but we soon hit a steep snowfield. This was it was pretty hard, with fairly poor steps, so Mom opted not to head to the top. Dad, Jacob, and I reached the top which offered a great view of the Cascade Range. This years we could see all the way to Mt. Adams!
|Mom heading up toward the saddle on Middle Sister|
|Looking down the range all the way to Adams|
|Too small here, but you can see Mary's Peak on the horizon|
|South, Bachelor, and Broken Top|
|The steep section on Middle Sister|
|Dad and Mt. Jefferson|
Once we got back to the tent, we were all looking forward to sitting down in the shade and enjoying the afternoon, but we were quickly swarmed by flies. I guessed that the warmer weather, without freezing nights, had allowed the bugs to get a bit higher than in years past.
The next morning we headed up toward North Sister. We climbed a short ways up the ridge to grab bit to eat and look out toward South Sister. After that walked back down to our skis and started the descent. This snow on this part of the mountain was a bit more inconsistent than yesterday but the snowfield was still a long and fun descent.
|Mt. Jefferson behind North Sister's Ridge|
|Broken Top and Bachelor|
|Some hearty flowers|
|The snowfield down to our tent|
|Looking back up the same snowfield|
|Mom and Jacob on the way out|