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Annual SAC Luau!

August 30 to September 2, 2013

Coordinator: Greg Swanson

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Another successful Luau! I arrived on Saturday afternoon, after walking through the burn. Late last year, most of the approach was burned up in the Pole Creek fire, and now it is desolate and very dead and try. Kind of sad, but that is nature.

Five of us climbed North Sister on Sunday: Myself, Nathan, Mark, Noel, and Mikela. We departed from base camp at 7:30am, ascended the ridge directly, and tracked it up toward the summit.

As the ridge tops out, the route traverses around toward the south side of the mountain, where you meet a pass. The route in this area always seemed easier going up, though my instinct was that the pass was lower. We kept going up, almost descended to where I thought the pass was, but ended up at exactly the right spot. Good thing the team didn't want to descend!

At the Terrible Traverse, we set a fixed line. I had not set this before, but it worked out well. First I tried to find a route upward against the face, but after a few moves the rock was just too unstable. So I headed in the standard way across the traverse. There was a nice boulder for an anchor near the start, and just as solid an anchor at the other end, and somebody had left some intermediate anchors (which were made of pieces of their rope that they apparently cut), which we also used for secondary protection.

There seemed to be only one way across the traverse, and it was difficult to find, but once we found it, it wasn't very tough to get across.

From the traverse, we belayed up the Bowling Alley, and then free-climbed from there up to the saddle, and up the final summit block, reaching the summit at about 2:15pm. It was a beautiful day, and we spent about a half hour enjoying the view.

The sketchiest part of the descent was just below the saddle, before the first anchor; several of the team said that was too scary. Perhaps next time we can set a line there; it shouldn't be too difficult to anchor, and there might even be enough rope from the Bowling Alley belay, which is not that long.

We rapelled down the Bowling Alley, back across the fixed line at the Terrible Traverse, tore down and headed out. This time, I marked the pass on my GPS so that I could find it next time. I still felt like we would normally be lower, but Mark and I headed down a gully and found it unpleasant, so the rest of the team stayed high until they were on the east side of the ridge. We descended the south ridge toward Prouty Peak, then down the scree field, and walked out on nice trails. We got back to base camp around 8pm, for an excellent nachos meal and a lovely campfire evening.

- Fritz


Pre-Event Forum
[View Post-Event Forum]

Adrian asks:
Greg, my girlfriend Kristine will be joining in the festivities also this year. Should I have her sign up separately? Adrian

Greg (leader) answers:
Maybe wouldn't be a bad idea just so I can have a quick tally. Really glad you'll are going!

Adrian answers:
Thank you Greg. I am going to have her sign up. I am really looking forward to it.


Greg (leader) asks:
Luau Recon Envite! Hey All, This Sunday (8/4)I will be taking a recon "day" trip to the Luau site outside of Sisters. I will be leaving very early Sunday morning with my dog in tow to return late afternoon/early evening.

Steven answers:
How was the recon? I would've come but was climbing with the club.

Greg (leader) answers:
I ended up hauling horses and didn't make it up so will set up another date shortly.

Carrie answers:
Hi Greg, there's no "Reply" option for your question below...yes I am planning to bring Zeke, 12 and Max, 8 yrs old. Am hoping the hike in is not too long!

Greg (leader) answers:
Sounds good. I would say the hike is moderate; it's about 4.5 miles going from the Pole Creek Trailhead @ 5,400 to the luau site of 7,600. There is a creek about half way in.


Carrie asks:
Hey Greg, Depending on the length of the hike in, I am hoping to bring my two sons. Do I need to sign them up, or--? Is it OK if we bring our two dogs as well? Thanks!

Greg (leader) answers:
Kids are great, don't worry about signing each one up individually. Dogs are good, they need to be under control (verbal or leash) for their own safety; Donkeys don't put up with dogs coming too close. I will have my dog, but he has already had a run in the donkeys and so gives them a very wide berth.

Greg (leader) answers:
Hey Carrie, Do you know if your boys are coming and how old are they so we make sure on the amount of food we bring?


Trevor says:
How does the hike in work? Can I get a donkey to carry in a cast iron skillet? I would like to carpool with someone as well.

Steven answers:
I got dibs! Lol.....the boys want my dutch oven to go.

Sue answers:
I remember the stew that Steven cooked up in the dutch oven at Diamond Peak trip! Yum! Count me in!

Steven answers:
I was just kidding Sue, I'm going to sit back and let Byron do his thing. I will also help, but with Tyler there I will not be needed....lol.

Fritz answers:
Trevor, I think the answer to your question is that you shouldn't need a skillet... the guys are bringing in everything they need for the meals.


Greg (leader) says:
Hey All, Was just contacted by the ranger station with good news, the road to the trailhead is officially reopened so we're good to go unless another fire pops up in that area. Please like usual keep the location of our Luau CONFIDENTIAL except for your emergency contacts. The trail head access is "Pole Creek" southwest of Sisters and our luau location will allow the opportunity to climb Middle & the North Sister. GPS coordinates/directions to follow later.

Adrian answers:
That is great news Greg. Looking forward to it.

Steven answers:
awesome news! I cannot wait to give North a go.

Gabe answers:
Beyond pumped about N. Sister. It'll be a great feeling to have finally been formally introduced to Faith, Hope and Charity.

Steven answers:
Lol....I can't wait. I'm still mad at myself for missing it two years ago.


Jenny asks:
Kevin Ahn will be joining me as well. I guess I should have him sign up here? What kind of equipment will we need for the climb(s), and has it been decided which one we'll tackle on which day? (We may not do both.) Thanks!


Greg (leader) asks:
Yes,if you don't mind signing him up it makes tracking numbers easier. I will get more information regarding which climb which day. In the past we usually only have one North climb during the weekend, but sometimes multiple climbs on Middle. I suspect North is many of you all's main objective? If so what day would you prefer to climb North? Fritz will you be available to lead North or would you prefer not?

Fritz answers:
Yeah I could lead North, preferably Sunday as I might be coming in Saturday.

Greg (leader) answers:
Got it on both items. Do you want to post the North equipment list?


Greg (leader) says:
This Luau cost is @ $30.00 per person (per Byron)and please review "required" and "Optional" equipment. Actual climbing gear requirements to follow shortly.

Fritz answers:
The "Packing List" feature (above) is pretty useful, I'd recommend using that for the climbing as well as camping gear. It only works right if you format it as a list, one item per line.


Gabe says:
As fate would have it, work has caused me to miss a LasVegas trip occuring simultaneously, conveniently allowing me to finally join you fine folks! I'm excited and will be looking forward to helping the setup effort on Friday! Cheers!

Noel answers:
I will trade you?! :P


Greg (leader) asks:
Would be nice to get a head count from each of you when you plan on going in & coming out? The plan is to climb North on Sunday with the possibility of a "Double Summit" the same day on the Middle Sister. There will most likely be someone willing to do the Middle Sister on Saturday. Personally, I will be leaving Sherwood with the donkeys and family as close to day break (6:30ish) as possible Friday morning (8/30). I hope to be at the trailhead no later than 10:30, loaded and on the trail by noon. Remember this is all based on “Donkey Time” so subject to change.

Steven answers:
Adrian, Kristine, and I plan on getting into camp Friday night and leaving after our climb on Sunday.

Noel answers:
Mikela and I plan on driving from Portland on Saturday morning. I would love to do a double summit Sunday.


Fritz asks:
Myself and Nathan are planning to drive down from Portland Saturday morning and return on Monday. We have at least one seat available in the carpool, two if we economize. Anyone want to join us?

Jenny answers:
Can you clarify what you mean by 'economize'? Kevin and I would love to catch a ride with you guys if you still have space. Also, I'm seeing just happy hour appetizer and specialized/personal beverage on the equipment list so far...

Greg (leader) answers:
Required Equipment list has been revised. You will have to bring personal camping, hiking & climbing gear and lunch & snacks. I highly suggest you coop some items; first aid kits, water filters, tents, tooth brush(just kidding). Hope this helps.


Greg (leader) says:
UPDATE - There may be a two (2)North Sisters climbs this coming weekend; one on Saturday and one on Sunday. The Saturday climb may include a shot at the Middle Sister if time, energy & weather permit.

Steven answers:
Who will lead the Saturday climb?

Greg (leader) answers:
Myself and Brian Bartholomew

Steven answers:
Ah.....Brian is coming this year, cool. Sounds good.

Noel answers:
Mikela and I were hoping to drive down on Saturday. Do you think we will make it in time for the climb Saturday?

Greg (leader) answers:
We'll be leaving camp well before daybreak. There will still be a North climb on Sunday.

Steven answers:
I know Adrian and myself didn't really have any intention of summiting Middle. If you do have others who do I'm guessing we will need crampons to get down the Hayden? Fritz has already told us to bring an axe in case it's needed on the sketchy traverse on North. Any other input would be great. Thanks Greg.

Greg (leader) answers:
I have added to the "Required Equipment List". I will not be packing crampons, typically the lower sections of the Hayden and the numerous snow fields that we may choose to travel on will be soft in the afternoon. It is not necessary to use the snow, but sometimes it can speed up your decent.

Steven answers:
Ok, thanks Greg. Looking forward to it.


Greg (leader) says:
Please send payment to: Santiam Alpine Club (side mark Luau) 3942 NE 16th. Ave. Portland, OR 97212 OR bring check or cash to the Luau

Noel answers:
I have sent my payment to Byron along with morels's

Noel answers:
Mikela's*

Greg (leader) answers:
Hey Noel, Laurie Kellar (Byron's wife) is looking for a ride Saturday morning, any chance you have room for her?


Adrian asks:
Greg, I have a club rope. Do you want me to bring it?

Greg (leader) answers:
yes, please do

Fritz answers:
My recollection is that we need one rope for the bowling alley. I was planning to have a second for the shale-field, in case. Sound right? Should I bring a rope also, or are the donks bringing any?

Greg (leader) answers:
I have a snow rope I'll bring and with Adrian's rope we should be fine.


Greg (leader) asks:
Does any one have room to take Laurie Kellar to the trail head late Friday or early Saturday? She can meet you where ever needed. Please let me know.


Greg (leader) says:
Laurie Has found a ride so disregard last message.


Fritz says:
To Pole Creek Trailhead: From Sisters, drive 1.5 miles west on Hwy. 242, then 5.6 miles south on Forest Service Road 15, then 5.3 miles south on Forest Service Road 1524. (Latitude 44.18###-###-####5)

Adrian answers:
Do we know the location of the camp yet?

Noel answers:
Hello, Are we setting base camp at Pole Creek Trailhead or do I need to hike further down? If so, how many miles and on which trail.

Fritz answers:
Base camp is something like 6 miles in, see PDF map link above (and Greg has already emailed to you).

Noel answers:
Got it. I sent that message this morning before map and coordinate were sent out. Thanks and see you guys there.


Greg (leader) says:
I have just sent an email with a map attachment to the 2013 Luau camp. The location may be adjusted slightly because of current conditions, but any change should not be an issue. Do not share any of this information with people on the trail or volunteer this to rangers. (if tortured maybe) Each hiking party needs to fill out a permit at the trail head, again do not put "Luau" on the permit, be vague.

Fritz answers:
I added the map (link to PDF) and coordinates above under "Team-Only Information" (can only be seen by event participants, and you need to be logged in to see it).

Adrian answers:
Thank you.


Fritz says:
I fixed up the "Packing List" above. Since the climbs are optional, all the climbing equipment is under "Optional Equipment" but if you're going to climb, please regard the list as mandatory (except as indicated otherwise).


Fritz says:
People have asked about water... there is water along the trail and a stream near base camp, and I believe Greg will have a filter we can share. So you don't need to carry much, but you probably want to bring about 2 or 3 liters of water-carrying capability for the climbs, as there are no/limited water sources above camp.

Adrian answers:
Good to know. I will leave my filter behind.Thanks.


Jenny says:
Btw, I think this is a photo of North Sister that I took while airborne a little over a year ago... http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenxen/###-###-####/in/set-###-###-####8702746/lightbox/


Gabe says:
Just FYI, I'll be leaving Corvallis about 10am and plan to be at the trailhead around 2pm.

Gabe answers:
Friday that is...


Fritz says:
Noel, Mikela, Trevor, if you get this please leave a message. Just wondering where you are, and internet up here at base camp works better than phone or text, although we're trying those too.


This forum is closed at this time.

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