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Middle Sister, Southeast Ridge Route and Luau Report

I'm pleased to report that SAC members and guests once again rallied and together had a fabulous time up in the Sister's over Labor Day weekend.

Bob and Pat L. with assistance from Pete 007, Frank and Nico, Brian, Mary and Rick were the advance team meeting at trail head Thursday evening for dinner and libations. The Donks, Lilly Rose and Bud, with assistance from the advance team, hauled in a bounty of food and gear early on Friday and camp was established on the main flow of Soap Creek near tree line.

Throughout Friday and Saturday the gang slowly rolled into camp with some new faces as well as long-time club members. Bob and Pat organized and prep'd Saturday's dinner - Chicken Alfredo Cuscus as well as Sunday morning's climber's breakfast.

Pete and Brian lead a climb of Middle Sister with a group of 7 and two labs. For this "Middle" team (Joanna, Vita, Floren, Rick, Mary, Pete, Brian, Riley and Sophie), we looped around and approached from the southern side of Middle departing camp around 9:15 a.m. (much more civilized). The traverse around the east to south side of the mountain was beautiful. Some excellent views, lots of good water sources and some nice camping areas for sure… Once on the south side we began our accent. My goodness, what a rock garden it was. Seldom did we encounter any sort of defined trail and travel was slowed with sections of loose baseball size rock flows interspersed with larger more stable rock formations. While being treated to some fabulous views we found ourselves scrambling and weaving ourselves up the southern approach. This route is not well suited for dogs as their pads, claws and legs in general took a beating. The last of the climb group reached the summit around 3 p.m. which of course meant that happy hour was going to be seriously delayed for some of us. It was later reported that Bob and those in camp did proceed with happy hour without delay…

After some quick snacks on top and a few photos, the team was off for a return to camp down the north side of Middle. The established path and solid footing seemed like a sidewalk compared to our accent route. The predictable snow patch on Middle's north side was quite small and easily circumvented as we dropped down to the Hayden Glacier route. While on the glacier, the team was roped up and towards the lower section of the glacier we successfully crossed 5 crevasses without incident.

Once back in camp the group enjoy some wonderful happy hour snacks of smoked salmon, various cheeses, tastes of cold Foster's and Guinness beer, some cabernet, … Then Bob, Pat and team presented the group with a fry pan full of those famous nachos. My how we feasted that evening.

Around the evening campfire stories were swapped, lies told and jokes of Ollie and Sven were shared. Chief Many Feathers, Anal Glaucoma and Fresh Broccoli all were presented to the joy and horror of those present. I'm also happy to report that the SAC membership continues to be highly tolerant politically and supportive of those diagnosed as congenitally insensitive.

Special thanks to Bob and Pat for their preparation and efforts to pull together such wonderful group meals and sharing their strong burros with us!

One last note - I'm happy to report that Rick found what he was looking for once we returned to the car.

Respectfully submitted by your club President,

Brian Bartholomew

Santiam Alpine Club


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