THREE SISTERS IN THREE DAYS

A little moraine lake on the backside of Broken Top, adjacent to Bend Glacier.

A little moraine lake on the backside of Broken Top, adjacent to Bend Glacier.

If only my interest in technology could be as productive as my hikes. If it were, I would’ve had this post out the door last weekend and, well, not five days later. But that’s not important. What is important is sharing a story of adventure and endurance amongst a spectacular landscape.

I love the Three Sisters Wilderness. On a post-labor day weekend, I set foot for an adventure in the mountains where snow-spekked volcanoes loom high out of the desert floor. 10,000-feet and higher, these mountains invite the attention of many onlookers, be it on foot, paddle-board, bike or any other means of transportation. For me, I would walk deliberately, setting foot along an atypical 50-mile circumnavigation of the Three Sisters…and it’s older brother, Broken Top.

The hike began at Broken Top trailhead after my friend Carrie, her three youngest and I bounced along a rugged 4X4 road in the woods. We were immediately swept up into stellar views while the boys found entertainment in sliding across snowfields, dunking their shirts into a creek and kicking or throwing rocks into anything that seemed worthy. I was pleased to bring Carrie and the boys to a place that I deem very special, a place I often come to in the earlier part of the year searching for solitude, for simplicity and for scenery that doesn’t quite compare to anything else.

Lost Lake, Broken Top.

Lost Lake, Broken Top.

And at the top, we were awarded with a walk along the lake. Lost Lake, or unnamed lake, as it’s called. From there, we parted ways, with me now destined for a cross-country adventure. As I scouted the route from the saddle, where an expansive snowfield and accompanying glacier sat below, I was pleasantly interrupted by a friendly couple who offered me a mimosa. This girl rarely lets such an opportunity go to waste, and I gladly sat down for an afternoon cocktail.

Bubbly aside, I slid (literally—and not so gracefully I might add) down the saddle and onto the glacier. I then traversed across its flank, nervous at best, as the gills of the glacier sat just below. In fact, at one startling point, I had to hop over a tiny, but not so insignificant pint-sized-wide crack that ran the length of one of Broken Top’s most prominent glaciers.

Moraine lakes, obsidian rocks, milky creeks and an afternoon of slow-going came after. By the end of the day, when the sun began to set, I finally locked eyes on Camp Lake, where a few friends were waiting.

That's South Sister in the background. The most gentel mountain of the three, and the tallest for the matter.

That’s South Sister in the background. The most gentel mountain of the three, and the tallest for the matter.

The next morning we hiked to Middle Sister’s 10,050-foot summit. It was a bit of a scramble, and a few rocky spines shook a little fear into all of us. But we all made it, and the view at the top was pretty sweet, despite a nearby fire obscuring an otherwise jaw-dropping view.

That afternoon, I resumed my solo adventure. This time I found ease while coasting along the Green Lakes Trail. That took me north toward Scott Pass where I was reunited with the PCT and Little Matthieu Lake. The following morning, after a full-moon and wind-infused night, I hiked southbound toward Yapoah Crater and adjacent to a lava flow. From there, the scenic rewards bloomed like wildfire, leading me past Obsidian Falls, Reese Lake, Wickiup Plain and all the alpine meadows in between.

It was a bit of a haul for 3-days and 2-nights, but nothing that this girl isn’t capable of. I look forward to going up and exploring again soon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s