13.5 miles of hiking • 4750' elevation gain • 1 night
I did this trip with the Mazamas on the longest day of the year. It was a perfect weather window. We started at the Pole Creek trailhead and took the Pole Creek Trail to the Chambers Lakes Trail, then headed off cross country towards the east flank of the mountain. We found a perfect snow free tree island to make camp, with nearby stream for water- approx 6800 ft elevation, just below tree line. Amazing views all around, stunning sunset and a very warm cozy night with just a bit of wind.
Started out at 5am and snow conditions were perfect. Wind was almost non-existent. We headed up along the north edge of the Hayden Glacier. Roped up below Prouty Point and continued up to the saddle between Middle and North Sister. From there we scrambled through rock scree along the ridge until we came to a very steep snowfield that required protection for about a 120 ft? rope length. Another group turned back here- they were Outward Bounders who had zoomed past us. They had ropes, matching helmets, gaiters and ice axes, but no crampons! Anyhow, our leader ascended slowly placing pickets and we followed along improving the steps. It was a bit scary because of the exposure but conditions were darn good. After the crux section, it was just a nice walk up the remaining 300 foot gain to the summit where celebrations ensued.
As we were descending we looked back and saw clouds approaching from the west and begin to crawl over the summit we had just visited. We packed up camp quickly and skeedaddled out of there. It was just starting to rain as we closed the last mile to the TH. As we were throwing down our packs and taking off our boots, it began to hail. We felt so fortunate to have such perfect conditions for our trip- especially considering the rainy weather that followed that evening and the next day.