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Ascent of Middle Sister-Northeast Ridge on 2013-07-06

Climber: David Hubbard

Others in Party:Cheryl Hubbard
Date:Saturday, July 6, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Middle Sister-Northeast Ridge
    Location:USA-Nevada/California
    Elevation:10560 ft / 3218 m

Ascent Trip Report

This hike was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be, but mostly because of my own inexperience and the fact that Cheryl and I are both 62 (me with a heart condition and her with fibromyalgia). I suppose for younger stronger hikers this would be piece of cake, but for rest of you - some advice.

We followed Bob Sumner's directions in "Hiking Nevada's County High Points", and for the most part I think it's an excellent book. But I'm sure Bob is (or was when he wrote it) a much younger and stronger hiker than we are. We left the car at the Risue Road because it looked too rocky for our street tires. Bob says "two wheel drive vehicles may want to park here" what he should say is low clearance vehicles with street tires should park here. I'm glad we parked there, but it didn't require 4 wheel drive, it was just to dang rocky for our Subaru Outback with street tires. It's too remote of an area to risk a punctured tire (or worse two punctured tires), so if you've got or can borrow the right vehicle, do it. The last 1.5 miles of this hike are too darn steep to add 2+ miles needlessly. But that's what we did. And of course we went on a much too hot day, no surprise the first week of July, but again we were expecting a 7 miler and got a 9.5 miler.

The hike up the semi-maintained trail was straight forward. When you leave the trail Bob directs you to the West side of the ravine and I suppose that's the best way going up, but we wandered around quite a bit trying to find our way through the thickets to the base of the mountain. Once on top we could see a path that at times widened into a Jeep road going through the thickets to the East of our uphill approach, and that's how we went down. It was a lot easier finding our way through, but the same trail would be very hard to find from below, so I guess we did it the only logical way.

I need to get a lot better at reading the topo maps, because I was seriously stunned by the steepness or the last mile. To make it worse, you' re trudging up this granite sand that was a horrible 2 steps up - 1 step back grind for almost one miserable hour. Again, for the young strong hiker I'm sure this would not be too much trouble, but for us is was very sapping.

Once on top we had some trouble finding the actual CoHP and register. Must have wandered around an extra half hour until I stumbled across it. Probably would have been easier to find from above, but from below it's pretty tough. It didn't help that I somehow got it in my head that the CoHP was at 10440, but I finally found it. The cairn is practically hidden from view from the East or West by a large tree and large rock outcropping. When I did find it, I wasn't sure I had because I couldn't find the register. It's in the rock outcropping to the East of the cairn.

After all that we were too tired to actually go the rest of the way to the peak, so maybe next time. "Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back." We do have 10 more NV CoHP to do. Besides, Cheryl said if I came back it would have to be with my next wife!
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:3500 ft / 1067 m
    Elevation Loss:3500 ft / 1067 m
    Distance:9.5 mi / 15.3 km
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:3500 ft / 1067 m
    Distance:5 mi / 8.1 km
    Trailhead:Risue Road  7060 ft / 2151 m
    Time Up:4 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:3500 ft / 1067 m
    Distance:4.5 mi / 7.2 km
    Trailhead:7060 ft / 2151 m
    Time Down:3 Hours 



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