Three Sisters Traverse 2015
I had some extremely conflicted feelings going into this trip. This time, I knew how hard it was going to be, and I knew, also, that we were going to be facing several vertical miles of unfamiliar terrain that was stated to be the crux of the entire traverse (coming up Southie). I was, however, more mentally prepared for the North and Middle and knew how nicely they could go and how much fun they would be to link up again. Conflict aside, I was pumped, as usual, to go on another light & fast trip in a (partially) new area.
I really, really love moving light & fast. Like a lot. It's easier, it requires greater skill, it often enforces safety, and you're able to be fully enveloped in the experience of climbing since you're not bogged down in the wonderland of crafting the perfect iPhone shot, bullshitting for 30 unnecessary minutes while fixing your gaiters, or thinking about anything other than exactly what you're doing, how you're doing it, and how your body is feeling in the moment. It's amazing. North Sister remains my favorite of the three mountains and I feel safe saying that now since we've climbed all three sisters THREE TIMES this year alone. Middle offers a more interesting trek in the winter and I will be happy to visit her again when she's under a thick veil of snow.
South Sister, in general, was an experience. At one point, Andy started laughing down at me and when I asked, "wait, why are you laughing...?" He replied, "Just watching you touch everything and seeing it all disintegrating beneath you is hilarious." I mean... it wasn't hilarious in the sense that things falling apart beneath you while you're climbing in a no-fall zone is funny... it was funny in the sense that, once again, we'd found ourselves climbing in a no-fall zone with things falling apart beneath us. We must have extra lives to the millionth power stored up or something. We were both also feeling the affects of spending so much time at altitude at this point which didn’t help matters.
When we reached the summit, I had no words. I felt my eyes well up with happy, exhausted tears. We soaked it all in- altitude headache forgotten temporarily, I inhaled 10,000' air for the third time that day and felt such bliss at what we'd managed to accomplish. I am so eager to go back a year from now and push for a faster time- now that we have the beta and a connection with each of these mountains, I truly believe that we'll be able to move quickly, and safely, up and down, three times, in true, beautiful, happy, alive, chossy-alpine style.
For the detailed account and a gear list, check out my other site: