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Three Sisters

27 September 1997

By: Luella Fickle

Leaders: Luella Fickle, Jim Fleming

I mailed for the latest write up in April, 1997 for the driving instructions. I read the hiking directions and they looked like what I remembered from my 1986 climb with Jack Trager. No problem, Diane would be along to help. She'd been to Three Sisters about two years ago. On Saturday morning, no Diane, her substitute Jim had never been to this Three Sisters. He'd climbed the Morongo Valley route to 7,632.

Saturday morning at 8:00 AM found four 4X4 full of twelve hikers at Coon Creek Jump Off. We were hiking out the locked jeep road by 8:20. Jane Gibbons wanted to set her altimeter on her watch. On Three Sisters altitude is an important piece of information, because it helps as a cross check for where one is on the ridge. I was carrying in my hand a Xerox of the HPS map on the back of the HPS write up with the Onyx Quad in my pack if I needed the bigger picture. I looked down at the map and noted that we were parked just above one contour line, that's 40 feet, above 8,050. If the summit of the peak is 8,080 and the cars are at 8,100, how does the peak guide get 1,400 gain going out to the peak and 1,600 gain going back? The route marking on the HPS map was very good. I deviated from it in two places, once going out and once going back. I took the group over 8350 going out. Frank Dobos was muttering why didn't you go around. Well, I remembered steep side hilling from my 1986 hike. I think Jack and I must have been lower on the go around, because I stayed on the main use trail going back and the side hill was very easy. The marked route around 8100 is good if one can find it in the brush. Even with clipping going out, I ended up going over 8100 on the way back because I lost the use trail in the brush and used the semi-brush free rocks as a way through. Erich, George, and Patrick clipped going out. Coming back this made the hike easier. Somebody had done a little clipping within the month. The page we signed in on included 1996 entries. This peak isn't climbed a lot. It was fun to read the register back to 1987.

The weather was perfect. Norma had cleared the air. We had a slight breeze. The views of the desert were excellent. Erich commented to me on the drive home that he didn't remember Three Sisters having such a good view. It didn't in 1986 because I climbed it on a hazy day. Thank you Jim Fleming for the assist. Diane got him as an able replacement. When we scheduled the hike, Diane had forgotten that she had a family commitment for September 27th.

Thank you George Wysup, Jim Alder, Frank Dobos, and Patrick Woods for the 4X4 transportation. The road was in pretty good condition. A high clearance non 4X4 would not have had any problems, except at the rock slide which probably wouldn't have stopped them. There is wiggle room. But 4X4 are better at such places. Thank you Kathy Price, Jim Adler, and Bill Hogshead for the bright shirts. Its easier to keep track of the group when one can see it in brush. The others not mentioned above were John Dykstra, and Ruth Dobos.

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