The Sisters


By: Bob Michael


Although the smallest of the high (>10K) peaks of the Spring Mountains, the craggy twin peaks called The Sisters make for a rewarding and recommended outing among some of the finest alpine scenery and nicest forest in Southern Nevada. In mid-October, Vegas George Quinn, "Long Nick" Saines and I drove to the head of Lee Canyon the morning after the season's first snowfall had dropped a few inches on the high country. Snow banners were flying in the ultraviolet-blue sky with the wind that raked the summit ridge of Mummy Mountain. We parked at the turnoff to the Old Mill Picnic Area and hiked the icy road and then trail a half mile up beautiful Scout Canyon, which has some of the finest old-growth Ponderosa forest I've seen. We turned north up an obvious side canyon - fairly steep, but reasonable going - to the west ridge of the southern, and higher Sister. The magnificent bristlecone monarchs which inhabit the crest were silvered with rime ice and powder snow caught in the needle tufts. The narrow, steep route between the summit cliffs is obvious - there's only one possible way which doesn't involve rock climbing. The summit knob is a balcony in the sky; it's too craggy and wind-blasted to have trees, so there is a tremendous view across Lee Canyon to the imposing upthrust of Charleston's north face and the enormous tilted light gray limestone towers, cliffs and buttresses on the northwest flank of Mummy, a view very reminiscent of parts of the Austrian Alps - similar geology, even. We've now done all the named peaks over 10K'* in the Springs, and every single one has been a pure delight. * Except for the elusive McFarland Peak - stay tuned.

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