MIDDLE SISTER (10,859') AND EAST SISTER (10,402') CLASS 1-2
Location: 9 miles E of Walker, CA, or 4-5 miles W of Sweetwater Summit, NV 338
Drive: Take U.S. 395 south to Holbrook Junction (see Mt. Siegel, Route B, Drive) and turn left (east) on NV 208. Go 11.4 miles through Wellington, NV, and, in 0.5 miles after the town, turn right at a junction with NV 338 signed, "Sweetwater Bridgeport." Shortly, a sign reads, "East 829 Nevada." Go straight. Come to a T-junction and go right, following signs to NV 338 "Bridgeport." After 14.6 miles from this last junction, come to a dirt road right (west) marked "050" with signs "Desert Cr 9 Risue Cyn 12 Topaz P.O. 23 U.S. 395 23." Take this dirt road, otherwise known as Risue Road. It is slightly washboarded, but otherwise good. Come to a three-way junction in 0.2 miles. Go right, and in 50 yards, a sign reads, "Desert Creek 8 Eastside Ln 16." Continue past two dirt roads to the left with wire gates, and in 3.3 miles from pavement, come to a dirt road on the left with an old post. Park here off the road. High clearance vehicles and 4WDs can continue up this dirt road about 0.8 mile to the mouth of the canyon.
Climb: From Risue Road, follow the dirt road with the old post through a wire gate. Shortly come to a meadow on your left, which is profuse with blue irises in the spring and early summer. Pass through another wire gate, and in about 100 yards, go past a residence. Go around to the left to find a good use trail that continues up Little Smith Valley. This tracks to the left of the creek bed. In a mile, come to a dirt road, which is followed left (south). You will gain a view of the two peaks to your left (east). Head cross-country or, at first, follow a faint jeep track, to the rightmost of the two saddles between the two peaks. Climb right (south) once the saddle is reached, passing beautiful snags along the ridge, to the summit of Middle Sister.
To climb East Sister, too, descend and traverse to the northern saddle and work, through unpleasantly thick mountain mahogany, to the left of the ridge up to East Sister. Once one is a few hundred feet above the northern saddle, the ridgeline proper is clear of most of the thick brush and mountain mahogany. Follow the ridge north to the top. A fast scree run can be made on the other (north) side of East Sister, with about 0.5 mile straight down back to the approach trail/track.
WINTER SKI ASCENT: See Desert Creek Peak, Winter Ski Ascent.
TRIP STATS: Route A, 3,500 feet gain, 8-10 miles round trip.