North Sister Climber's Log
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|rick6003||Wacko Ladie's Route |
Date Climbed: Aug 23, 2014
|It was our second time to climb the mountain. Last year was a late start in late September. This time ,we left around 6 am from Arrowhead lake. Snow was about halfway up the scree slope so we climbed up this way. After getting up above this point, I gassed out and the other 3 continued up the mountain. We could see another group of 7 above us. |
The Terrible Traverse still had a pretty decent patch of snow that was rock hard and icy, the group of 7 decided to quit here.
Just before here the other guy in our group of 4 decided it was far enough for him that day.
The Wacko Ladies decided that they were going to summit this time around. After climbing the upper edge of the 50 degree snow bank and using a half rope to get back on the trail. Continuing on around the mountain they missed the Bowling Alley, making it a 5.8 to 5.9 climb to the Summit. Very limited protection but others had been up this way before having left some gear.
Coming down from the summit required 3 pitches with the short rope. All in all a pretty good day with a little adventure thrown in.
|Posted Sep 11, 2014 10:47 pm|
|bedellympian||stormy but fun |
Date Climbed: May 3, 2014
|via SE ridge, easy and solid rime on summit, lots of fun, stormy conditions, windy/low vis|
|Posted May 21, 2014 2:34 pm|
|johngo||annotated photos |
Date Climbed: Sep 11, 2013
|After six summits of this peak, and reading about many people who have route finding issues on it, I decided to post a trip report and annotated photos of the upper mountain. Please see the North Sister album section and look for North Sister - annotated route photos.|
|Posted Oct 4, 2013 2:50 pm|
|calebEOC||North Ridge |
Date Climbed: Aug 24, 2013
|Came up the ridge that starts at the southern base of Collier Cone. Fun route, long climb day with a predawn start and post sunset return to the car. We were the only group on the mountain this fine summer day. We avoided the terrible traverse, but had some route finding to do underneath the glisan pinnacle that included some 4th class scrambling and a ledge traverse with an icy/muddy finish to access the bowling alley.|
|Posted Aug 25, 2013 1:57 pm|
|bedellympian||not in summer|
Date Climbed: Jul 4, 2012
|What the other guy said... a giant pile of poop. I enjoy scrambling but this was annoying. We tried to go right side of the ridge, my buddy having misread the route info. Decided to turn back after one look at that side of the mountain and the steep snow field we'd have to cross in 85 degree heat. I won't go back until its covered with snow and frozen solid.|
|Posted Aug 19, 2012 3:13 pm|
|Nick Turtura||Never again |
Date Climbed: Aug 11, 2012
|This is one big pile of stuff! Reading all the stuff on it we brought an extra 50 pounds of rock gear just to be safe. Turns out there was snow and ice on the traverse. Our rock gear did very little without any pickets and screws. We had axes and crampons so we lead out a good 50 meter line. (obviously only to retrieve a dead body after a swing of 50m) Once through the travers we thought we'd use all that pro we brought. Nope. The bowling alley and above was a cinch. Even if we wanted to use pro, the rock up there is GARBAGE. We did rap down bowling alley. Than back at the travers, instead of being stupid twice we down climbed under the drift, crossed over and up the other side to the start. Much safer. All and all, if there wasn't a drift right in the travers this mountain would not need any gear. However be ready for loose stuff everywhere.|
|Posted Aug 12, 2012 3:11 am|
|bc44caesar||Southeast Ridge |
Date Climbed: Aug 2, 2011
|Started at Pole Ck TH at 4:45 am, left the trail after Soap Ck and hiked easily cross-country to the Southwest Ridge. Terrible Traverse was steep snow, Bowling Alley was solid scrambling with almost no rockfall. Summitted after somewhat less than 5 hrs and with lots of wind. Went on to climb Middle and South Sister in a 12hr 40min Sisters Marathon.|
|Posted Aug 3, 2011 8:47 pm|
|iquest4it||The Marathon - Part B |
Date Climbed: Aug 13, 2010
|We ran out of time and conditions earlier in the year just 200 feet from the summit, but this time I did it on my solo Marathon trip. There's no secret why they call this the "Ugly" Sister. I could tell you about the many false chutes, the horribly rotten rock,the "Terrible" traverse, the 70 degree ice face over a 2,500 foot garbage chute, or the crushed fingers I sustained, but the bottom line is I did three sisters all by myself in just two days, and I did one of the twice. What more can a I say, other than a rope to rap down would have been really nice.|
|Posted Dec 25, 2010 6:34 am|
|millsb40||South Ridge |
Date Climbed: Aug 23, 2010
|This is a pretty straight forward climb (surprisingly). Around the first couple gendarmes on the left, around one on the right and then the traverse. It was rock and debris for the first 1/2 of the traverse and then very hard snow for the second half. Used a rope and 2 pickets (crampons and ice ax also) for that portion. The bowling alley wasn't obvious at first. You can look up the bowling alley and see the rappel slings on the upper right, if you don’t see those, you're not in the alley. Didn't use a rope on the way up, it was pretty easy. Rappelled down since we packed the rope, but I down climbing would have been do-able. Camped in the saddle Southwest of Collier Glacier, did Middle Sister later that morning and went back to the vehicle at Obsidian trailhead.|
|Posted Aug 24, 2010 5:54 pm|
|RetroGear||NE Arete |
Date Climbed: Jul 10, 2010
|Approach from Pole Creek to Soap Creek meadows. Our original plan was to climb the east face (left edge of Villard Glacier) route. Due to concerns about rock fall we went up the slopes along the NE Arete.|
We climbed to the saddle between Glisan and Prouty. Unfortunately time was running late so we tagged the top of Glisan and went out the way we came. Nice glissading on lower slopes.
|Posted Aug 2, 2010 12:58 am|
|kraymes||Ridge N of Bowling Alley |
Date Climbed: Jul 10, 1990
|Walked past (heading north) the Bowling Alley chute and then turned up some divet and climbed some arete-like volcanic choss and summitted. Rappleyea was so freaked at the summit he refused to stand up. Sure felt like an idiot going down the bowling alley cuz we sure did get off route.|
|Posted Jul 12, 2010 11:54 pm|
|mandrake||SE Ridge |
Date Climbed: Aug 26, 2007
|Amazingly sucky rock.|
|Posted Jan 8, 2010 4:34 pm|
|Snowslogger||2/3 Marathon, Epic #4 |
Date Climbed: Sep 1, 1995
|Climbed this and Middle Sis as part of a 3 Sisters marathon attempt, ended up bailing off S. Sis and doing a very very long circumnavigation around S. Sis in the dark. Went up the North (Ugly) Sister a 2nd time, from Pole Creek.|
|Posted Dec 28, 2009 12:54 am|
|alpinedon||Black Beast Of The Cascades|
|Did this climb with some new friends and some Obsidian members, good size group, but made good time. I chose to climb the summit rocks unroped, though some chose to use a fixed line. Really enjoyable day, the couple that went on the climb ended up engaged before we returned to camp.|
|Posted Nov 22, 2009 10:06 pm|
|rmick25||Finally Northy |
Date Climbed: Aug 11, 2009
|Third time was a charm! Conditions finally permitted. Route wasn't nearly as difficult or exposed as previously thought. Damn fun and rock in upper bowling alley was surprisingly solid all things considered. Took sweet route (5.3?)up left side of Bowling alley to summit|
|Posted Sep 4, 2009 3:36 pm|
|JGHarrison||First Cascades climb|
Date Climbed: Jun 21, 2009
|as of this morning conditions up high were not real great. an inch or two of snow over mud. We went to high on the ridge instead of cutting over to the traverse, so we ended up doing a bunch of sketchy crazy scrambling. Great times, but the mountain is not in real good shape right now|
|Posted Jun 22, 2009 12:20 am|
|rmick25||Re: First Cascades climb|
|Turns out we were to low! Couldn't believe it either. James and I along with another friend finally climbed it early Aug.|
|Posted Sep 4, 2009 3:31 pm|
|olsenn||If it doesn't seem right, it probably isn't |
Date Climbed: Sep 13, 2008
|Once we got up on the SE ridge we were able to follow a climbers trail fairly well. After joining the S ridge the going was fine. We stayed L of the 1st gendarme, followed a trail R of the 2nd, and passed L of the next. It didn't get too interesting until the dinner-plate loose shale. We started to get too high, and did better a little lower. The bowling alley was trickier than I remembered, and my daughter required a belay up the lower portion of it. Then the last bit up to between the horns didn't go nearly as high as I remembered, and I got stimied on the pitch back to the left and up- huge exposure and definitely not 4th class. About this point I realized that inspite of being warned, there being footprints of others going that way, there being a couple belay stations, and having been up this once before, I had gotten us into the false bowling alley. All-in-all this wasted almost an hour. We back tracked down then up the true bowling alley and to the top. The weather was great. There was practically no snow. Bottom line- if it seems too hard, you're likely in the wrong place. |
The 1st time up this I took 2 days. This time with 2 very fit people, traveling very light, jogging when we could we took a little over 5 hrs- 11:15am to 4:45pm. We bagged Middle, then descended the glacier. Even with the warm weather, the bottem end of that was steep and hard engough that I wished I hadn't left the ice axes in the car.
|Posted Sep 17, 2008 1:20 pm|
|oregonrpa||North Sister/Three Sisters marathon |
Date Climbed: Sep 6, 2008
|Climbed North Sister via SE ridge route as first part of Three Sister's marathon. Began at Pole Creek trailhead, finished at Devil's Lake trailhead. First time on North or Middle. Great conditions, snow and ice free on Terrible Traverse and Bowling Alley. |
First 30 feet of terrible traverse proved to be the worst with very loose dinner-plate rock, but after that it was easily crossed. My partner and I met two other climbers as we crossed the traverse and then all 4 of us made the common mistake of taking the "false" bowling alley and wasting valuable time. Eventually we realized we were in the wrong chute and down-climbed, then back up the real bowling alley.
Stupid mistake, especially since we had read reports of many climbers doing this. Won't do that again. Two of us proceeded to summit after free-climbing the alley, and then down-climbing, without ropes. There were rap slings in place near the top of the bowling alley. Lots of rockfall as usually described.
Summiting North was by far the most satisfying of the three peaks climbed, and definitely worth the trip.
|Posted Sep 9, 2008 1:13 pm|
|cascadetraveler||South ridge climb/Traverse. |
Date Climbed: Aug 3, 2008
|I had attempted North Sister only once before, back in July of 05' I had missed opportunity in 06'and 07' I was about to lose my opportunity again when I came to the conclusion that I would have to lead it myself. When my Mt Adams via Mazama glacier climb cancelled due to forest fire I siezed the opportunity.|
I had one guy left that was still willing to do an adventure and we headed over to tackle The Black Beast of the Cascades. I had not climbed with Ivan before but he had more than enough experiance to be a solid second on the Terrible Traverse and Bowling Alley. The only thing we needed to do was brush up on glacier travel and rescue skills. WE spent a couple of hours the first day in camp working on the those skills.
We woke up at and departed camp at 3:00am and passed through the Hayden glacier without a blink, The melt out at the saddle made the crossing to the Collier glacier a bit more difficult. We were on the south ridge by a little after 6:00am The highlites were chopping and kicking steps across and back on the traverse on fifty degree snow. Belaying Ivan up the bowling alley and finally finding the only solid rock on the mountain in the summit block. The low was breaking down camp and packing out with what seemed like an 80 pound pack uhgg!
|Posted Aug 6, 2008 10:02 am|