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South Sister Climber's Log

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Mike D'Great Success  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Sep 13, 2014
Awesome weather meant crazy afternoon crowded trail, good thing our group of five left early enough.
Posted Mar 31, 2016 12:49 pm

Tom RobinsonYoungest at the time  Sucess!

Tom Robinson

Made the south ridge with five Mountaineers adults soon after my eighth birthday. I found it exhausting, and enjoyed the glissading back down the most fun, even though I had no ice axe and kept sliding all over the place roped to a parent above and below me.

I later became a Scout leader, Outward Bound instructor, and whitewater guide, and I'm sure the initial inspiration was the success of getting up the South Ridge at such a young age. The adults searched the register then and could find no previous climber younger than 10, so that was a source of pride for many years.
Posted Jan 26, 2016 1:34 am

mcdonaldjoshFirst real mountain  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 12, 2005
My first real experience with mountain climbing, this was my gateway to becoming a climber. Started at Devil's Lake and ascended via the South Ridge.
Posted Dec 13, 2015 1:43 pm

GlennOkay for a 10'er  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Oct 15, 2015


I timed the trip right as far a weather is concerned using mountain-forecast.com (this is a reliable weather information source for climbers). Spent the night in my truck at Devils Lake campground - very few people there and at nearby campgrounds this late in the season.

Started the hike at 6am and took my time using the 1000ft per hour approach. Reached the Summit proper at 10:58 - that was after about 15 minutes of chatting with three other climbers on the rim who started about a half hour before me. Also talked to two ladies who had taken a different route over night. Other than that no one else on top.

Spend a half hour - eating and taking pics before heading back down. The scree is an issue - it just makes more work for every step than on many other peaks....not a favorite for me by any means...and really a long approach for reaching the base...so for a 10,000ft reward - it was just okay in my humble opinion.

Wore a untried pair of hiking boots usually only use hking shoes when no snow - but was worried about rock in the shoe - was a bad choice since the boots were a little off on the downhill and hurting my toe nails LOL That meant 3 hours down to the trail-head instead of two. 8.5 hours total including lunch.
Posted Oct 22, 2015 10:21 pm

Nick TurturaFirst time with my son  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Sep 3, 2015

Nick Turtura

This was a fun trip with my wife and 10 year old son.

Left Eugene at 5:30am.
Left TH at 8:30am.
Summited at 1:00pm.
Returned to TH at 5:00.
Spent plenty of time eating and enjoying the summit.

8.5 Hours round trip. I hope this helps as an accurate timeline for young or maybe not so in shape hikers.
Posted Sep 9, 2015 8:24 pm

SummiteerRe: Hot


Hi there! I'll be climbing South Sister next week and wondered if teardrop pool at the summit is there or gone already? Also, did you camp at Moraine lake and if you did, were all of the sites taken?
Posted Aug 19, 2015 11:51 am

beaudaddy85Hot  Sucess!


Ascended south sister on one of the hotter days of the year. Started early, but still so damn hot.
Posted Aug 18, 2015 2:39 am

MlaskyBusy Peak  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 9, 2014


Overcast day. Summitted with 100s of others. :-)
Posted Jul 26, 2015 3:42 pm

JRaphaelsonScree  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 22, 2015


Quite easy given its 5000 feet of elevation. However, the scree is intolerably annoying and is one of the reasons this otherwise beautiful mountain wasn't my favorite peak in the Northwest.
Posted Jul 22, 2015 8:33 pm

dom6180Ready for the Season  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 18, 2015
Completed this summit on 18 Jun -- definitely one of the tougher mountains my wife and I have climbed (we've done several 14ers in Colorado). We were pleasantly surprised by the snow (or lack thereof) conditions on the mountain. Having read several reviews & trip reports prior to going, it seemed that most people do this hike in late July/early Aug. I was hoping that b/c that area had less snow this year, that it'd be doable mid-June. Fortunately it was -- we didn't encounter snow until about a mile after passing the Morraine Lake split. Even then, depending on the time of day you could trudge through the slushy snow or make a route through the rocks w/o having to even step in the snow. We started the hike a little before 7 so the snow was still a bit icy, but were were able to avoid walking in it w/ a couple exceptions. However, those areas were well travelled w/ footprints to follow. We had brought our snowshoes to OR w/ us just in case, but opted not to bring them on the trail--that was a good decision b/c we wouldn't have needed them. Several folks we saw had ice axes and crampons -- we just used hiking poles and they were sufficient; though you might consider bringing an ice ax if you intend on glissading down the mountain to help w/ doing a self-arrest (we just used our poles). The loose gravel as you reach the "red rocks" is tough -- definitely recommend wearing solid footwear w/ good traction. After the "false summit" you have the option of walking across a slightly uphill snowfield/glacier to the true summit or walking along a ridge to the right (don't follow the ridge to the left). We opted for the ridge on the way out and snowfield on the way back (much easier to travel down in snow than up). The entire trek took us 9 hours which included several glissades on the way down (tons of fun!).
Posted Jun 21, 2015 10:49 am

alexggoodwinVERY HOT
Date Climbed: Jul 10, 2014


Came down to Bend on a vacation and thought I'd five South Sister a try. It was incredibly hot that day; mid-90's. I didn't allow myself enough time to reach the summit and had to return in time for my next scheduled activity. Great day and views though! I'll be back next year to reach the summit.
Posted Apr 23, 2015 10:48 am

PNWPeaksGreat day on South Sister  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 24, 2013
Got an early start from Devils Lake and enjoyed the summit to myself before the morning crowds began to accumulate. Met a couple of nice groups up on the summit and shared stories and snacks. The weather was nice, but a bit hazy from some small fires in the area.
Posted Nov 1, 2014 8:38 pm

WalkoutnowBeautiful October day  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Oct 4, 2014


Could not ask for better weather. We really enjoyed this hike up to a summit with fantastic views. First time in the Bend area, will be back. Scree is not that bad at all.
Posted Oct 6, 2014 12:32 pm

Brian Kalet3 Peaks  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 22, 2014

Brian Kalet

With Devils Hill & Red Crater.
Posted Aug 25, 2014 2:06 pm

kdonaldsongroup climb  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 10, 2014


Group climb up the main route. No snow anywhere on the route all the way to the summit crater which still has snow. This snow is well consolidated and easy to walk across. Bit smoky in the morning on the way up but wind changed directions and by the trek down all clear around.
Posted Aug 21, 2014 8:28 pm

bbStandard route  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 10, 2014
was here
Posted Aug 5, 2014 7:17 pm

gregliefHazy due to wildfires  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 2, 2014


We started up at 11:00 pm so that we could reach the summit by sunrise. During the hike/climb we saw thousands of stars, which was fantastic. The trail is nearly snow-free, and the very few snow crossings are minor (no need for traction devices or other technical gear).

Unfortunately, after sunrise our views were thwarted by very hazy conditions due to wildfires (especially the Oregon Gulch fire near the California border, whose smoke was swept north by the jet stream). It was even difficult to see Middle and North Sister, which are right next to South Sister. Other more distant peaks (Washington, Jefferson, Hood, even Bachelor) were out of the question. Oh well... I guess we will have to return next year. On the descent we passed at least 100 people trudging upward!
Posted Aug 5, 2014 6:16 pm

scgrantSouth Sister  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 16, 2014


From the Devils Lake campground area. Really enjoyable hike. I got started very early and had the mountain to myself on the way up and the entire time on top. On the way down was a different story. Back down to the trailhead by 10 am. Oregon CoHP's #8 & 9 on this trip.
Posted Jul 26, 2014 12:46 am

punchlineFrom Devil's Lake TH  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 2, 2014


Spent the night at the Devil's Lake Trailhead and headed up at 6:30am. Talked to folks at the ranger station in Bend earlier in the week and they indicated 6' - 8' of snow on the route once you were out of the trees. That was partially true ... no snow on the scree slopes up to the summit. The ice axes and winter gear were overkill but most everyone that we saw on the hike looked to be conservative like us. Had to stop many times to assess the weather as a storm seemed to sort of hover NW and then slowly move around south of the mountain where it ended up by Mt. Bachelor. No issues with weather for us as it ended up. Glissading down some of the major slopes gained some time back. Fun but long day then off to Worthy Brewing in Bend to sample some of their beers and pizza!
Posted Jul 5, 2014 12:22 pm

Fairley8Beautiful summer hike  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Sep 24, 2011


We camped at Devil's Lake TH and started at 6am. Lots of scree and dust being kicked up as climbers descend on the upper sections. Probably saw 100 people on Saturday as it was literally the last day before snow would cover the mountain until the next summer. Summit views included Mt. Bachelor, Broken Top, Middle and North Sisters, Mt. Washington, and Mt. Jefferson. On the way down a thunderstorm came in and we saw a lightning bolt start a tree on fire.
Posted Jun 7, 2014 4:42 pm

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