South Sister Climber's Log
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|Erik Zadow||Route Climbed: South Ridge Date Climbed: August 17, 20003|
|Was a very long, steep, dusty 5 hour climb from Devil's Lake Trailhead. Non-Technical this time of year, as they say, but would definitely want crampons and an ice axe in winter as the last 1300-foot pitch is fairly steep and loose. The trail itself I didn't find all that spectacular, as the overall terrain is very barren and dusty, add to that at least 100 people on a Sunday, it didn't make for the most pleasant climb. However, it was satisfying to summit, as this is definitely a lung-burner! It is a fairly "easy" climb as far as big mountains go. After a lot of determination and endurance, you will be rewarded at the top with a beautiful snow-filled crater and the Teardrop Pool, and incredible views of every peak in the Southern Cascades. I would recommend avoiding summer weekends, as I spent a lot of time waiting for the crowds to clear the trail (more like a playground than a wilderness); and ski poles would have been beneficial on the glissade back down. There are much prettier climbs in Oregon, but I feel a great satisfaction from the accomplishment. -Erik Zadow, Portland, OR|
|Posted Aug 20, 2003 2:30 am|
|littledeadant||Route Climbed: south ridge Date Climbed: August 9, 2003|
|Took 4 1/2 hours to summit from Devils Lake trailhead. Temperature was perfect, come and go clouds, not many hikers for a Saturday, mostly clear on the summit. A couple of runners dressed only in short shorts and low top running shoes were impressing the hell out of all us walkers. They said they took an hour and 50 minutes to reach the south summit from Devils Lake. Hmmmmmm. Met a couple above Lewis Glacier who said they were 75 and 76 years old. Now that's impressive! Of course they made it to the top. Nobody quits above Lewis Glacier! Was accosted by a forest ranger working on the trail who wanted to see my Northwest Forest Pass. Why did he pick on me?! Did I look like I sneaked on to the mountain through some illegal back door? When I threatened to show it to him he backed off and the confrontation ended. (I had a pass but it was not visible). The incident kind of put me off a little bit as there were other people present whose passes were not showing and I was the only one he spoke to. Despite that it was a good experience overall, one I'd do again. Let's see, the hike is listed as 5 1/2 miles up so if I averaged 18 minute miles I could reach the summit in one hour 39 minutes thus beating the hotshots by 11 minutes. Scuse me. Gotta go train.|
|Posted Aug 20, 2003 12:21 am|
|Don Nelsen||Route Climbed: south ridge Date Climbed: Aug. 14, 2003|
|Perfect day for this most picturesque route. Very clear views - we could even make out Mt. Adams on the horizon more than 140 miles distant. Mosquitos were bad as usual on the lower 1.5 miles (from Devils Lake trailhead). I've climbed this one about 6 or 7 times over the years and it's one of the best for views.|
|Posted Aug 19, 2003 10:39 am|
|amochka||Route Climbed: South Ridge Date Climbed: June 8, 2003|
|Great climb. Still a lot of snow this time of year, which made following trail difficult from Devil's Lake trailhead to the timberline. GPS and compass were useful when we descended and wanted to find the right spot to re-enter the treeline. |
Wanted to start at 2 a.m., but couldn't see well enough on moonless night to actually begin the trail to timberline. Actual start: 5 am. Amazing views on the way up. Only six other climbers that day. We practically had the mountain to ourselves. Beautiful opalescent lake forming at base of Lewis Glacier. Several large crevasses on the glacier made the pumice ridge to the summit a more appealing (and safe) option.
The face of the mountain leading up to the ridge at the base of Lewis glacier was a real slog up...slow going, but not difficult, just tedious.
Plan to do this mountain again in summer to see the change in landscape.
Cheeseburgers and beer at Deschutes Brewing in Bend made any slogging that day worth it all!
|Posted Jul 27, 2003 11:22 am|
|Bob Bolton||Route Climbed: South Ridge Date Climbed: July 6, 2003|
|I slept in the back of my 4Runner at Devils Lake with the intent of soloing. Gorgeous day except for the fires both north and south of the peak. It was my first solo of a volcano. 26th and 27th Oregon county highpoints (Lane and Deschutes).|
|Posted Jul 17, 2003 8:20 pm|
|Cornvallis||Route Climbed: South Ridge Date Climbed: September 7th & 21st, 2002|
|Camped at Devils Lake. Started off under sunny skys and a clear view of the summit, but as we came out of the forest onto Wickiup Plain a full view of the now cloud capped Sister greeted us. Snow level was at 6,000 ft. very low for early September, but this is Oregon, gotta love it! Continued across the moonscape like rolling plain watching the mountain hoping the clouds would lift, but they never did. They just clung to the upper portions of the mountain teasing us with very brief periods of partial clearing. The temperature dropped quickly as we climbed and just above the Lewis Glacier moraine at about 9,000 ft. we entered the clouds and left the view behind for the remander of the climb. I thought I was climbing to heaven, nothing but white and silence, other than my own breathing. When I reached the false summit there was a brisk wind and a temperature in the mid twenties. Walked around the rim to the summit, which wasn't visible from the false summit on this day, to complete my climb. Came back two weeks later to climb under cloudless skys to get the views that we missed. Beautiful place to be!|
|Posted Jul 16, 2003 7:33 pm|
|dkantola||Route Climbed: South Side Date Climbed: May 26, 2003|
|At about 3:30 a.m. I set out on snowshoes from the Devils Lake trailhead. I cached my snowshoes at the top of the plateau and followed an established boottrack up to the base of the Lewis Glacier. There it became very windy and I put on crampons.|
Crossing the summit crater the wind picked up dramatically. I crawled on hands and knees to peek my head over the summit cornice, where the winds were 70+ mi/hr, gusting higher. At this point I watched as one of my expensive overmitts flew out of my grasp and over the precipice.
I hadn't seen anyone else for this solo ascent, but since it was Memorial Day I met dozens of people on the way down. Once I got back to the base of the Lewis Glacier I could see the giant lenticular cloud hovering to the east. After a few glissades and a long, tedious slog across the very wet snow of the plateau, I finally made it back to the trailhead by early afternoon.
On that day massive lenticular clouds were hanging over most of the Cascade volcanoes, most notably Mt. Jefferson.
|Posted Jun 29, 2003 3:28 am|
|dkantola||Route Climbed: South Side Date Climbed: September 22, 2002|
|The loose, unmaintained, and very dusty use trail up South Sister isn't really a pleasant hike. Incredible up-close views of the volcanic landscape around the Three Sisters make it worth it though. It's also worthwhile to take a tour around the summit crater. When I went down to take a closer look at Teardrop Pool, I noticed bubbles rising to the surface and a sulfurous odor. It's evidence of volcanic activity on South Sister that I haven't read about anywhere else.|
|Posted Jun 29, 2003 1:59 am|
|cmc56789||Route Climbed: South Side Date Climbed: June 14, 2003|
|Climbed this solo under a full moon and Summited at 6:30 am, had the summit to myself. Views from jefferson to thielsen, with especially nice views to the south. I counted 37 people going up as i was descending.|
|Posted Jun 14, 2003 8:09 pm|
|ss92002||Route Climbed: ss-9 Date Climbed: August 24,2002|
|Started about 7 am from Devils Lake with our group of five and were immediately passed by serious trekkers with important mountain equipment. Telescoping poles are really an asset going up, and even more handy coming back down. The trek up was really tough on my poor hip joints (having the oldest joints in the group) but the summit and points in between were worth the pain. No bugs/rain/snow. The summit clouded up as soon as we arrived and it got kind of windy, but just before starting to descend we got the wonderful 360 view to take back in memory. Carry clothing for weather that can quickly sneak up on the mountain and can probably be very nasty. The best part of the experience was being able to make that journey with my two sons. Makes me smile.|
|Posted Mar 24, 2003 10:18 pm|
|nicci_lee||Route Climbed: Devil’s Lake Trail - South route Date Climbed: July 2002|
|Left Corvallis in the morning and departed from Devil’s Lake Trail head. Took a few hours up. Sorta crummy, weather was nice but the mountain is covered in scree. Beautiful day but not able to see anything because of the forest fires.|
|Posted Feb 6, 2003 4:26 pm|
|climberkristin||Route Climbed: South Ridge Date Climbed: October 20, 2002|
|If the weather holds, this is the perfect time of year to climb. No mosquitos, no heat exhaustion, you actually use the layers you bring, and less people! |
We camped the night before, cold but we crammed 3 in a 2 person tent, helps with the heat! Up early, 5:00-ish and hit the trail around 5:30am. By the time the sun rose around 7, we were already climbing out of the trees. Much better place to watch the fantastic sunrise exploding across the sky!
Pretty much just a long, scree-filled, snow scattered, steep hike. My friend unfortunately got altitude sickness, which can't be planned for so she had to go back down. The rest of us summited just in time to get a great view of Broken Top, the other Sisters and then the clouds rushed in and hustled us out of there. Took us 9 hours total, and we weren't running, it was fabulous and I would do it again! Next time, the dog's coming, with his boots of course!
|Posted Nov 25, 2002 4:10 pm|
|tymelero||Route Climbed: South Ridge Date Climbed: 10/26/2002|
|We camped in the car Friday night at Devil’s Lake Trail head. We got up the next morning, ate and left at 8am in 25 degree temperatures. The day was fairly nice until we started up the red ridge section of the south ridge when it started to snow. We were not sure if the weather was going to clear or not. Once we reached the false summit the clouds parted and the sun shined. It was warm and beautiful. There were so many clouds you could not see any other mountains including the other sisters.|
Although I am glad I summated this mountain it was the most boring summit I have done. The hike is just a long slog to the top. A good one to bag but not by much.
|Posted Nov 5, 2002 3:26 pm|
|crirwin||Route Climbed: South Ridge Date Climbed: October 20, 2002|
|Left Portland, OR about 9:00pm Saturday night for a last minute end of the season solo climb and hit Devils Lake Trailhead about 12:45am Sunday morning. It was a beautiful moonlit night and I could see the Three Sisters as I drove into Bend. Climbed into the back of my van for a few hours of sleep. Arose the next morning to low level clouds and hit the trail about 7:00am. The fog and clouds finally cleared as I crossed the long plateau above Moraine Lake and got my first full view of the mountain. The bright red color of the rock on the south summit is truly unique. The weather remained mostly clear above me. Except for one group about 200 yards in front of me and two groups that I passed as they were descending I felt like the only person on the mountain. |
The weather held until I reached the summit rim when clouds seemed to engulf the mountain. In the 5-10 minutes that it took me to reach the true summit on the other side of the crater visibility was down to about 50-100 feet. I couldn't even see Teardrop Lake. I have to admit it was an eerie feeling sitting there all alone in the clouds and the wind. Grabbed a handful of M&Ms (don't leave home without them!) called home to tell everyone I was still alive, and made my way down. Passed a few more groups on the way down.
It was a fun day even though I didn't get to see the great view from the summit that I've heard so much about. Looking forward to trying again next year.
|Posted Oct 23, 2002 1:59 pm|
|rodemiller||Route Climbed: Devil's Lake (South) Date Climbed: 19-OCT-2002|
|Looking for a rare photo opportunity I left the Devil's Lake trailhead at 1:30pm hiking solo, with the intent of returning under moonlight. Weather was perfect indian summer. The shaded trek through first section of the trail before Moraine Lake was dry and cool. Few cars along the roadside was a good indication that there were few hikers on the summit. The first group of people I saw just after passing Moraine Lake around 2:30PM. Because the Fall has been so dry the next 4 miles of the hike, including the summit itself, was exceptionally dry and dusty. But with so few people either going up or coming down this was not an issue. I reached the false summit at 5:15PM having passed the last party coming down the ridge about a half hour before. I reached the summit around 5:30PM and hiked along the ridge to take sunset photos in all directions, esp. shots of the Middle and North Sisters to the North. I walked back to the summit proper to take photos of the full moon rising around 6:15PM. Exceptional! The sun was still setting in the West at the same time.|
Came down first with a head lamp as the moon was still not high enough to illuminate the East side of the ridge and trail. The moonlight walk back across the flats past Moraine Lake was stunning. Not a soul out except for myself and the moon. Met up with another party as the trail descended back into the wooded valley to Devil's Lake. Was back at the trailhead at 8:30pm a little foot-sore but with almost two full rolls of of shot film.
|Posted Oct 20, 2002 10:30 am|
|rmjwinters||Route Climbed: South Ridge Date Climbed: July 1998|
|Climbed in the fog and clouds all day. Clouds broke long enough for views of the other Sisters and Broken Top. Left from Devils Lake to Green Lakes.|
|Posted Oct 5, 2002 9:52 pm|
|Hoolio2||Route Climbed: Green lakes route Date Climbed: 30 August 2002|
|Started out from the Green Lakes TH at 0413 with head lamps, there were several people sleeping in cars at the parking lot. We reached green lake about when the sun was coming up. Several campers were camped at the lake. Crossing a small creek on logs and following a creek up the steep rocky trail we made our way along a sometimes unrecognizable trail. Look for rocks stacked as trail markers or just shoot for the small peak at the bottom of Lewis glacier. The trail traversed across this peak above a small lake at the bottom of Lewis glacier. We were the first ones to arrive here but with binoculars we could see several hikers coming across the rolling flats below. After much work and many breaks we reached the false summit at 1030 and a beautiful view of the real summit across the crater. A short 10 min hike around the right side of the crater and we were the first ones at the summit with spectacular views of Mt adams to Mt Shasta. We stayed for 90 minutes and ate lunch and took some photos and talked with some people who later arrived. On the way down we were surprised to see many people with inproper footware and NO WATER?? This is a trecherous hike at best, I can't imagine trying it in tennis shoes with no water, what were these people thinking. The round trip took 11 hours including several breaks and detours on the way down. (took ss trail down and crossed at moraine lake back to green lake trail). Once back at the car we both exclaimed never again and drove our sore bodies back to Redmond, but 2 days later we agreed to another trip up with friends.|
|Posted Sep 10, 2002 11:55 am|
|jgoodell||Route Climbed: South Side Devil's Lake Date Climbed: September 1, 2002|
|Camped on the South end of Sparks Lake, canoed across the lake by moonlight at 4:30 a.m., hit the Devil's Lake TH at 6:00 a.m. and reached the summit about 10:20. The "Endless Red Ridge" above Lewis Glacier was exactly as I remember it the last time I climbed SS 30 years ago--long and painful. Scott and I were on the summit for an hour, then trotted back down as quickly as we could. A couple of breaks to check feet and take pictures and we were back at the car by 2:00. Don't listen to people who complain about this route. It's well-marked (as close to a freeway as a mountain can have) and the scenery is incredible from start to finish.|
|Posted Sep 6, 2002 9:54 am|
|cluck||Route Climbed: South side via Green Lakes Date Climbed: August 4 2002|
|Would highly recommend the Green Lakes approach versus the standard south side from Devils Lake or Moraine Lake.|
Ample, though restricted, camping at Green Lakes with beautiful views. Access to climb Broken Top from same base.
Climbed with 6 people and saw exactly zero other people on the Green Lakes climbing approach until we intersected with the main climbing trail just below the Lewis Glacier.
In late season it was just a trail, then rock and scree scamble. Early season I'm sure crampons and an ice ax would be helpful for some steep sections on the Green Lakes ascent route.
|Posted Aug 25, 2002 12:31 pm|
|jgoodell||Route Climbed: Green Lakes to South Ridge Date Climbed: August, 1972|
|Climbed with a large party of family and friends. I was 11 years old. It was miserably slow waiting for everyone on the way up, but romping down the scree back to Green Lakes was great.|
|Posted Aug 23, 2002 10:39 am|