North Sister Climber's Log

Viewing: 1-20 of 62

Decon - Mar 13, 2024 8:57 am Date Climbed: Aug 23, 2018

Smoky  Sucess!

with the forest fires and all the smoke in the air - we ended up being alone on the mountain.


Andinistaloco - Dec 25, 2023 4:00 pm Date Climbed: Aug 28, 2022

Good stuff  Sucess!

Great day. Didn't think the end of the climb was as technical or loose as many reports would have you believe, but it never hurts to be prepared for the worst. Stellar views of the other volcanoes too.


Levi - Oct 6, 2022 1:12 am Date Climbed: Oct 5, 2022

One for the record books  Sucess!

Left obsidian th at 9:30am(ish), back to the car at 10pm. Long slog up to the col. Then lots of decently fun scree. The terrible traverse and bowling alley weren't nearly as difficult as expected. Used a 50m rope and did 2 raps down the BA. Watched sunset from the Collier and North Sister looked amazing! Down to the PCT in the dark wasn't that fun. Lots of dinner plate sliding. Great adventure; definitely top 5.


Moogie737 - May 7, 2021 8:13 pm Date Climbed: May 5, 2021

Linn Glacier, NE Ridge  Sucess!

#1 05-05-21 With Lana & guide, Brad Ward of TMG. What a mountain! I'd never ever tackle it without snow. Our weather window was near perfect. Camped at 7,330' and left at 4am. Reached the vaunted summit 5 hours later. Saw the famous bowling alley from a distance and were glad we had taken another route. Hiked in from and out to the Pole Creek TH. We had the mountain to ourselves, a not uncommon occurrence according to Brad.


yadahzoemtn - May 7, 2021 7:26 pm Date Climbed: May 5, 2021

Bluebird Day  Sucess!

Timberline guide, Brad showed us the way. Incredible mountain with magnificent views. Steep snow. We went up the east face to gain the North ridge. Then skirted down the west face to make our way past some spires. Obtained the saddle and ascended the col on the east up to the summit. So glad to have done this one with snow!! Truly loved this mountain.


blueshade - Aug 15, 2020 10:18 pm Date Climbed: Jul 24, 2020

Mostly fun   Sucess!

Terrible Traverse was definitely in. Bowling alley was fairly chill and not really that loose. Lower ridge was annoyingly loose gravel. Route finding was fairly obvious. Added Middle in after that we could have done all TH to TH but instead camped.


mattcookoregon - Feb 3, 2020 8:39 am Date Climbed: Aug 21, 2019

Summit from Pole Creek  Sucess!

Started at East Pole Creek Trailhead at 3AM, ended around 8PM. Sometimes you get lucky with the snow levels at the terrible traverse and sometimes you do not. A few groups were up there, one summited without any ropes or gear, I wouldn't recommend that. Be safe.

Here is a video showing my summit and information:

Cliff44 - Aug 8, 2019 7:33 pm Date Climbed: Aug 5, 2019

SE ridge  Sucess!

Went up the SE ridge thinking it would be a more direct path to the summit. It was, but ultimately may have added time avoiding all the rock spires. Slow going and lots of loose rock on that SE ridge. There is snow on the "Terrible Traverse," a fact that I scoured the internet and failed to find. Seems like it will be there for at least a couple more weeks. I was glad we took crampons and ice axes because without them we would not have summited. I found the Bowling Alley very easy to scramble up and ended up finding the rope unnecessary. Somewhat fun climb on some terribly loose rock.


kgrosserhode - Sep 4, 2018 8:11 pm Date Climbed: Sep 3, 2018

Persistence Pays Off  Sucess!

I was unsatisfied with all of the trip reports I'd read, unable to tell if North Sister could be a non-technical climb. So, I decided to check it out myself and see if I needed to learn how to be a technical climber. We went from Pole Creek (Labor Day Weekend, Obsidian passes sold out), leaving the car at 7:45am. We went up the SE ridge, going cross-country from the Chambers Lakes Trail. I summited at 2:12pm. I only climbed to one of the summit peaks as there were too many people on the other and my husband was waiting for me below the Traverse. The Terrible Traverse was not terrible at all and the Bowling Alley is like a boulderer's dream, a beautiful and easy climb on good rock. If you have climbed Thielsen, then North Sister will be no problem for you. We descended the SE ridge at met the trail at Soap Creek and arrived at the car at 6:20pm. So happy to have all 3 Sisters accomplished! Happy climbing!


Harvest - Jul 25, 2018 9:14 pm Date Climbed: Jul 25, 2018

South Ridge  Sucess!

Solo ascent of the South Ridge Route 7/25/18


gimpilator - Oct 20, 2017 2:51 pm Date Climbed: Aug 2, 2017

35 peaks in 16 days  Sucess!

Road trip! We protected the snow traverse with pickets and did Middle on the way back. Trip report

Noah (Oregon)

Noah (Oregon) - Jul 25, 2017 2:57 pm Date Climbed: Jul 1, 2017

July 1st Summit  Sucess!

We got to Obsidian TH at 9pm. By 11:30pm we had hiked (with headlamps) quite high onto the mountain and found a place for our bivy sacks. We slept from midnight until 5:30 and were hiking up the mountain again by 6am. The snow slopes and glaciers were fine all the way until North Sister's summit ridge. From there, the snow disappeared and we picked our way up truly terrible scree, choss, talus, and loose rock (I am not being redundant). The Terrible Traverse was a super steep snow field and we crossed it with pickets, axes and a lot of front-pointing. The Bowling Alley was all rock, loose, and scary but we made it up to the South Horn, took some pictures and then crossed back over to the North Horn (true summit). Amazing view, room for two (but not three) people on the summit. The downclimbing was no easier and we actually belayed each other through the Bowling Alley. The long climb and hike back to Obsidian was much more enjoyable having made the summit. In all, perfect weather, a great team (Jon and Eric), and the summit success made this the best 15 hour climbing day I've had in many years.

highrvrking - Sep 29, 2016 1:45 pm Date Climbed: Sep 28, 2016

Late Season Solo  Sucess!

Thanks to Johngo for the excellent beta! Definitely check out his trip report and see the annotated figures if you're looking for resources on this mountain.

Excellent weather and mountain conditions. Satisfying summit.

1:40 to the climber's trail at a moderate clip. Look for a wide flat area off the the right of the trail. It looked like there would be room for 2-3 parties to camp. The climber's trail leaves the main trail just beyond here. If its your first time, I'd recommend that you have some daylight/twilight to follow the climber's trail.



96avs01 - Sep 12, 2016 10:23 pm Date Climbed: Sep 10, 2016

Finally  Sucess!

After originally reaching the Bowling Alley in the Spring of 2007, only to have my partner take a fall on some peeling verglass and a subsequent retreat, we finally crossed this mountain off the 'Shit list'. Took a couple of tries on different routes to overcome conditions and AMS issues. We found the glacier to be quite healthy this year from the West, lacking appropriate gear we retreated and opted to dayhike from the East. Went up the SE Ridge, down the Hayden Glacier trail. To quote a climber we met on our summit day "I've now got a great deal of beta for a mountain I'll never climb again." Rewarding, glad to have it off my list!

Bob Burd

Bob Burd - Sep 23, 2014 5:08 pm Date Climbed: Sep 8, 2014

SE Spur  Sucess!

Fine day with Bob Sumner. Third time's the charm. Trip Report.


rick6003 - Sep 11, 2014 10:47 pm Date Climbed: Aug 23, 2014

Wacko Ladie's Route  Sucess!

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.


bedellympian - May 21, 2014 2:34 pm Date Climbed: May 3, 2014

stormy but fun  Sucess!

via SE ridge, easy and solid rime on summit, lots of fun, stormy conditions, windy/low vis


johngo - Oct 4, 2013 2:50 pm Date Climbed: Sep 11, 2013

annotated photos  Sucess!

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.


calebEOC - Aug 25, 2013 1:57 pm Date Climbed: Aug 24, 2013

North Ridge  Sucess!

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.


bedellympian - Aug 19, 2012 3:13 pm Date Climbed: Jul 4, 2012

not in summer

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.

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