Jacob, Jeremy, and I drove up to Portland from Utah for design meetings for Altra Footwear ( http://AltraZeroDrop.com ). We decided to stay overnight on the way there at Devil's Lake near Bend and the plan was to run to the top of South Sister the following morning. We got there with daylight to spare and ended up taking a nice run around Devil's Lake to shake out some of the cobwebs from the long drive. South Sister could be seen way off in the distance and looked very runnable with little to no snow. We broke out the tent and woke up the next morning COLD. There was ice everywhere from frozen dew, etc. as we packed up and got prepped to start our way up.
As we looked up at South Sister, we could see that she was now very much covered in snow. An overnight ice and snowstorm had left the mountain very much covered in snow and ice. Our view of the mountain from the car was one of pure snow. We were worried that this would definitely slow us and hopefully not prevent us from reaching the top.
We got everything together and took off for the top.
The Way Up
We started running nice and easy up the trail and found the trail to be very runnable. We took our first pictures at the Mount Bachelor viewpoint. Eventually we came out of the trees and had a magnificent view of Broken Top.
The views from here with the fresh snow were nothing short of magnificent. However, the view of South Sister from here was also nothing short of intimidating...it looked beyond formidable to say the least. As we started to attack the elevation again, Jeremy told Jacob and I to go on and tackle the mountain. We kept running leaving Jeremy behind all while staring at this huge white mass in front of us wondering if we would even make it to the top.
We hit snow pretty quick and the trail gets quite steep in some places. We continued to hold a good pace though.
As we got a big higher, we could see just what the ice storm had done to the mountain! We were still in shorts and T-shirts.
There were very few people on the mountain, but we continued to catch and pass at a good rate while keeping a good pace. We got to a point above the lake where Broken Top broke through the clouds. The scene was pretty stunning and we had to stop and take a picture.
We continued up what I understand is usually some pretty terrible scree...for us it was just snow and more snow. We were amazed at how far we had climbed in so short a time as we looked back down the trail.
Eventually we got above the pool and rounded a corner where the summit came in to view. This was a bit depressing and yet exciting all at once. It was at this point that the cold became pretty unbearable and we put our jackets on and continued to plunge across the snow. We pushed hard and made it to the top. There were 3 others on top but we had mountain solitude as the summit is big and the cornices made it possible to feel alone. We snapped some great pics and had one of the others on top snap some shots for us.
We spent as much time on the summit as we could, but eventually it just got too cold. We fueled up, took in some last views and pictures and got ready to make the plunge.
The Way Down
We BOMBED down the mountain with reckless abandon. The snow made this possible. It was a blast to say the least. The way down was a combination of reckless running, slipping, and sliding...couldn't have been much more fun! We ditched the jackets pretty quick on the way back down due to our feverish pace. We picked up Jeremy near the Bachelor view point and got back to the car in time for a late lunch.
Definitely one of the favorite mountains I've ever run and just an amazing experience. I can't wait to come back to the area for a repeat performance, but first I want to get Broken Top and the other Sisters. This area is just majestic.