Hiked the entire way up to 10,000 feet, carrying snowboards and snowboard boots, enjoying fantastic clear skies, only to have thunderstorms move in rapidly and sock in the summit with black clouds as soon as we approached. Mt. Bachelor, once so close you felt like you could reach out and touch it, was now totally gone, enveloped in black thunder clouds. With no view from the summit, and a snowboard ride back down waiting for us, we said "close enough" and rode the snowfield down to the flat area. This mountain is NOT an ideal snowboard mountain because of the lengthy flat and up-and-down sections. Won't make that mistake again. We donned rain gear and got hailed on as soon as we unstrapped our boards. Then it stopped. We looked behind us, and the once socked-in mountain was crystal clear once again. What luck.
The trail was poorly maintained and difficult to follow. We lost it several times, as we were the first ones to ascend that weekend (no footsteps to follow). We didn't enjoy the long flat sections either. It made for a long descent.
Climb this peak in the early spring, when the snow is covering the ugly cinder and scree slopes, but the trailheads are still approachable. It will make for a much more enjoyable trip with much more beautiful views. "Never Again!" we said regarding when we would next climb a volcano in the summer. Two weeks later, up Middle Sister I went!
It was a very hot day as my brother and I started out at 8:45 a.m. The mosquitos were thick for the first one-and-a-half miles, but they seemed to slowly disappear after we emerged from the trees. Moraine Lake sparkled in the morning sun. We crossed the flat, barren landscape to the start of the steep ascent passing already hot and tired climbers. The snow was soft but easily navigable without crampons. (We had brought them just in case. The route can be hiked without crampons and ice axe at the time we went.) The upper portion of the route is snow-free. As we made the summit approach at about 9000 feet, the red scree was very loose and slippery. Awesome bergshrunds opened at the upper end of Lewis Glacier visible along the route. The reward at the top was a phenomenal view of the many volcanoes in the cascades as far north as Mount Adams and as far south as Mount Shasta ( I think). It's hard to tell when they are mixed in with the haze on the horizon, but there were many mountains to see north and south. On the way down, the local mountain rescue team administered IV to a climber with heatstroke. They flew a helicopter in to airlift the climber out.
Overall, the hike was enjoyable and always is a great experience climbing mountains and volcanoes. It was a nine-hour-hike round trip including all breaks. We drank up to 5 gallons of water between the two of us and still became a little sick from the altitude and heat; slight headache and nausea caused us to force food and water down. The filtered water from Lewis Glacier was outstanding, and it was some of the best water I have ever had.
There is always something one forgets when packing for a trip (hopefully not the important things). We forgot 35mm film, but a nice couple at the summit took our picture and said they would mail it to us. Thanks!
As I climbed this mountain, the pain grew and reminded me of my father's pain as he battles cancer. Day after day he endures challenges in his life. Each time my brother and I take on a challenge as great as a tall mountain, we feel the pain in another way and never give up in our goal to reach the summit. Dad will reach the top someday, but before he does he will have climbed the tallest mountain in the world.
Hiked in from Devils Lake TH and camped a quarter mile above Morine Lake. Headed for the summit early the next morning. Summited before the snow got soft and the freeway opened. One large snow field below the Lewis Glacier other wise not bad. This climb is blase, having summited on the North and Middle Sister in August 2000.
Snowshoed up, carrying my alpine skis and boots. I was too dumb back then to have backcountry bindings and boots. Still, standing solo on top of S Sister in perfect weather is a gift. And the descent was magnificent.
Day hiked it from Devil's Lake TH. Perfect weather - good enough to sleep for an hour or so at the summit. With exception of crater and Lewis glacier, saw NO snow on the hike. Underneath that white blanket covering it most of the time, there's a big, red, fat beauty of a mountain there. Scree was bad for the mutt - sore paws.
The traditional South Side route is well-known but my climbing partner Eric (Washington) wanted to tweak it a bit by hiking overland from the Park Meadow Trailhead and Three Creek Lake south of the town of Sisters. This approach from the north was longer but we had it to ourselves and really appreciated the solitude. We hiked along the north side of Broken Top and then camped in the saddle between South Sister and Broken Top. It is above Green Lakes basin to the north.
On the next morning we dropped down to Green Lakes and then climbed up and over the Lewis Glacier where we eventually met the normal S. Side route up near the final cinder/scree slope. Crossing the glacier and kicking steps all morning made the route, though easy, more special and I highly recommend it.
On the way back the glissading was amazing! It would have been a nice ski/snowboard descent.
Summited as a day hike from Devils lake. Plenty of snow still and so much wind we could hardly stand.What a great time.
The wilderness area set aside for the Three Sisters is very unique because of the large number of volcanoes in that area. The view from the summit is fantastic! The climb is non-technical and straightforward in the summer. On this date Oregon's highest lake in the crater had just started forming in the weeks prior. The summit is very accessible and allows for travel either across the crater or around the entire uppermost ridge of the mountain. I forsee another trip to this beautiful wilderness area in the future.
Started this trip from Devil's Lake. Did the whole trip as a day climb/hike. Car-to-car round-trip took about 8 hours. Some snow was still left on the mountain, which made for some nice, but short, glissades. Views from the top were probably some of the best I have had so far. Could see the other two sisters (Middle and North), Bachelor, Broken Top, Thielsen, Washinton, Jefferson, Hood and Adams! Have plans to go back and do the Middle Sister next summer, too.
This was my first attempt at a mountain without an experienced person accompanying me. My friend and I had been discussing the possibility of doing this relatively non-technical route. We had just enjoyed a successful climb of Mt. Hood a couple of weeks prior and were confident in our success.
We began our ascent from the Devil's Lake trailhead and hiked into our campsite several hundred feet above Moraine Lake. We were able to find a couple of flat, bare ground sites to make our camp. This was my first trip that I had carried a full pack into a mountain and it kicked my ass.
After a dinner of shared Mt. House Spaghetti with Zancudo, I enjoyed a good nights rest in my tent. The next morning we arose slightly before daybreak and made our way up the mountain. We could tell that we were ahead of other groups due to the headlamps below. As we made our way up, we realized that there was a couple moving up the Lewis glacier that would probably beat us to the summit, however we encountered a steep section of scoured hard snow that required putting on our crampons. We did this early in the section which allowed us to pass the couple that had been in front of us. The lady sort of freaked herself out traversing to the safety of a rock outcropping where she could put her crampons on safely. I thought for sure she was going to slip and take a ride back down the slope.
Nonetheless, after passing the couple we made our way up to the false summit and across the Summit crater to the true summit. The wind was gusting pretty good so we hunkered down at the summit for only a few minutes before heading back down to our camp. We were able to enjoy the summit by ourselves and only started passing people on the way down.
We descended pretty quickly to our camp and took a short rest before breaking camp. On the hike out, I hyperextended my knee and I thought I was going to die. The pain was excruciating. I ended up hobbling all the way out using my trekking pole as a splint/cane taking many breaks on the way. Finally we reached the trailhead and celebrated our joint success.
Started off about 7 am from Devil's Lake Trailhead. Summitted about 10:30 am. Loads of people along the way. Summit Crater is great and could see all the volcanoes north to Adams in Washington. Tried to find the climbers route on the north ridge to continue on and do Middle Sister but never found it. Another time....
9/17/11 Climbed with Flanders, hiked in the day before to Moraine Lake. Cold night. Lenticular formed before we started in the morning and never left. Windy and viewless. Our left sides got covered with rime ice on the walk over to the true summit. Last summit of our annual hike this year.
Made the summit on a beautiful day in mid August. By chance, or perhaps by not paying attention, we ascended from the southeastern side between the Lewis and Prouty Glaciers. A gorgeous route featuring snowfields, small waterfalls and some class 4 climbing, we managed to avoid the crowds and most all the skree by missing the more popular southern route - which is a dusty choker that we experienced on the way back to our car at Devils Lake Campground. The round trip took a good long day – around 15 hours including a long stop at Moraine Lake. However, it's not technical. If you're climbing in August, bring the Deet - the 'skeeters are vicious; I've seen nothing worse in all the states.