Made it up to within 500 ft of the summit when a storm blew in and we had to turn around. We were able to ski all the way down from that point though and it was great. Dropped a couple of nice cornices on the way, one right into a bowl with a little glacial lake sitting at the bottom of it. Tons of fun.
Left Portland at Midnight Friday, hit the trailhead at Devil's Lake at 3:45. No moon, but crystal clear and the stars were amazing. Sunrise was inspiring at about 8500 ft. Wind was wicked from the ridge along Lewis Glacier on up: steady 30-40 mph, gusting much higher. Mike, Aaron and I were the first on the summit a little after 8:00 and had it to ourselves till we started back down about 9:30. Clear all around, but eerie clouds were continuously blowing across the top. Back to the car about 1:00 on the last beautiful sunny day before the snow hit.
Left Devils Lake at 2:30 AM to enjoy the bright moon, sunrise, and beat the crowds. We definitely beat the crowds, not a single person on the route that early morning. Had the summit crater to ourselves for over an hour on an amazing warm clear day. Kind of a strange feeling to have South Sister to yourself for so long on a beautiful day. Been up there when it is snowing and seen the crater swarming with people. Found the crowds on or way back down the south ridge though. Nice cold dip in Devils Lake and nap upon return.
Great climb with Aukjen, Bernard, Peter and Ian. Arrived in Central Oregon late at night, no campgrounds open on entire Cascade Lakes Highway. Decided to just hit the trail and see how far we could go. Left Devil's Lake Trailhead near midnight. Long slog up, last thousand feet pretty painful and slow, but an amazing night sky made it worth it. Only one other group headed up that night. Reached summit at sunrise, snapped photos on true summit and then fell asleep in wind shelter until 10 am. Woke to the company of dozens of other people on the summit. Great trip down, afternoon siesta in the shade, thunderstorms rolled in as we left. Beers/burgers at Deschutes Brewery before storm hit. Fabulous day out with good friends, and night climbing avoided the crowds... a much recommended strategy.
What Amy said. Climbing up at night with sleeping bags to sack out in on the summit is the way to go. A cast of thousands on the way up when we headed down at about 10 a.m. An awesome starry-skied climb with great people. Also Floor Pie.
Started trail at 6:00 a.m. Got to Lewis Glacier by 10:00. Reached the summit at 11:50. Took a lot of time talking to all the people on the way up (about 80 people on a Thursday). Left the summit at 12:15 and reached the car by 4:00. Trail seemed rather busy at the top. I guess everyone took off between 5:30 and 7:00. Once you got past the people it was very nice. Some people say coming down to Lewis Glacier is worse then climbing up to the summit. I think it's actually easier. Dig your heels in, and just let go! Fun climb though.
Left Devils Lake at 0515 and was the 14th person on the summit when I reached it at 0930. Did have an awesome view of smokejumpers being dropped on a lightning strike near the PCT to the west. Back in car at 1230. Route easier than anticipated and I carried too much water.
Camped at the TH and left at 5:30 am. 8 hours round trip. Leaving early put me first and alone on the summit for a very nice half hour. I also was in the shade until almost to the Green Trail junction. After that I met a fairly steady stream of people.
The steep slope is a bigger pain down than up because of the roly-poly rocks. Can't believe how late people start on this hike. When I camped the night before, there were people coming back well after dark.
Climb Party: Ercan, Aish
South side ascent of South sister from the Devils Lake TH. Car camped (Ercan Bivy'd) at the TH and went for an early start at 04:00 from the TH. Reached summit at 09:30, and back to the car at 13:30. Great weather (sunny, blue skies and temperatures in the 80's) and great summit views of Middle, North, Bachelor, Broken Top, Three fingered jack and all the way up to Mt. Hood to the North.
Climbed with Aish starting at Devil's Lake. Started 4:00am and summitted 9:30am. Got back at 1:00pm. Early start helped us to avoid the crowd. Half of the trail was covered with snow. No snow on the ridge, hence it was dusty. Clear skies, wonderful views.
Left from Devils Lake with snow in the air and was getting wet an hour in... Had high winds and freezing rain at the top... felt like needles. Spent less time on this summit than any other...enough time to snap a photo of a miserable climber and him of me. Was so cold and soaked on the way down that we didn't even stop to eat. Made it in 6 hours. This Sister ended up being Ugly Sister on that day....But it makes for memorable adventures.
It was a beautiful climb. A great mountain for a first snow climb!
Fun day hike from Devils Lake. 7 hours round trip. Route finding to Moraine lake was problematic in the dark because there was still snow down low and the trails were not exposed yet. Beautiful weather, clear skies and 67 degrees at the summit with no wind. Incredible views.
I have hiked this mountain twice once in 2002 and was welcomed by hundreds of butterflies and an awe inspiring sunset at the peak. Another time in 2003 to witness again the awesome beauty of creation, yet no butterflies or sunset, but lots of exciting moments.
Accidently did a different approach this time, because I followed some wrong tracks. I ended up going around Devil's HIll past some interesting lava piles and back to frozen over moraine lake. Felt like a real idiot, but it was neat to see some of the less traveled parts of this area. Had a clear sky until i got to the summit, and then some clouds rolled in. I could still see from Mcloughlin to Jefferson. I took a nap on top, and then returned to my truck and drove back to Portland. A fun hike, but next year i will be sure to take the correct path and save a lot of time and energy.
Started at 6am, to nice, warm weather and good company.
The approach was long, but with beautiful scenery all around. As we approached about 9k, clouds had moved in making for a more intriguing ascent due to limited visibility: it was fun watching the boundary between the harsh, red scree in contrast with the innocent, puffy white clouds only a few meters away.
Summit cold and very windy, completely clouded over. Fortunately the clouds broke for a few minutes just as we wanted to take photos.
Some people brought crampons, but we did not--and they weren't needed for this oute anyways.
The descent was not fun on all that scree--I feel sorry for people who didn't bring poles for this...
A good climb!
Climbed this with a church group right before my freshman year of high school in '94. We hiked up to Moraine lake, camped there, and summited the next day. Great views from the summit, and an opportunity to see glaciers and volcanic craters up close(pretty cool for a 14 year old). Scree made the ascent tedious, but helped to make the descent a breeze. Highly recommend this hike.
A long, but awesome climb. Carry some galcier gear just in case or for play on the way down.
long, but well worth it!
I have always thought of South Sister as one of the most beautiful mountains in the entire Cascade Range. I try to climb the volcano at least once every summer. The six-mile hike up from Devils Lake is a great conditioner for both the body and the mind during the summer months. I am hoping to get away from the "tourist route" and maybe try for a less-traveled route on the west side of the volcano in summer 2004. This is no Mt. Rainier climb, but
South Sister will always be a special climbing destination for me for as long as I have the ability to do it.