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.