Good times climbing with my daughter. Doesn't get much better. Blue skies, perfect temp. Snow just right for micro spikes. Met some super awesome people. My dog Dexter was a very happy dog. Glissaded almost all the way down to the trees. Would never do this in the heat of summer!
When bad weather forced me to cancel my Mt. Baker climb, my oldest son and I decided to visit Bend and climb South Sister. Weather was mild and we made average time, reaching the summit in just over four hours. While the red volcanic dust is now forever embedded in the fabric of my climbing pants, the view made the scree slog worth the effort.
Round-trip: 7 hours. Mandi basically ran up the thing while Doug, Matt, and I cruised along. Matt's poor dog had paw cuts that required us to put her in my pack so we could carry her down. Wonderful weather. A little nippy near the top of the south slope.
Awesome weather meant crazy afternoon crowded trail, good thing our group of five left early enough.
Made the south ridge with five Mountaineers adults soon after my eighth birthday. I found it exhausting, and enjoyed the glissading back down the most fun, even though I had no ice axe and kept sliding all over the place roped to a parent above and below me.
I later became a Scout leader, Outward Bound instructor, and whitewater guide, and I'm sure the initial inspiration was the success of getting up the South Ridge at such a young age. The adults searched the register then and could find no previous climber younger than 10, so that was a source of pride for many years.
My first real experience with mountain climbing, this was my gateway to becoming a climber. Started at Devil's Lake and ascended via the South Ridge.
I timed the trip right as far a weather is concerned using mountain-forecast.com (this is a reliable weather information source for climbers). Spent the night in my truck at Devils Lake campground - very few people there and at nearby campgrounds this late in the season.
Started the hike at 6am and took my time using the 1000ft per hour approach. Reached the Summit proper at 10:58 - that was after about 15 minutes of chatting with three other climbers on the rim who started about a half hour before me. Also talked to two ladies who had taken a different route over night. Other than that no one else on top.
Spend a half hour - eating and taking pics before heading back down. The scree is an issue - it just makes more work for every step than on many other peaks....not a favorite for me by any means...and really a long approach for reaching the base...so for a 10,000ft reward - it was just okay in my humble opinion.
Wore a untried pair of hiking boots usually only use hking shoes when no snow - but was worried about rock in the shoe - was a bad choice since the boots were a little off on the downhill and hurting my toe nails LOL That meant 3 hours down to the trail-head instead of two. 8.5 hours total including lunch.
This was a fun trip with my wife and 10 year old son.
Left Eugene at 5:30am.
Left TH at 8:30am.
Summited at 1:00pm.
Returned to TH at 5:00.
Spent plenty of time eating and enjoying the summit.
8.5 Hours round trip. I hope this helps as an accurate timeline for young or maybe not so in shape hikers.
Hi there! I'll be climbing South Sister next week and wondered if teardrop pool at the summit is there or gone already? Also, did you camp at Moraine lake and if you did, were all of the sites taken?
Ascended south sister on one of the hotter days of the year. Started early, but still so damn hot.
Overcast day. Summitted with 100s of others. :-)
Quite easy given its 5000 feet of elevation. However, the scree is intolerably annoying and is one of the reasons this otherwise beautiful mountain wasn't my favorite peak in the Northwest.
Completed this summit on 18 Jun -- definitely one of the tougher mountains my wife and I have climbed (we've done several 14ers in Colorado). We were pleasantly surprised by the snow (or lack thereof) conditions on the mountain. Having read several reviews & trip reports prior to going, it seemed that most people do this hike in late July/early Aug. I was hoping that b/c that area had less snow this year, that it'd be doable mid-June. Fortunately it was -- we didn't encounter snow until about a mile after passing the Morraine Lake split. Even then, depending on the time of day you could trudge through the slushy snow or make a route through the rocks w/o having to even step in the snow. We started the hike a little before 7 so the snow was still a bit icy, but were were able to avoid walking in it w/ a couple exceptions. However, those areas were well travelled w/ footprints to follow. We had brought our snowshoes to OR w/ us just in case, but opted not to bring them on the trail--that was a good decision b/c we wouldn't have needed them. Several folks we saw had ice axes and crampons -- we just used hiking poles and they were sufficient; though you might consider bringing an ice ax if you intend on glissading down the mountain to help w/ doing a self-arrest (we just used our poles). The loose gravel as you reach the "red rocks" is tough -- definitely recommend wearing solid footwear w/ good traction. After the "false summit" you have the option of walking across a slightly uphill snowfield/glacier to the true summit or walking along a ridge to the right (don't follow the ridge to the left). We opted for the ridge on the way out and snowfield on the way back (much easier to travel down in snow than up). The entire trek took us 9 hours which included several glissades on the way down (tons of fun!).
Came down to Bend on a vacation and thought I'd five South Sister a try. It was incredibly hot that day; mid-90's. I didn't allow myself enough time to reach the summit and had to return in time for my next scheduled activity. Great day and views though! I'll be back next year to reach the summit.
Got an early start from Devils Lake and enjoyed the summit to myself before the morning crowds began to accumulate. Met a couple of nice groups up on the summit and shared stories and snacks. The weather was nice, but a bit hazy from some small fires in the area.
Could not ask for better weather. We really enjoyed this hike up to a summit with fantastic views. First time in the Bend area, will be back. Scree is not that bad at all.
With Devils Hill & Red Crater.
Group climb up the main route. No snow anywhere on the route all the way to the summit crater which still has snow. This snow is well consolidated and easy to walk across. Bit smoky in the morning on the way up but wind changed directions and by the trek down all clear around.
We started up at 11:00 pm so that we could reach the summit by sunrise. During the hike/climb we saw thousands of stars, which was fantastic. The trail is nearly snow-free, and the very few snow crossings are minor (no need for traction devices or other technical gear).
Unfortunately, after sunrise our views were thwarted by very hazy conditions due to wildfires (especially the Oregon Gulch fire near the California border, whose smoke was swept north by the jet stream). It was even difficult to see Middle and North Sister, which are right next to South Sister. Other more distant peaks (Washington, Jefferson, Hood, even Bachelor) were out of the question. Oh well... I guess we will have to return next year. On the descent we passed at least 100 people trudging upward!