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!
From the Devils Lake campground area. Really enjoyable hike. I got started very early and had the mountain to myself on the way up and the entire time on top. On the way down was a different story. Back down to the trailhead by 10 am. Oregon CoHP's #8 & 9 on this trip.
Spent the night at the Devil's Lake Trailhead and headed up at 6:30am. Talked to folks at the ranger station in Bend earlier in the week and they indicated 6' - 8' of snow on the route once you were out of the trees. That was partially true ... no snow on the scree slopes up to the summit. The ice axes and winter gear were overkill but most everyone that we saw on the hike looked to be conservative like us. Had to stop many times to assess the weather as a storm seemed to sort of hover NW and then slowly move around south of the mountain where it ended up by Mt. Bachelor. No issues with weather for us as it ended up. Glissading down some of the major slopes gained some time back. Fun but long day then off to Worthy Brewing in Bend to sample some of their beers and pizza!
We camped at Devil's Lake TH and started at 6am. Lots of scree and dust being kicked up as climbers descend on the upper sections. Probably saw 100 people on Saturday as it was literally the last day before snow would cover the mountain until the next summer. Summit views included Mt. Bachelor, Broken Top, Middle and North Sisters, Mt. Washington, and Mt. Jefferson. On the way down a thunderstorm came in and we saw a lightning bolt start a tree on fire.
Flew into Oregon for the first time to do this mountain. Bend is a lovely city and I really loved the area. We camped at the lake the first night. We had a campsite that overlooked the lake. At night we saw thousands of stars reflecting off the lake. An amazing sight. Reached the summit the next morning. I wasn't prepared for the cold summit. Bring a jacket.
With Brent - Getting ready for Hood
Standard route is quite spectacular, including views of the Lews Glacier.
Middle Sister was my first 10,000ft peak, summited with Dad and brother in 1963. North Sister was reached on my third attempt with friends from OSAT in 1999, after the previous two attempts had to turn back 300 feet from the summit due to snow conditions. I was chased off the Easiest Sister last October in the first snowfall of the season, but returned this summer to finally reach the top on a beautiful Monday afternoon, the air having been cleared of forest fire smoke by some weather over the weekend. Visibility from Mt Adams to Mt Scott (~120-130 miles!)
freaking perfect weather. nice to hike it with no snow at all (as opposed to my last attempt in early July). will be a great training hike for other mountains!
Last climb on Oregon trip before attempting Mt. Hood. Fabulous bluebird day made the snow climb enjoyable in the morning. After coming out of the trees, took the South Ridge straight up. Crevasses had already started opening up on the Lewis Glacier, but we easily avoided them. Endless visibility from summit. Could see from Mt. Hood to Mt. Shasta and everything in between. Descent sucked due to soft snow and high temps, but what an awesome experience.
About three months after a total hip operation; I wasn't sure I could do it. I was elated to make the top. My balance is still off, so I fell twice on the way down but didn't injure myself (that scree is slippery)! Great views from the top with just a touch of haze.
On 7/17 I was hiking Broken Top and could see a helicopter rescue which landed on the top of South Sister.
Love the wilderness area around the Sisters with all the alpine lakes, great weather and no bugs!