The western ridge is one of several, albeit the easiest, routes to the summit. This approach can be snow free at its lower elevations as early as March. Time required varies with the hiker and number of stops, but with 3,800+ elevation gain over 2.5 miles, plan on at least a 4.5 hour approach and 3 hour descent. If electing to add Big Sister to this climb, plan on an additional 2-3 hours.
From the campsite, the western ridge appears slightly split into two main ribs. The more southern of the two ribs will provide a tree-free first 1,000 feet.
The far (right) rib of the western ridge starts this climb.
At this point you will begin to enter the white bark pine/juniper forest and head in a steady northeastern direction. Continue in this direction and around 9950 enter into an open area.
Staying close to the trees in the "headwall" section of this climb.
Continue northeasterly and back into the trees until you reach the high ridge at approximately 10,200 ft.
The exposed upper ridge of Little Sister
Stay with the ridge, enjoying the slight exposure, as the final face summit push comes into view.
Follow the ridge along the face for the last 500 feet to the summit. Enjoy your summit!
Water: There is no water available along the route.
Sunscreen: Skin cancer, enough said.