South Sister

August 6-7, 1988

Although the weather was hot as this party departed Devil’s Lake at 2:00 p.m., the group experienced plenty of cold as they climbed the red ridge on the southern flank of the mountain later that evening. The four climbers found that the South Sister can be “tough enough” when taking the steep route from Devil’s Lake with full packs ready to spend the night on the summit. As the group sluggishly made headway up the mountain, they were in awe as the huge mushroom cloud from the 10,000-acre Paulina wildfire to the southeast turned bright glowing orange as dark approached. Dusk found the party reaching the summit and struggling in very chilly winds to set up tents behind one of the rock shelters located on the summit rim. Views that day had been fantastic stretching from Union Peak near Crater Lake to Mount Rainier up north. By midnight, the winds died out and views from the summit were spectacular. Lights from Cottage Grove were very well defined making that city look very close. The heavy sprinkling of lights to the east from Bend to Madras and Sisters to Prineville made Central Oregon look like a major metropolis. The awesome silhouettes of the Middle and North Sisters looming nearby in the dark would be hard to explain. The next morning found the party being served breakfast in bed by the leader and later enjoying extended views from the summit crater. Not leaving the top of the mountain until noon were Jeremy Adams, Donnie Hansen, Sean Oldham and Ken Ball (leader).

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