South Sister & Broken Top

September 2-3, 1990

This mountain marathon was scheduled for August 18-19, but a combination of bad weather forecast and near-zero sign-up caused me to reschedule for September 2 and 3. I was hoping for a strong party, and after the usual last-minute shuffle, ended up with three outdoor enthusiasts who had hiked the Skyline Trail, trekked in Nepal and backpacked in Switzerland. Strong indeed, and also a great deal of fun to be with. We left S.E.H.S. parking lot at about 6:15 a.m. I immediately proceeded to instill confidence in my driving skills by going through a red light! Well, who’s up at 6:00 a.m. anyway? (Good grief, how embarrassing.) The drive from then on was uneventful until we almost hit a cow that loomed up out of the fog on Century Drive. By now I think we were completely awake. Our departure for Green Lakes at about 9:15 was brightened by a ranger at the trailhead with an improved forecast for Sunday. “Improved” turned out to be fantastic! We reached Green Lakes at 11:30, made a quick camp and took off for Broken Top at 12:15 p.m. All summitted at 3:00 p.m. (except Mary Vogel who chose to save a convalescing back for Sunday’s climb). Climbers enjoying this beautiful, airy summit were Joyce Baker, Audrey Cummings and leader Ed Lovegren. Broken Top is fun—it has more optical illusions than the Oregon Vortex! Example: the exposed but easy ledge just before reaching the summit looks impossible from the summit. Also a lot of climbers have gone up the South Peak (wrong!!) because it looks higher from Green Lakes, etc. We made it back to camp at 5:30—just in time for supper.

A beautiful Sunday morning greeted our 7:15 a.m. start up the South Sister. At the Moraine Lake Trail junction, who should we run into but old friend Gary Kirk and Company (two sons, friends and his 6-year-old grandson. My, my! I didn't know Kirk was old enough to have a 6-year-old grandson!) Gary was the leader on my first mountain climb—South Sister, 1963! He complained about only getting ugly guys on his climbs, whereas I … (Tough luck, Gary!) We reached the summit at 11:00 a.m. and spent 1½ hours on top (spectacular day). We were not alone on the mountain (Labor Day weekend). Among the crowd was a lady carrying a baby, an 85-year-old man, various dogs and three serious looking climbers decked out in heavy boots, gaiters, weather gear, ice axes, rope, slings, carabineers and hard hats. You just have to love the South Sister—it has everything! Returned to camp by 3:15, packed and left for our car at 4:15 (guess who was last again at getting packed up?). Reached the trailhead and our foot-soaking spot at 6:00 p.m.

What a great weekend. Super weather, a strong group of climbers that were fun to be with, lots of laughs and very few blisters.


Home   About Us    Our Activities    Contact Us   Join Us    Gallery   Outdoor Links    Members Only

Copyright 2000-2016  Obsidians, Inc.      Last Updated  27 Apr 2009

Email: Obsidians          Email: Webmaster