South Sister

August 13, 1995

Climbing the south side of the South Sister is the ultimate Oregon hike. It is over five miles up and gains 5,000 ft. to the summit. It is definitely not a one-day climb for those not in excellent shape. But for those who succeed, the reward at the top is a view of the Cascades one will never forget. And on this Obsidian climb everyone made it. Saturday afternoon we car-pooled to Bend, had an excellent pizza dinner (you need fuel for mountain climbing), and got to Devil’s Lake CG just as the sun was going down. Some climbers chose to sleep out under the stars m hopes of seeing some of the annual Perseid meteor shower which was predicted for that night.

We were on the trail at 6:00 am, and climbed steadily up the steep climbers’ trail under overcast skies. But by the time we broke out of the trees above Moraine Lake we could see that the clouds were high and burning off. From there the South Sister is an impressive and challenging sight. Now the real climbing started. We made our way up the well-used climbers’ trail over rocks, scree and patches of snow. The occasional look back showed how far we had come, but the view up showed how far we had to go. The group moved well together, and finally we were making our way up the mother of all scree slopes to the crater rim. At 10:30 we were all at the high point of the rim. This was special summit for Doug Nelson. He has now climbed all three Sisters with the Obsidians and is eligible to become a Chief, and there was a brief ceremony at the top. By chance, we met Ed Lovegren’s Obsidian group on the top. They had come up from Green Lakes, having climbed Broken Top the day before. The summit of South Sister definitely belonged to the Obsidians that day!

Climbers were Doug Nelson (assistant leader), Van Likes, Deb Carver, Denise Sevigny, Jim Porter, Mike McIntosh, Ian Ives, his uncle Paul Herbert who was visiting from Great Britain, and John Pegg (leader).


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