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Ascent of South Sister on 2007-09-12

Climber: Scott Cockrell

Date:Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:South Sister
    Location:USA-Oregon
    Elevation:10358 ft / 3157 m

Ascent Trip Report

This turned out to be the most fun climb of the trip. I started up at 7:06 through the nice woods. Before long, I was passed by a group of 6 women from Bend who had dropped their kids off at school and headed out for a climb before they had to pick them up again. They said they were hoping to reach the summit in 3 or 3 1/2 hours -- that sounded pretty good to me. It turned out that they were stopping more often than I was, and we "leapfrogged" the rest of the day, hiking semi-together for part of it. It turned out they provided a lot of encouragement, and I probably went faster than I might have otherwise. We passed a few people, and a few people passed us. The trail emerged from the woods and crossed a wide plateau for a couple of miles, then went up a couple of steep, eroded scree slopes, where the trail spread out into several trails. Then the trail became easier to follow, as it followed a long, gracefully curving ridge up to the summit. We could see several parties ahead of us -- it took a couple of hours on this ridge to reach the summit rim. From there, it took a half an hour to go around the rim to the right to the summit itself. I stayed on the summit 15 minutes, taking lots of pictures -- including the crater, filled with snow and "the highest pool of water in Oregon" -- and three close-by lakes at the bottom, one that was deep aqua, one that was light aqua, and one that was yellow! Then we all headed down again -- leapfrogging with 2 or 3 other parties as well, trying to help each other from losing the trail and accidentally getting out somewhere separated from the trail by a scree slope.
Before they left, the women from Bend offered me a Corona -- which went down very quickly after the climb! They went off to pick up their kids, and I went to camp in the campground at the bottom of the trail. It was free -- and it was also very quiet, since it turned out only 3 other people were staying there that night.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Distance:6.3 mi / 10.1 km
    Route:South Sister Climbers Trail
    Time Up:4 Hours 19 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:3 Hours 9 Minutes



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