Ascent of North Sister on 2018-08-17

Climber: Vic Hanson

Date:Friday, August 17, 2018
Ascent Type:No Summit Goal
Peak:North Sister
    Elevation:10085 ft / 3073 m

Ascent Trip Report

Hadn't planned on climbing the mountain, was just going for a day hike south on the PCT from Lava Lake C.G., by McKenzie Pass. When I got to Yapoah Crater I decided to hike to the top of that. From the top of Yapoah I had a good view of North Sister. I knew it was a technical climb near the top but wanted to see how high I could get. I thought of staying on the PCT until it crossed the normal route from Obsidian TH but it looked like an easy approach from Yapoah, and was shorter, so I decided to just go straight towards it from the north. As I was going down the south side of the crater I saw some footprints going my way, so was encouraged by the realization that someone else had tried this route as well.

I tried to balance taking the most direct route, with the least amount of elevation gain and loss so did meander some to do that. I never did see the trail coming from the Obsidian TH but was definitely following some path as I went up the ridge. I had set a turn around time in order to make it back before dark but fudged on that a couple of times as I realized the return would be quicker. I was a bit hesitant as I got higher, not knowing where the crux would be and not wanting to climb higher than was safe for me as it is always scarier coming back down. I finally reached my 'absolute must turn around' time but could have continued higher, not knowing how high I was or knowing where the true summit was. I was trying to conserve my phone battery to record the whole Strava track so didn't have an app running that showed the elevation. When I got back and saw the Strava stats I realized that I was had only reached 9037' so was over 1000' below the summit. On my return I tried to take a short cut around the east side of Yapoah Crater, rather than going over the top. I drifted a little to far to the east but angled back and met the PCT right where I wanted to. Will have to try it again with a climbing partner and climbing gear.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4805 ft / 1464 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4805 ft / 1464 m
    Start Trailhead:5280 ft / 1609 m
Descent Statistics

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