Ascent of South Sister on 1999-08-26

Climber: Don Gilman

Date:Thursday, August 26, 1999
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:South Sister
    Elevation:10358 ft / 3157 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was my first major solo trip. Having warmed up on Black and Belknap craters, I drove my ex-girlfriends borrowed Geo to Devils Lake where I spent a cold and almost sleepless night in the backseat (a friend of mine was supposed to let me crash at her house in Bend, but flaked out on me and I had nothing to keep warm during the night). I woke around five or so and headed out on a brisk morning. Back then I was alot slower, and it seemed like I always laboured during the first parts of my climbs, and it was a real struggle for me to get through the first two and a half miles through the trees, but once I popped out on the pumice plain above Moraine Lake, I was psyched, the mountain just looming above me, a crystal clear morning. I was so happy to be out there, but nervous too, still learning to get over the fear even easy, gentle mountains can provoke, but I just pushed through and slowly, ver slowly, made my way up the steep slopes, past the Lewis Glacier (the first glacier I had ever seen), up the mother-of-all-scree-fields and onto the summit crater, where one of the most spectacular views anywhere in the northwest greeted me, Middle And North Sister to the north, Broken Top to the east, Mt Bachelor to the south, and, two hundred miles away, Mt. Rainier was just visible. I was in heaven. If my trip to Mt Thielsen got me going as a climber, than climbing South Sister was the cement that firmly bonded me to climbing. It took me a long time - 5 and a half hours, but it was a great, exhausting experience.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:14708 ft / 4482 m
    Extra Gain:4900 ft / 1493 m
    Distance:11 mi / 17.7 km
    Route:South Sister climbers trail
    Trailhead:Devils Lake  5450 ft / 1661 m
    Grade/Class:I, hiking
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:5 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:3 Hours 

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