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hiking
14 days ago

Amazing hike, lots or snow as of 9/25/17. First stretch of woods had 2-4 inches about a mile in. Flat middle stretch had 8-12 inches. Snow shoes would probably help but its pretty slushy, packed and icy so maybe spikes would work better. Trekking poles are a MUST, and ideally some waterproof socks/boots. We weren't prepared and turned back before the final accent. There was also some posted potential trail closures down by the trailhead that referenced fire activity but it may have been out of date because the trail was fine, and we saw some folks who had made it all the way up and all was fine. Campground at the base was snow-free and beautiful but dropped below freezing at night.

1 month ago

While this climb allows for some unbelievably rewarding scenery and views, it is not for everyone. You should not attempt it unless you are already in great hiking shape. The final ascent past the glacier is brutal and dangerous, but it is well worth it at the top. The unique part about this hike is all the different geographical challenges, although it is easy to get lost off the trail. Make sure to come prepared for changes in temperature at the top.

hiking
1 month ago

Epic hike, 5 hours up, 90 minutes on top. We walked around the whole summit. I highly recommend. 4 hours down. Started @ 635am and back to the car @ 520 pm. Not easy but soo worth it.

Excellent hike, gorgeous views of Bachelor, Broken Top, and surrounding area. Some butterflies still around and I loved the change in terrain throughout the hike. However, I wouldn't recommend to someone without some hiking experience and be prepared with plenty of water. Last two miles are up steep, loose ash/soil and very dusty; if you have low shoes, I suggest gaiters to keep the debris out. I recommend going early before it gets hot out or you will be exposed to hot sun during the majority of the hike. We left the trailhead at 5am (used a headlamp through the lower forest section) and summitted around 9:30am when it was still relatively cool and windy at the top. It was gorgeous views on the way up but the smoke and haze from the forest fires started rolling in on the way down. I couldn't believe how many people were attempting late in the day when it was hot out and the views (and thus reward) were limited. We couldn't even see the top on the way down - yet another reason to go early when fires are present. On August 19th, every trail around South Sister was closed for forest fires, except the summit hike, so review trail information before you go. US Forest Service Permit required at trailhead.

hiking
1 month ago

Summiting South Sisters is not for the weak minded. It is a very hard climb and requires you be mentally and physically prepared. It took us 7 hours to climb to the summit. The first 4 miles took us 2 ours and the last 2.5 miles took us 5 hours. It was an epic experience. We met so many amazing people on our climb. Everyone was encouraging. We were surprised to see people starting so late in the day. This hike unless you are in ultra shape and used to climbing takes 6 to 10 plus hours to hike. So make sure you know what you are getting into. We loved the community we felt with the other hikers and created a facebook page for those who have climbed or are wanting to climb. facebook.com/Isummitedsouthsister Would love for you to join our community. Post pictures, share your experience, learn about the climb.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

This was my first mountain I've ever done. And for a first time hiker it was hard to find really good info on this hike. First off it's hard. Like really hard but doable. My best friend and I made it to the summit a couple days ago and my muscles still hurt.
Several things I would like to stress. Poles & gators are a must! Poles probably saved us. Makes the up easier and the down feel safer. I wish I had known about Gators. They cover your shoes and keep the rocks out. Even with them I had to empty my shoes 3x coming down. Water and more water. I packed 4L and drank all of it! And Gu...the kinda gross gu packs that athletes use were life savers. It gave me energy and my muscles the sodium they needed. It still felt like you do a million walking lunges on the way up and then of course hundreds of squats on the way down.
To describe the trail. There is 2 mile of forest which is really cool but mostly up. A nice kind of intro. Then 2 miles of meadow which is a nice stroll a great break before the summit begins. The last 2 miles is up hill!!!
The first mile up the summit is ok...hard but ok. Gave me some major confidence boosts, much needed. There are some definite sketchy points where the trail is hard to find, we were lucky to have someone who had done it before and helped us out on the way. You reach the false summit which has some amazing views. Then you look up...yep up, up, up. You still have another mile of UP in scree. Or as I called the whole way up s$&t. If you want to prepare at all for this hike. Climb sand dunes because it's about the same. Except there are rocks.
It took us about 2-2.5 hours to go that one mile. We took our time and the altitude definitely got to us. But we made it. Sadly due to the fires that surrounded Sisters wilderness blocked out what we had been told were epic views. Guess that means we have to do it again....maybe in a few years. There were an amazing amount of butterflies on the summit which was absolutely amazing.
We stayed on the summit for a bit and gave our muscles a rest. Going down was easier but we were done. We worked our bodies hard.
This hike is hard. The hike is worth it. I hope this helps the inexperienced hikers out there wanting to step up your game. Good luck. Take your time. There will be people who run up the mountain. We even saw a gal skip down the mountain. Shake it off. One step in front of the other and don't let the mountain get in your head!

Is this affected by the forest fires at all? We are heading up tomorrow.

hiking
2 months ago

I hiked and scrambled to The Wife and LeConte crater in mid August on an overcast day... and just before the trail got closed due to nearby forest fires (the trail was opened when I took off at 8:30 am but closed when I got back shortly after 3 pm).
I give 4 stars to this hike when I imagine the views on a sunny day. Even without the views it was a very enjoyable journey with a variety of terrains (from the usual wooded areas to the very unusual landscape of the Wickiup Plains to the amazing Rock Mesa flow and the scramble up the two high points).

Reaching both summits follows off-trail routes (the Wife scramble is well described in the "75 Scrambles in Oregon" book by Barbara Bond -- I got my inspiration from this book!). They are short ( a few hundred feet) but can be physically challenging when ascending/descending loose/scree-ish steep terrain (had a heavy pack that day).

The route I followed is 10+ miles and, if you are looking for a longer option, can be combined with a return via trail 17.1 (towards Moraine Lake) and 36 (lower section of the South Sister trail) .. or even go to Moraine lake.

The trails (when there is one) are very well maintained and not challenging: no heavy rocky section, no abundant roots, no very steep grades. The only "obstacle" are sections on the Wickiup Plains that are a tad sandy and can feel like a bit of a slog.

I had the chance to "meet" a deer standing watch at the edge of the wooded area leading to the South ridge of The Wife; it followed my - slow - progress across the Wickiup Plains and only took off when I got within 100 feet. Even better, I surprised a magnificent buck just as I crested LeConte crate; he too sauntered away from the unwelcome disheveled hiker.

I really liked the relative seclusion of this area, especially after I had a bit of trouble finding a parking spot (at 8:00am) in an area that can accommodate a LOT of cars (I had flashbacks to my previous "Saturday at the mall" experience climbing South Sister). The whole 7 hours on the trail, out and back, I only crossed path with 3 parties. Everyone else was apparently at the lake, on the South sister trail, or back-packing further out in the area.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Hard Hike! Millions of butterflies at the summit right now which is a sight in itself! Mosquitos for the first few miles, but you lose them after Moraine Lake.

backpacking
2 months ago

If the forecast permits, I highly recommend carrying your gear to the summit and camping there. Rock shelters are built to shield you from the wind though the wind still may keep you up from time to time by shaking the tent. It is one hell of a place to wake up.