20200627_091104 - Copy (2).jpg

Trip Report    

South Sister 6-27-2020

south sister trip report from 6-27-2020

  • Sat, Jun 27, 2020
  • South Sister
  • Day Hiking
  • Successful
  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • trail is about 1/2 snow covered.  summit ridge is snow free. Not much water on the way up, only a few melt streams.

    here is a pick looking up the summit ridge from about 8800 ft. 

    20200627_121225 - Copy (2).jpg

    Climbed south sister on Sat 6-27-2020 from Devils lake TH. 1st snow in the forest at about 1 mi from th,  patchy at first, becoming continuous by the time you break out of the forest onto the Wickiup plane.  The plane itself was about ½ snow covered, ½ regular dirt.  Snow cover increases towards the end of the plane becoming continuous by about 7000 ft.   There is a false summit at about 8800 ft, which is really the beginning of the ridge heading up to the crater.  There is a small, cold, beautiful little lake just on the other side of the ridge.  We were in snow until we got to the ridge but it disappeared at the ridge and we climbed soft red volcanic scree the next 1400 ft to the crater.  There was a short snow patch to cross just below the crater, maybe 75 ft, with a well cut path across.   Crater rim was snow free but the crater itself was (naturally) snow full.  Descended the way we came plus about 1200 ft of glissades. 

    I’m writing about the snow so you can know what to expect this time of year, and of course it is going to vary a lot by year and vary as weather moves in an out of the region.  A trip report from about 6-4-2020 said they had to turn back because of deep snow, and they even had snowshoes.  A weather report from about 6-10-2020 said the mountain got 2 ft of snow in 2 days but it was gone by the time we did our trip. The snow we encountered was actually pretty decent. It was that nice mix of firm and soft, like a snow cone, that you get in late spring.  It softened up a bit by the end of the day but not to bad.  At high altitude I could tell there was a harder layer of ice a few inches below the soft surface snow.   My son did it in flat soled street boots with yaktraks.

  Weather was sunny, cool and windy.  A front was moving in and I believe they got snow the next day.  Temps from the low 50’s at th to 34 at summit to low 60’s back at th in the afternoon.  Wind increased during the day, from constant 15 mph to constant 28 mph as we came down the high scree slope from the crater.  (I have an anemometer). 

   This is a nice trail for people with creeky knees, soft snow, soft scree, soft dirt all the way.  And of course the scenery is mind numbingly beautiful. 

This was not a mountaineers organized trip, just me my son and a couple friends.  I was having trouble finding trip reports so i'm putting it here in case any of you want to do it. 

    Peace out climbers.