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South Sister via the North Ridge (M3 / Grade IV) -- CANCELED
This day trip up South Sister will cover 18.5 miles and gain 4,900 vertical feet. It ascends the rarely climbed North Ridge. The North Ridge is popular with people attempting to complete the Three Sister's Marathon is a day due to the fact it is the shortest way to the summit of South Sister from Middle Sister; however, the North Ridge is rarely climbed on its own.
The trip will be limited to those in exceptional shape and are comfortable ascending crumbly 3rd & 4th class terrain while un-roped nearly 1000 feet above the Skinner Glacier.
The trailhead (Green Lakes) is located approximately four miles to the south of South Sister. As the route name implies, where we need to be is on the North side of South Sister. To achieve the summit via the North Ridge from the Green Lakes trailhead, we will need to hike north all the way past South Sister, then come back around to tackle the route from the opposite, northern side of the mountain.
The day will begin in the dark at the Green Lakes Trailhead. We will leave the Green Lakes trailhead and hike approximately four miles north to Green Lakes, then hike approximately another two miles north to the crest above green lakes. At this point, we will turn left (West) and head cross-country through timberline terrain and various old glacier moraines, crossing a couple muddy glacier melt creeks and staying just to the south of Carver Lake until we approach the looming North Ridge of South Sister. This wandering cross country trek is approximately 2 miles. We will then scramble up onto the North Ridge where the amazing views and the majority of the elevation gain still awaits us. The ascent up the North Ridge eventually culminates in a dicey, unprotected scramble traverse nearly a thousand feet above the remnants of the Skinner glacier before pulling the final pumice and ash slope to the summit rim. Once on the summit, we will descend down the regular south side climber’s trail (dog route) until we come to the trail junction for Moraine Lake. We will take the trail to Moraine Lake and continue for a couple miles past to the trail junction were we will rejoin the Green Lakes trail, then hike the final couple miles back to the vehicles, completing a giant, counter-clockwise route up and over South Sister.
Summit Post Link: https://www.summitpost.org/south-sister/150455
Difficulty: M3 / Grade IV (18.5 miles & 4,900 vert gain) [This climb will be restricted to those in exceptional shape]
Driving Distance RT: 310 miles
Saturday, September 09, 2023
Registration is not Required
The Trip Leader is the event coordinator. The Trip Leader has the final say over who may participate in the event.