South Sister Crowds


Ingrid and I went over to Bend for the weekend to get up South Sister. We got a mellow alpine start, meaning getting to the trailhead at 9:30 along with a hundred other people. I was surprised by the utter lack of snow on the South side. Pictures from a few weeks ago showed snow all the way up, but now there was a faint line of the trail all the way to the summit.
A contrast between now and two months ago:

August June

The trail up was quite pretty as it went up next to a small stream up to the plateau. We stopped a few times to tend to our heels with duct tape and GORP. There were tons of people on the trail, wearing everything from jeans to sweats from the 80s. By the time we got to the summit crater most people seemed to disappear. I think a lot stop at the South rim and call it good, which was nice so we could get the summit proper more or less to ourselves.


We ate our squished sandwiches and put more duct tape while enjoying the views that stretched North to Mt. Adams and South to Mt. Shasta. A cloud formed over us, providing nice shade and a little cooling. Under the cover of the cloud we bombed down the cinder dust.


It was good to get Ingrid up the South Sister as it seems to be a rite of passage, everyone talks about going up it. It was a beautiful day and it's always nice to be up in the air with views.