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Recent intel on Sisters Marathon?

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A friend and I are planning our first attempt at the Sisters Marathon this weekend (9/16/18). Curious if any has done it recently and can share conditions or tips.

Our planned route: leave Pole Creek TH early, climb up the SE ridge to the traverse & Bowling Ball alley. Descend NS on the SW ridge to saddle, then up the North ridge to MS summit. Descend South ridge of MS, fill up with water and make our way across to the North ridge of SS for the final push (vs the longer/easier NW ridge). Heard there’s a rope at the base of a steep cliff at the top of the N ridge, leading to the right and an easier summit approach. Is it still there and reliable?

Should be a fun day! Thanks in advance for any advice.


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I hiked the North Ridge of SS on August 25th from Green Lakes TH in prep for my own shot at the marathon. Hoping to get it done soon. 

The route is pretty straightforward and follows the ridge crest directly. After NS, you’ll find it mellow. There is a convenient hand line when the ridge gets steep. The loop of sun-bleached webbing that anchors the rope is definitely in need of replacement/reinforcement. I’d try to avoid yanking on it too much. The rope is quite handy for routefinding if nothing else. 

Good mountain karma awaits the scree-wallower who gives the anchor some love. 

Have fun and let us know how it goes!


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I agree, I seriously considered doing the deed myself last time I was up there. That's thing's too dangerous to trust anyway, and a total eyesore. This might sound elitist, but I think that if you feel like you need that fixed line you probably shouldn't be there. IMO the only good reason to do that route is as part of a marathon, and if you can get up North Sister, you can get up the N Ridge of South as well, as unpleasant as the climbing there may be.

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