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decrepit

North Sister?

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Business will take me to Oregon this week, and I'm thinking about trying to sneak in a volcano climb when the boss is not looking. But... it seems late in the season. Are the north-side routes on the North Sister still in acceptable shape? I won't be able to ski, but I'm not interested in a choss slog.

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I have never done N. Sister but I was just talking with a friend who has last week. He said that its much easier and safer to climb it when its frozen. The area between the peaks is known as "The bowling alley" for good reason. Sorry if you already knew this.

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yes--it is definitely a sketchy place this time of year, with lots of rockfall and very little snow to help out. I was in the area on July 11th, and people were climbing it--lots of people. Here is what the west face looked like then

6016IMG_0140-med.jpg

Although the mountain sees lots of ascents during this time of year, it is certainly safer and more scenic in the spring. The double-pointed pinnacle is Prouty Pinnacle, with the left point being the true summit. Most parties come from the south and make a traverse of the snow patch visable under Prouty, but coming from the North it looks like you would have little or no snow once you left the glaciers.

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Ooh - that picture is just what I needed. Even if the north side has more snow, a traverse across this c*!p would be required. Thanks! I'll save it for a better time.

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The southeast route via pole creek is pretty easy I did it last september. dicey and lots of rockfall to say the least but fun.

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I've gotta disagree with you on that one. I thought the Southeast Ridge was a tedious slog up a scree-covered, gendarme-infested ridge. You have to be wary of every single footfall as there is hardly a solid stone on the entire mountain. hellno3d.gif

 

The snow covered traverse was fun and the 50 foot scramble from the top of the bowling alley to the summit was nice, but the ridge slog totally blew. tongue.gif

 

This one would definitely be better in winter.

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...north sister via the south ridge ain't that bad, I've been up it several times mid-summer and actually never had any close calls with rockfall (maybe I'm just lucky). my opinion could also be skewed by the fact that when I lived near the Sisters I had yet to go climbing in the North Cascades and see what less crumbly mountains were like.

 

the rock quality gets better up near the top, decent enough rock to actually put in a rap anchor if you don't want to downclimb the bowling alley. the high snowpatch that you have to traverse to get to the bowling alley usually has a big moat on the uphill side that makes the traverse much easier than crossing the middle of the snowpatch.

 

that being said, there are better climbs to be done in the central oregon cascades...middle sister is a safe walk-up and washington has good quality rock for being an oregon volcano, and the last moves to the top of three finger jack are decent too.

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