North Sister
Three Sisters Wilderness, Oregon Cascades
July 14, 2015

In an ongoing effort to summit Cascade volcanoes, Kevin, Dan, and I set our sights on the Three Sisters.
We attempted the North Sister first, then the Middle Sister the following day.
We never attempted the South Sister, as the weather came in and walled off the whole range with a giant heap of water and gloom.

We started this hike out from the Pole Creek Campground, on the east side of the Three Sisters range.

Dan, experiencing some gastrointestinal distress, decided to remain at the trailhead overnight and meet us at camp the next day.
As a result, Dan was not able to make the North Sister climb with us.
His smile and blurred out finger gesture say it all.

We got a glimpse of the North Sister as we hiked the trail through the burned out sub-alpine.

The next day, we woke up and hit the trail, after waiting awhile to see if Dan would make it (nope).
We found ourselves below the target ridge (shown above), and had to gain it up the steep side slope from the valley to the south.

We gained the ridge and got a look at the southeast side of the North Sister.
The route (no trail) was to the photo's left.

The pinnacle-topped summit ridge of the North Sister from the southeast.

Check out the cross-section of the volcano!

The route was rougher and more difficult than we expected.
There was a lot of exposure and each step had to be taken with care.

The route more-or-less followed the crest of this ridge and wound through the crag-forming arete.
The rock was mostly rotten pumice and scoria. It was lightweight, crumbly, and sharp.
Trudging through this material sounded as if you were trampling a heap of chalk.

At about 3:00 PM, we decided to call it. We were at about 9,500 feet.
The last 500-600 feet was going to be really difficult and fairly dangerous. We estimated an hour each way.
The wind was blowing hard from the west. The lightning strikes coming down in the east were the nail in the coffin.

Oh well. Great views, anyway.
Above (left to right): Broken Top, Mt. Bachelor, South Sister, Middle Sister