Lately, I have posted a number of pictures of the mountains that dominate north central Oregon. I have often mentioned the Three Sisters in the Three Sisters Wilderness area.
Several times I have hiked around them, or I have hiked into the lakes that rest at their bases, such as the Green Lakes and Sisters Mirror Lake.
What has not been mentioned is the hike (climb) to the top of South Sister. To climb North Sister is difficult and requires mountain climbing experience. Middle Sister is less difficult but requires careful planning. South Sister is a hike rather than a climb; one hikes a trail to the top.
I have hiked to the summit of South Sisters on two different occasions. The second time, I spent the night, enduring winds and freezing temperatures.
South Sister is the third highest peak in Oregon at 10358 ft (3157 m), but it requires little climbing experience. It is rated at worst a class 3. No gear is needed except for good shoes and lots of determination.
Here we have the view from the summit of South Sister looking toward Mount Bachelor. On the ridge to the right of the small lake is the trail to the top. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.) But wait, there’s more!
In Central Oregon are several mountains that dominate the horizon to the southwest as one drives southeast from Portland on Highway 97. Mount Hood, Mount Washington, Mount Jefferson, Three-Fingered Jack, and then the sisters Three Sisters and then Broken Top and Mount Bachelor further along.
One of the more exciting trails to hike in Oregon is the Timberline Trail which circles Mount Hood. It is approximately 40 miles. Another trail, not as well known but about the same distance, is the one that goes around the Three Sisters. Like the Timberline Trail it includes a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail.
Even less known than these two routes is the trail through the saddle between Middle Sister and South Sister.
It can be very difficult to find if one approaches from the south. No signs exists and relying on rock cairns is not wise. A map, compass, and a GPS device is recommended. After leaving the Pacific Crest Trail toward the divide between the Middle and South Sisters, one can often find the trail or simply continue cross country through the divide between the two peaks.
The alternative route would be to hike to the Chambers Lakes in the Three Sisters Wilderness area. Afterward one continues into the saddle between Middle and South Sisters.
The preceding pictures show the terrain in the saddle between South and Middle Sisters. One looks forward to the saddle and the other looks back. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.) But wait, there’s more!
“In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration.” ―Ansel Adams
Lately I have been revisiting, re-exploring my neighborhood. I take my camera with me. I became so accustomed to my surroundings, I had looked elsewhere for fun and inspiration.
My life seemed ordinary, pleasant. I had visited and revisited the back country within easy driving distance from home. But I wanted to escape my routines, even though from far away my friends and relatives looked on my adventures into the wild as exceptional.
I had simply become too habituated to it. I could not imagine that Oregon might be somewhere I would miss. I felt more tormented with the possibility of exploring those remote countries.
Before I returned to Mt. Bachelor, I had traveled in Europe several times and visited India and spent five weeks walking the chemin of Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle and hiked the John Muir Trail, which included climbing Mt. Whitney a couple of times.
Recently, I went back to Mt. Bachelor and paid some money so I could ride the chair lift to the top, or near to the top. I did not climb nor walk up. I did it the easy way.
But wait, there’s more!
“There is absolutely no greater high than challenging the power structure as a nobody, giving it your all, and winning!” ―Abbie Hoffman
“Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.” ―Mahatma Gandhi
I spend the winters in Antibes, France, a small town on the French Riviera. Not far from Antibes is the smaller coastal town Golf-Juan where the King of Saudi Arabia owns a villa on the water front with access to a public beach.
Recently, the king and his entourage decided to spend three weeks there. A summer vacation it was to be. For security reasons, he closed off the public beach and without a permit built a temporary scaffolding to the beach. Mistake.
Needless to say his actions did not go unnoticed. Petitions were signed. Les citoyens ne l’ont pas accueilli avec de grandes manifestations d’amitié. Non, pas de tout.
The French will forcefully take sides, as the United States discovered during the months leading to the invasion of Iraq. In our own history we have learned that neutrality helps the oppressor but seldom the victim, and that one’s silence will encourage the tormentor but seldom the tormented.
But wait, there’s more!