Circumnavigate South Sister - August 23, 2019

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A. Hugh Jass
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Circumnavigate South Sister - August 23, 2019

Post by A. Hugh Jass » August 24th, 2019, 11:59 am

So, not only do I climb mountains I also like going around them. I've circumnavigated Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, and now South Sister. I want to do Mt. Adams, but the Yakima Nation is no longer issuing permits (last time I checked). I have a few more on the list too.



In my effort to go around South Sister, I left the Devil's Lake trailhead at 7:10 in the morning. When I reached the Moraine Lake trail, I turned left to do my circumnavigation clockwise. I choose the clockwise direction because of no particular reason. I returned to my truck at 7:15 pm.

There are established trails around three quarters of the mountain, but on the Northeast side there are no trails. I like being in the wild, and this section is the real Three Sisters Wilderness. I didn't run into a single person out there.

This is a great hike. I did it as a day-hike in about 12 hours, but I will return again as an backpacking two day+ hike. On my return I can summit Middle Sister and I really want to do The Husband which is a 3rd / 4th class scramble.

Around South Sister Circumnavigation
24.5 miles
4920 feet of elevation gain and loss
my total time with all breaks (about one hour total) was 12 hours and five minutes

I carried no more than one litre of water. I stopped about six times to filter water usually 1/2 litre at a time.

I carried the 10 essentials and a PLB for emergencies. I was shocked to have really good cell service, T-Mobile, around most of the mountain. I used it to text my location to my wife periodically on my hike.

FYI, I recently returned my Garmin InReach Mini. The quality of the GPS locations were terrible, off by miles sometimes, even when I was on summits with no obstructions. And sometimes it just failed to transmit anything.

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sgyoung
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Re: Circumnavigate South Sister - August 23, 2019

Post by sgyoung » August 25th, 2019, 1:06 pm

Cool report. Thanks for posting. I like the videos you've made as well. They're a nice supplement to the written hike description.

I found the terrain between South and Middle Sister to be really fascinating from the SS summit, so this was an especially neat report to see. The trail-less portion didn't look too bad in the video. I would expect it to be challenging, if only because of a lot of volcanic group, snow fields, etc. Did you find it relatively easy to navigate that portion of the hike?

Also, are you talking a break in the snow or slipping @2:45?

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Chip Down
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Re: Circumnavigate South Sister - August 23, 2019

Post by Chip Down » August 25th, 2019, 2:55 pm

Twelve hours?! Wow. I haven't done it, but that seems impressive.

That NE side is fun, especially Carver Lake.

I would strongly prefer narration instead of music.

What was that fine-threatening plaque towards the end? I couldn't quite make it out.

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A. Hugh Jass
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Re: Circumnavigate South Sister - August 23, 2019

Post by A. Hugh Jass » August 25th, 2019, 4:05 pm

sgyoung wrote:
August 25th, 2019, 1:06 pm
I found the terrain between South and Middle Sister to be really fascinating from the SS summit, so this was an especially neat report to see. The trail-less portion didn't look too bad in the video. I would expect it to be challenging, if only because of a lot of volcanic group, snow fields, etc. Did you find it relatively easy to navigate that portion of the hike?

Also, are you talking a break in the snow or slipping @2:45?
The three miles of off-trail was pretty easy to navigate, but a lot of up/down in the first mile. Thanks to all the great tools on Caltopo, I got a good sense as to how to proceed. It pretty much went as planned.

Yep, I slipped in the snow. I left it in the video to amuse my wife.

For those inclined to do so, I highly recommend this loop around South Sister. However, I'd suggest to do it as at least night or two backpack. I think it would be more enjoyable. Although, I really enjoyed this hike.
Last edited by A. Hugh Jass on August 25th, 2019, 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Hugh Jass
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Re: Circumnavigate South Sister - August 23, 2019

Post by A. Hugh Jass » August 25th, 2019, 4:11 pm

Chip Down wrote:
August 25th, 2019, 2:55 pm
I would strongly prefer narration instead of music.
Thanks for the feedback. My voice sounds like a cross between Bobcat Goldthwait and Smeagol, so I'm sparing the public from that horror with the background music - try the mute button ;)

Chip Down wrote:
August 25th, 2019, 2:55 pm
What was that fine-threatening plaque towards the end? I couldn't quite make it out.
The boulder had graffiti, and has been cleaned. $200 fine. Two years ago the boulder was not defaced. Then one person wrote on it, then another, and another. Rangers cleaned it and put up a notice with a fine. People, are such .... sometimes, eh?

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Chip Down
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Re: Circumnavigate South Sister - August 23, 2019

Post by Chip Down » August 25th, 2019, 5:13 pm

I figured it was something like that. Odd that people will deface a boulder (obviously a stupid thing to do) but when threatened with a fine by some remote authority with no ability to enforce, they decide not to deface the boulder. How strange. I wonder what would happen if we just posted a sign that said "you have to be a real dipshit to scrawl your tag on a rock in the wilderness." People would probably deface the sign, but that's okay.

Maybe get your wife to narrate the video?

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markesc
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Re: Circumnavigate South Sister - August 23, 2019

Post by markesc » August 25th, 2019, 6:29 pm

Wow really cool video! Just the right length of time. GoPro coming out will be 4k @ 60fps, should be a sweet upgrade!

The chambers/camp lakes area with all the intersecting colors looks amazing! I bet you actually had some good portions of solitude, silence, and just the sounds of the elements.

I could write pages on my theories of the causes of the vandalism topic, but I don't want to railroad this TR :mrgreen:

Webfoot
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Re: Circumnavigate South Sister - August 23, 2019

Post by Webfoot » August 25th, 2019, 8:20 pm

A. Hugh Jass wrote:
August 25th, 2019, 4:11 pm
My voice sounds like a cross between Bobcat Goldthwait and Smeagol, so I'm sparing the public from that horror with the background music - try the mute button ;)
:lol: :lol: :lol: :D

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