My wife and I took a trip to Bend this past week for some hiking and golf. We had a great week of good weather, sans one day of rain and we managed to put in a good hike on S. Sister. Unfortunately, the weather was changing on the day of the hike so we chose not to summit but still got in some exercise and had some fun. Here is a bit of our trip:
Starting at Devils Lake TH at 5,450' we made the trek up a drainage through the forest to this location at approx. 6,300'. S. Sister, looking pretty good early on:
Broken Top Mountain just to the east. We, with Peak Travels, had thought to put together a back country ski trip here a couple of years ago but never got it together with our schedules. Having seen it now, I would like to make another attempt at doing this. You can't see the main cirque where we would ski in this photo but it's definitely some cool looking terrain.
This is looking down at Moraine Lake, located just south of S. Sister, with Mt. Bachelor in the background. This shot is from about 6,800' and the lake is at 6,400. We were here three years ago at this same time of year and wanted to make it as far as the lake but got turned away due to 8' of snow and downed trees blocking the trail. They never opened the trail that year due to not being able to maintain it with all the snow. Not a problem this year.
Uh oh, another shot of S. Sister summit. What's with the clouds? This was NOT a good sign.
No clouds on Bachelor. Damn!
This is a pretty cool look at the lava field to the south of S. Sister.
Mrs. GM making her way through the scree field just below the final approach ridge. This was the most difficult part of the hike.
Terminal Moraine lake at the bottom of a large snowfield/glacier. We had lunch behind a ridge line there while contemplating the foggy conditions and high winds for the last approach.
Here's a look right after lunch up the final ridge approach....hmmmm....not looking so great.
We decided to call it about 200' vert above this point. Winds on this ridge were blowing about 60 mph and it was getting colder in a hurry. With mountain thunderstorms in the forecast, I didn't think it would be a good idea to be somewhere near the summit if a real storm hit. Besides, we weren't going to be able to see anything up there anyway. We made it to about 9,600', 800' short of the summit so no summit today. Maybe another day.
One last shot of Mrs. GM trying to hold onto her hat just below where I'm at in the above picture. Again, wind was howling and our enthusiasm wasn't, at this point. Ah, life in the mountains....
As this was our second attempt to get to this mountain, and we got much closer than last time, maybe we can make the summit next year, should we decide to make another pilgrimage to the Bend area. As an area, Bend is awesome. There are so many outdoor choices available for recreation, on top of a ton of great micro-brewery and restaurant choices, that it is really a great place to visit. I think I wrote in some other thread that, if I were to leave Spokane, Bend would be a top-tier choice location to live. Really a great place to be.