North Sister and it’s twin Middle Sister both offer excellent alpine snow and ice climbing in Central Oregon. The famous “bowling alley” on North Sister, is a bit more secure in the Spring, but it’s also full of alpine ice and the challenge that it presents. While Middle Sister is technically easier, combining a climb of both into one three-day trip is a sustained physical challenge that rewards you with a rugged experience in the Three Sisters Wilderness.
On day one we will hike in and establish camp between Middle Sister and North Sister as we prepare for our attempt of North Sister. Early the next morning we’ll rise and climb to the saddle between Middle and North Sister. From here, we’ll gain the immense South Ridge of North Sister traversing some steep snow in the process. The summit pinnacle includes some steep snow and ice climbing. The climbing on North Sister can be serious, we will need to move well on a We will descend back to our camp and prepare for day three.
After a well deserved night of rest, we rise early again and attempt Middle Sister via the steep North Ridge. While not as technical as our climb the previous day the climber will encounter steep snow climbing in a visually pleasing setting. Upon returning to our tents we will break camp and begin our hike back out to the trail head.
Both peaks require the use of ice axe and crampons. Previous experience is required.
We are only able to climb these peaks Monday through Thursday between Memorial Day and Labor day, because of limitations on all commercial permits in the Deschutes-Willamette National Forest.