South Sister Backpack

September 18, 2015 @ 5:00 pm – September 20, 2015 @ 3:00 pm America/Los Angeles Timezone
Little Lava Lake
Individual Cook
Mike Benson
(503) 810-4392

As you know we have a BIG CLIMB coming up September 19th. 351 will be attempting to summit South Sister. This climb is not technical in anyway but it is long, steep and grueling. Needless to say we invite everyone to come and try it out, and give it their best shot. It is crucial that each Scout, Scoutmaster and parent who would like to participate consider what their getting into.


So here are the stats:

Elevation: 10,358 ft

Trailhead elevation: 5,480 ft

Total elevation from trail head to the top: 4,878 ft

The climb in miles: 11.6

The climb in hours: 7-9

Caution: this is a very Strenuous hike. There is no purified water sources along the hike. Be sure to bring LOTS of water and be prepared to spend many hours in the sun.


Please speak to your Scout and make sure that they feel like they are up to this climb and really are into making it. We would hate to turn a young person off on hiking and climbing by making their first experience too hard. In addition, we will need to break the troop into ability groups with no less than 3 adults in each group and if one scout decides that they want to turn back then it puts the other scouts in that group at risk of not summiting . So like I said above, everyone is invited to try, were just making sure that everyone knows what their getting into.


Climbers schedule:

Leave St Ignatius at 5:00 pm on Friday September 18th

Arrive at trail head to Moraine lake between 6-7 pm, hike approximately 2 miles into lake Moraine and set up camp around the lake. Eat, sleep and wake around 5:00 AM, eat breakfast and break camp. We will store the tents and gear a Moraine lake during the hike. After the hike we will drive the few miles to Little Lave Lake and join the rest of the troop. Have a troop cook spaghetti, salad and bread dinner, tell stories, swim and SLEEP!



Leave St Ignatius at 3:00 pm on Friday September 18th

Arrive at Little Lava Lake around 6-7 pm, This part of the trip is still being worked out. We do not know who will be at Little Lava Lake on Friday night at this point. When the sign-ups are complete we will know who is going where and then select the activities for Little Lava Lake.


Gear for climbers:


Sleeping bag.

Swim trunks for Little Lava lake afterwards.

Water bottles, at least 4 liters worth for the climb

Friday dinner: sack lunch or back packing ready to eat meal.

Saturday breakfast: back packers ready to eat meal, power bars, oatmeal, Bagels something easy.

Climbing food: light and small, you need to be thinking protein. Hard bold eggs, protein snacks, jerky, nuts.

High top hiking boots: there are a lot of little pebbles that will make their way into your shoes so a high top boot is essential.

Gaiters: these are not that expensive and will really come in handy, they are not required but highly suggested. If we are stopping all the time getting rocks out of scout boots then we run the risk of not summiting. Even if you packed some rubber bands so that you could rubber band your scout pant around your boot it might make all the difference.

Handkerchief: for sweat and protecting the neck from the sun.

Zip up scout pants: could be cold in the morning, be prepared.

Three layers: you need to be able to layer your clothes. Undershirt, light fleece, rain jacket/wind breaker. No Big thick coats.

Hat: is a must in case of sun, rain.

Safety: Water, sunscreen, space blanket, small mirror, fire starter, change of socks and Mole SKIN.

Day pack: something small for just the climb.

We will have a climbing pack inspection on Tuesday September 14th.



Focus:                             15 mile Mountain Climb/Backpack

Transportation:            Vehicles will leave Friday at 2:00pm.  We will be back at St Ignatius by 8:00pm on Saturday

Directions to South Sister Trail Head:   Starting from Bend, drive west on the Cascade Lakes Highway for 27 miles. Continue past the Mt. Bachelor Ski Area 6.5 miles. Then turn left at Devils Lake Campground. The sign for the South Sisters Trail head is at the end of the campground parking lot, just to the right of the restrooms. The trail pointer is labeled “South Sister Climbers Trail 36

Sleeping:  You will be sleeping in tents – there may be snow on the ground

Food:      Friday dinner we will stop for food on the way to the Mountain.  Saturday – breakfast, lunch and snacks.  We will stop for Dinner in Sister’s on the way home.


    • Overnight Pack 
    • Mess Kit
    • Sleeping Pad
    • Sleeping Bag – Rated 0-30 degrees, with compression stuff sack
    • Toiletries – Toothbrush and toothpaste, floss, eyewear, etc.
    • 1 Gallon Ziploc bag – 2-3
      • Underwear – Wool or synthetic
      • Socks – Wool or synthetic. Some people like a thinner wool sock with a liners. Bring 2 pairs.
      • Long Underwear – Medium weight tops and bottoms.
      • T-shirt – Synthetic, quick-drying
      • Softshell fleece Jacket –
      • Quick Dry Pants
      • Shell Pants – Waterproof, breathable pants with a full-length side-zipper for putting on over boots when the weather gets severe. Gore-Tex is one such material used by many manufacturers.
      • Shell jacket – Requires a helmet-compatible hood.
      • Insulated jacket – (Micro-puff jackets are too light for this application.)
      • Lightweight Gloves – Windproof gloves
      • Buff, or Balaclava – Protection from wind, cold and sun.
      • Sun Hat – The more coverage the better.
      • Gaiters – For soft, slushy snow conditions.
      • Lunch/Snacks – 1 lb per day of a variety of tasty, high energy foods
      • Water Bottles/bladders– Two liters required
      • Sunglasses or Glacier Glasses – Should be high-quality, dark, large and fit snugly or have side-shields.
      • Sun Block – SPF 30 or higher
      • Lip Balm – SPF 15 or higher
      • Toilet Paper – Just in case! Blue bags will be available at most trailheads.
      • Headlamp – For alpine starts
      • Personal First Aid Kit – Moleskin, ibuprofen, aspirin, antacids, personal prescriptions, band-aids.
      • Day pack (required for hike)

Phil Newman