"North Sister, North Ridge: Failed but oh-so-fun attempt on the beautiful approach and climb"
I really like hiking the area NW of N.Sister -
it's a truly surreal volcanic moonscape! Approaching from McKenzie pass
cuts about 600 feet of elevation gain, while adding only a mile or so on
the PCT. The route involves interesting ridge traversing and either a
steep snow traverse (in early season), or some fairly steep scrambling or
(supposedly sound) low fifth-class rock if we choose to go over Glisan
Pinnacle instead of around it.
Not enough snow for much glissading, very loose ridge with a
few fun moves, but Glisan Pinnacle is adequately solid and fun. Then
Prouty's NW Shoulder is a scary stack of dinner plates!
I'd like to do it again, with four solid climbers and two 60m ropes,
earlier in the season so that there is more snow to descend. Probably use
the alternate approach from a couple miles east of McKensie Pass directly
to Scott Pass as a variation.
TOPO! file (requires topo CD)