Scrambling up the steep and occasionally loose but spectacular South Sister Peak in Central Oregon
The best thing about South Sister (perhaps most mountains) is the top. I love the stark relief of the volcanoes and you can see no less than four big volcanoes heading north from the summit. It is not an easy summit to get to with a somewhat loose and steep trail towards the top.
The trail is pretty well padded in so it is easy to follow. But that doesn’t stop people from getting lost. My cousin Fred is on search and rescue in that area and once when I was visiting he got a call – a hiker was lost on South Sister and had activated his emergency beacon. Except he kept hiking so the search and rescue team had a moving target. They were calling his name and finally came across him tucked under a boulder trying to stay out of the rain. He thought he could beat the storm but couldn’t. He also killed his iPhone battery by taking too many selfies on the summit, and the only maps he had were on the iPhone.
So I should amend my statement. It is easy to follow on a clear day, but at night and/or in a storm – not so much. Best to hike on a clear day, especially with a family.