South Sister, OR


A three-generation climb of Oregon's South Sister

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

Richard had climbed the South as a teenager, Mariel when she was 6 (here she was 17) and John several times. It's not clear who was more excited, Richard or John; Richard to be repeating a climb from 40 years previous, or John to be climbing it again with his first daughter.


As we left camp early that morning, Mariel set off at a furious pace. This quickly had Richard whining about not being able to keep up. As Mariel disappeared up the trail, John hiked with Richard to console him.

Two-thirds of the way up the mountain, Richard passed the youngster.

Mariel was really tired, and it didn't help her spirits to be passed by her grandfather. But she didn't get too far behind, so on a glorious day, we enjoyed lunch together at the top.

John and Mariel lollygagged on the summit rim, reminiscing about Mariel's climb of this peak 11 years ago. Meanwhile, Richard was off down the mountain like a thoroughbred.

John took this picture of Mariel, with her standing right by this funny rock in the foreground. Weird... it's the exact same rock as in a picture from when Mariel was 6.


Richard had a ball talking with ascending climbers he met on his way down. At one point, a teenage boy was having a temper tantrum because the boy didn't want to climb anymore. Richard gleefully pointed up the mountain toward his granddaughter, saying "She climbed this when she was 6!".


Mariel and John stopped to talk with another of Richard's victims, one of a trio of ladies. When told that Richard was 68 years old, she replied, "Well, there goes MY excuse!"

When we got back to Devil's Lake, Mariel departed to keep her busy schedule. Richard and John opened a bottle of red and soaked in another grand day in the mountains.

Mr. Natural Home | 1990s | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski