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Current conditions for Mt Hood?

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Current conditions for Mt Hood?

Postby mcpherma » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:26 pm

A couple buddies and I are thinking about heading out for Mt Hood this weekend and was wondering if anyone has been on it recently. I see that the weather should be gorgeous, meaning climb at night. We were thinking of a midnight to 0300 start, thoughts?

Any need for snowshoes to get up the lifts. NOAA has called for about 8 inches or so the last couple days, did it really happen and is it pretty packed underneath that?

Also what are some thoughts on going straight up the hogsback vs. crossing hot rocks to get to the old chute?

I hear mixed reports of people roping up. There may be as many as 6 of us. What are some thoughts on that. The last couple times I was up, it was just my brother and I and we didn't bother.

This will be my third climb and hopefully second summit. Thanks for any info.
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Re: Current conditions for Mt Hood?

Postby OJ Loenneker » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:53 am

mcpherma wrote:A couple buddies and I are thinking about heading out for Mt Hood this weekend and was wondering if anyone has been on it recently. I see that the weather should be gorgeous, meaning climb at night. We were thinking of a midnight to 0300 start, thoughts?


That should be fine

Any need for snowshoes to get up the lifts. NOAA has called for about 8 inches or so the last couple days, did it really happen and is it pretty packed underneath that?


You will probably want snowshoes. I usually skin up to crater rock, and have not walked this part in years, so... But usually there is a cat track up there and that usually is pretty firm.

Also what are some thoughts on going straight up the hogsback vs. crossing hot rocks to get to the old chute?


As far as going up the old chute, I ave gone high on hogsback as well as crossing over at the rocks. To me it seemed a little less exposed wen I crossed over to the rocks rather than up high on the hogsback. Other than that, it's pretty much the same either way.

I hear mixed reports of people roping up. There may be as many as 6 of us. What are some thoughts on that. The last couple times I was up, it was just my brother and I and we didn't bother.

This will be my third climb and hopefully second summit. Thanks for any info.


Depends. Are you going to put in any protection? I usually don't bother with the rope, mainly because I am usually solo. but if you have some members of your party that are a little scared, a rope sometimes is a great confidence builder. But, I would rather see people with helmets more of a priority on the route since falling ice and rocks are a real issue once it warms up a little during the day. Also, with a rope, you can up the safety factor on the decent by belaying your group down, if thats how you like to roll.
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Postby EastKing » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:57 am

It looks like your weather window looks good. If I was not working I'd be there.

The way I took last year was to go down to the crater hot rocks and then come back up the Old Chute. I personally think that is much safer than attempting to go up the Hogsback and cut across. You will be side traversing on very steep solid snow. As for roping up, I personally would not. I think it keeps you in the danger zone longer and it actually increases the others chances of going with you if you fall. It is very hard to self arrest on the Old Chute once you start moving. Others though have made the point for roping up so that the others can self arrest you to stop a fall in case you get in one. Study trip reports here and judge for yourself. If you take the proper route there is very little in crevasse danger on the south route on Hood.

Have fun and post a TR of your results.
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Postby billisfree » Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:19 pm

I may likely be there. Since I am a slow climber, I'll start at 11pm. I tend to solo a lot, but always appreciate having others around me. Keep me posted of your plans.

It'll be my 6th time onto the hogsback, 3rd time IF I make it to the summit.

Image

Picture taken from Mt Hood Meadows yesterday (Feb 16, 2010). It was pretty windy up there. Note the steep ridge/cornice on the White River ridge. (it doesn't really show well in this picture). From my observation, it looked very steep or slightly concave.
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Postby mcpherma » Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:02 am

Thanks for the info. We will most likely set out at 0100 and cross Hot Rocks. It looks like we will have some great weather. I am looking forward to it. The last time I was up, there was really no view due to clouds. Hopefully I will have some nice photos to share. Bill, we will look forward to seeing you out there.
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Postby Holk » Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:22 am

My brother and I are heading up Saturday night/ Sunday morning. Our plans are to do the easier route described here (hot rocks - old chute) as it will be our first summit attempt on Hood. We are not roping up, but were up the other week around I-Rock and based off those conditions expect having to showshoe to Crater Rock. Photos to follow.
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Postby mcpherma » Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:31 am

We were successfull and in retrospect, snowhoes were not required. Helpful, but not required. We ditched them for crampons at about 9K. We went Hot Rocks, but returned via the Hogsback. We summited at around 0630 and it would have been no problem and maybe even a little quicker to just stick to the Hogsback and traverse to the Old Chute. It was windy and cold, but with the right gear, it didn't bother me too much. I just recently got home and am dead tired going on 40 hours no sleep. Pics to come later. \

Thanks for the info, we had a great trip.
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Postby EastKing » Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:37 am

Congratulations! Hood is an awesome peak.
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Postby billisfree » Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:45 pm

Well... congratulations.

I went up Saturday night (last night) and it was blowing 20-30 mph east winds with temperatures well below freezing. I've climbed in that stuff before, decided not to try.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here are pictures from last year - in October, I encountred similiar conditons:

Image

Conditions were a bit brutal... 25mph winds, 32 degees at the Timberline parking lot. I gave it a try. Since I was warm and dry... I just kept going and going.

Here is Silcox Hut at 6,500 ft.

I stopped at the hut for a half hour. Heard that some couple with two kids camped a bit above last night. Their tent was shredded by 80-100 mph winds.

Image

Winds only got worse... I walked forward in the lulls, hunkered down in the blasts.

Maybe I should have taken more Imodium, but I HAD to go. I found a decent hollow,
dug a nice deep hole and undid layers of clothing.
By the time I finished, the hole I dug, was completely filled with blown snow -
and not a trace of my work remained. Nor was I going to dig it up and blue bag it!
This gives new meaning to "freezing your A** off".

Image


Finally, I encounted a prolonged blast... blowing snow and whiteout conditions. I just had to sit down for awhile. Wind hit 40 mph. I was warm and dry, but the prospect of prolonged wind and cold did not seem inviting. Finally, I called it a day at 7,500 ft. I had hoped to climb to 10,500 ft.

I gotta remember to bring ski goggles!

And when I got back to the parking lot - the winds were dead calm and it was a nice warm 60-degree day!

NOW, do you see why I didn't even care to try! LOL Of course, since I was solo, I didn't have to answer to anyone or disappoint anyone by aborting.
Last edited by billisfree on Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:25 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby Holk » Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:43 am

I think the conditions were worse than that by the time we'd headed up, but the winds died down once above the Palmer. I actually had hopes of running into you up there Bill. It was a good day.
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Postby billisfree » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:21 pm

Yeah right... it's just like sailing in storms... you never know what the wind will be doing at another time or place.
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Postby mcpherma » Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:13 pm

Both times I have been up there in the wind, it died out above the Palmer. This time the wind was coming up the north face pretty good, but once you decended about 20 feet, it was calm again.
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Postby dskoon » Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:38 pm

Yep, I'm beginning to think that's right. It was my experience as well, strangely calm from just below Crater Rock on up. A pocket of protection from the wind is my guess. Glad you made it and found good conditons. I'm jonesin!
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Postby Holk » Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:13 am

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Postby mcpherma » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:17 am

Nice TR, Holk. I only wish I could write a tale that otherw would actually enjoy reading. It is tough for me to find time to upload photos, much less write about them. Sounds like your weather was much like ours.
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