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Mount Hood Conditions

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Mount Hood Conditions

Postby Driver » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:48 pm

Hi all- this is my first post here so thank you for any advice you can give. I am not an experienced mountaineer, at all, but have been training very hard to hopefully summit Mt. Hood this month. My legs and lungs are in shape for a hard climb. The only snow experience I have had is a day of self arrest practice/crampon use and hiking up to 8600' feet on Mount Hood. I do not have roping in experience, although I do have a harness and rope if need be.

I will be climbing with an intermediate climber who has summitted St. Helens twice and South Sister once. We have been planning to do the South Route this weekend but I am finding myself kind of nervous because it is difficult to find conditions and a person was injured up there today. Does any one know how the snow conditions might be this weekend? From the looks of it, we would try for Sunday around midnight.

Thank you so much!
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Re: Mount Hood Conditions

Postby Driver » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:58 pm

Update - unfortunately the person didn't survive the fall. Heart goes out to his friends and family.
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Re: Mount Hood Conditions

Postby Fletch » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:06 pm

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Re: Mount Hood Conditions

Postby spiderman » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:22 pm

I was up to the hogsback last weekend and there was a ton of fresh snow from the recent storms. Avalanche conditions were significant so we turned back. There are also many crevasses near the entrance to the crater. I would definitely rope up before you get near it. Hopefully the recent warm/cold cycles have solidified the snow but IMHO it might be another week before everything is safe. The guided groups were all turning around and recommending early July for optimal snow conditions.

Be careful with the forecasted warm weather this weekend. The National Weather Service forecasted that it might not drop below freezing on Saturday night. If so, Sunday would be too dangerous. Early Saturday might be the best option (summit and descent before any daytime warmth).

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.ph ... tType=text
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Re: Mount Hood Conditions

Postby Hemoglobin » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:20 pm

Myself and 3 others did it Monday morning 6/11, only 2 of us made it to the summit. The Pearly Gates were starting to slush around 7:00am.

My 2c is to get up and off the summit by 6:30am before the sun has a chance to warm things up. That's just how I would do it, others are willing to risk more.

Another thing to really watch is what the temps are going to look like during the night. If the freezing level is above 10k' even at 3am, it's not worth it. But again that's just me.
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Re: Mount Hood Conditions

Postby philoparts » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:04 am

I've been hearing about freezing levels above 10K this week, but that can always change. Just my personal view, but I won't climb Hood until I've either gained way more experience than my current level AND go with someone who has climbed Hood at least a few times, or I'll pay for a guide. I was up there end of May doing a few alpine courses, and no one I heard about had been able to summit due to avy danger and weather that weekend. The guides I worked with for two days had summited several times before that weekend, and they were very concerned with the conditions and gave the clients the option to postpone instead of get part way up and turn back. Both were avy forecasters from Utah in the winter months, so they understood the current conditions well. Both groups opted to try, and turned back due to conditions below the Hogsback.
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Re: Mount Hood Conditions

Postby philoparts » Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:12 am

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Re: Mount Hood Conditions

Postby Driver » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:44 am

Hemoglobin wrote:Myself and 3 others did it Monday morning 6/11, only 2 of us made it to the summit. The Pearly Gates were starting to slush around 7:00am.

My 2c is to get up and off the summit by 6:30am before the sun has a chance to warm things up. That's just how I would do it, others are willing to risk more.

Another thing to really watch is what the temps are going to look like during the night. If the freezing level is above 10k' even at 3am, it's not worth it. But again that's just me.



Hi all, thanks for the great responses. We decided to skip that weekend and just do some hard hikes/runs.

This week, the freezing levels seem to be in between 10-12k' Wednesday through Sunday. Based on this, is Wednesday the only day you'd be willing to try to summit? I noticed two of you said that it was better to have low freezing levels... this doesn't appear to be the case for July. Do many people summit in July? If so, how can we alter ideal conditions for the early summer months compared to those in late spring.
http://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Ti ... e/6day/top

Let me know, I thought the season normally ends in early July. Thanks!
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Re: Mount Hood Conditions

Postby Driver » Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:28 pm

Just bumping this to see if I can get any responses. Thanks
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Re: Mount Hood Conditions

Postby Sunny Buns » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:08 am

IMHO, summiting St. Helens twice and South sister once is not enough to be called an "intermediate" climber. That describes a new climber. Climb some more yourself this summer, then go with someone with proper equipment who knows what they are doing. I've done Mt. Hood twice, but with the hogsback moved away from the pearly gates, it isn't as easy as in the past. This has contributed to a lot of recent accidents.

This summer do the following:
Mt St. Helens
South Sister
Mt Adams
Mt Shasta
Hike up to the hogsback on Hood
Practice ice axe use. Practice self arrest. Take a rope on those climbs, practice tying into it, moving with it, stopping a fall of your partner, not stepping on it with crampons, etc. Get in shape. Next May, if you want, when conditions are perfect, try Mt. Hood. Mt. Hood will probably be there a few more years if you can't climb it right away.
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Re: Mount Hood Conditions

Postby billisfree » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:22 pm

I've been on the hogsback 8 times. Only to summit 2 times.

I turn around a lot on the hogsback... snow too icy... falling ice... hearing rocks falling... alavances everywhere... or just plain too tired. I've seen plenty of others turn around on the hogsback.

I consider Mt. Hood my most dangerous mtn. Shasta, Adams, St. Helens, S. Sister are pretty safe mtns.

Just to STAND on the hogsback is still quite a joy. No need to risk your body for another mere 600 ft.

Image

Experience is not neccessary for this. Just as many experienced climbers as newbies die here. Just KNOW when conditions are dangerous and stop. One can most always make it to the hogsback. BUT, turn around when: 1) thick fresh snow has recently fallen atop an icy slope 2) slope is like frozen ice 3) evidence of alavances are everywhere 4) rock slides (in late summer) can be heard or 5) lots of large ice chunks are skittered down on you.
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Re: Mount Hood Conditions

Postby billisfree » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:57 pm

Ropes? Crampons? Ice axe? Harness? Partner? Treking poles?

What does one need to climb Mt Hood?

Lots of people solo to top. Climbing schools always rope up. Crampons make things easier. To get to hogsback - a treking pole may do.

Remember an ice axe is of little value if you slip in icy conditions. Kick good secure toe holds with your crampons and drive the pick of your ice axe deep to break through the ice coat.

There's usually always a boot path from triangle moraine to the hogsback. There MIGHT be a boot path from the hogsback to the summit ridge. If you find a boot path - things are gonna be quite safe. Usually falling ice chips obliterate the boot path within an hour or two.

The judgement is for you and you alone to make. If you have considerable experince in playing in the snow and sledding - you should have a fair idea how slippery snow and ice can be in different conditions.
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