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Hood in late march?

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Hood in late march?

Postby absinthe52 » Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:30 pm

I am planning a trip to Shasta and Hood sometime in the spring. wondering how the "typical" snow/conditions are for late march/early april for a Hogsback ascent. Is it better to wait until later in the spring? I know it all dependson the year, but I need to purchase airplane tix now to avoid high costs later. Any thoughts/suggestions are welcome.
Thanks for your time
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Postby dskoon » Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:53 pm

Similar answer to your query in the Cal. thread regarding Shasta, it all depends on the snow year, and the weather for your slotted time for the climb. March is damn near still winter, so, should you get a weather window, be prepared for a near-winter climb.
Optimal climbing months are May/June, at least as far as weather is concerned.
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Postby billisfree » Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:00 am

It certainly is not a good thing to buy airplane tickets so far in advance... makes one want to climb in foul weather than waste a good airplane ticket.

Aim for June, better odds of getting good weather.
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Postby EastKing » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:02 am

For Shasta and Hood, I would recommend Mid-May to early June (*but no later than eraly June*). I have heard April is perfect conditons for Hood but I had a better experience in late May myself than in April. Also BillisFree is right to bring up the weather issue. You have less weather issues on average in mid spring than in late-winter/early spring. If you need any other help or suggestions PM me.
Last edited by EastKing on Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Brian Jenkins » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:04 am

Snow conditions should be fine. I believe April is typically the heaviest snowpack on Hood. Weather conditions could be great, crappy, awesome, life-threatening, decent, etc. You never know. I wouldn't trust a forecast more than a day or two out at that time of the year. (or really any other time of year)

Best conditions I ever climbed Hood was in a weather window in a January. Worst was in a May. Everything in between. If you get a plane ticket now, just be prepared mentally to turn around up on the mountain if you think you should.
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Postby OJ Loenneker » Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:53 pm

billisfree wrote:Aim for June, better odds of getting good weather.


And the odds of having plenty of company as well. June is the most crowded month on the mountain. :?
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Postby billisfree » Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:27 am

To Brian:

You said best conditions you've ever had was in January.

Doesn't snow tend to be more powderly and prone to avalances in January? Do you wait for a good "warm" day or what?

The snowpack might not be too deep in January - are there likely to be problems climbing the hogsback?

Thanks in advance.
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Postby jlag » Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:28 pm

Some of the best days are cold snaps in winter. Jan/Feb, high pressure, sunny and very cold.


As Brian said, some of my best days were mid winter. With solid snowpack and low avy danger.

JL
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Postby Brian Jenkins » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:02 am

Every year is different. Like I said, I once climbed the Hogsback in January after there had been good snow, followed by several days of freeze/thaw, followed by an inversion where it was so pleasant, I went from Timberline to the summit on styrofoam snow in nothing more than a light fleece top. All the climbing planets were in alignment or something, it was great. My only regret was not doing a more difficult route in those conditions.

That said, I've been in 70 mph winds on the same route in May where it was terrible. And other routes are different. Granted we here in the Portland area have the luxury of picking our climbing dates depending on conditions. I sit and watch the NOAA site all winter, check the forecasts, email people who have recently climbed, etc. so I try to pick the right times to go but even that it's iffy at best. I'm 0 for 7 on Leuthold, 1 for 2 on the Sunshine route, about 4 for 7 on the Hogsback, 1 for 1 on Reid, and some others etc. You can't say any time of the year is better than another (except to say probably August through December is usually crap). Just watch conditions, try to optimize your chances but always turn around if it goes to crap. Unfortunately, for those who have a long trip arranged ahead of time to come here to try to climb it, you might only end up being able to control the last of those.
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Postby absinthe52 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:47 pm

Most likely be climbing Hogsback since I am still fairly new to the sport. I'm hoping to summit Shasta via Casaval in the same week. Hopefully whenever I go, the Wx will hold out for both summits...
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Postby Cascade Scrambler » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:08 pm

You have to give a little to get a little, at least on Hood. The earlier the ascent, the less rockfall danger you'll face. Obviously, there is no way to remove the danger completely. I've been up there early in the season and late in the season. Provided you get a weather window, the earlier you can do it, the better.
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Re: Hood in late march?

Postby triyoda » Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:54 pm

absinthe52 wrote:I am planning a trip to Shasta and Hood sometime in the spring. wondering how the "typical" snow/conditions are for late march/early april for a Hogsback ascent. Is it better to wait until later in the spring? I know it all dependson the year, but I need to purchase airplane tix now to avoid high costs later. Any thoughts/suggestions are welcome.
Thanks for your time



I did this double this Spring, 2nd week in May. Hogsback and Cassaval Ridge. Nearly perfect conditions on the days I hiked, but you need flexibility, because the days before/after would have been a no go.

I spent a night in the Hood parking lot with rain and fog, so I had to come back a week later. Went down and did Shasta in between, got a day with 50 mph winds and generally clear conditions to do my climb (turned back on Misery Hill when visibility went to hell) sandwiched between a day with 70 mph (wouldn't climb in these conditions) and the follow on day when the clouds stayed and there was very poor visibility.

I think early May will give you your best shot at good conditions, but you need a window because the weather will do what it will.
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Postby absinthe52 » Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:18 pm

Sweet, thanks for the advice!
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