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Anyone up in the HOOD?

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Re: Anyone up in the HOOD?

Postby billisfree » Mon May 14, 2012 1:03 pm

Tell us, Vitality... what makes you believe avalance danger was high that day? I'm no expert here.
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Re: Anyone up in the HOOD?

Postby Vitaliy M. » Mon May 14, 2012 4:27 pm

billisfree wrote:Tell us, Vitality... what makes you believe avalance danger was high that day? I'm no expert here.


I am no expert neither regarding avalanche danger. On Saturday we decided to abort our climbing plan because of how warm it got REAL early in the day. We were afraid of rock/ice fall mostly. Had plenty of rock/ice fall on Friday and it wasn't even that hot. So we packed up and descended South side regular route. I did not think avalanche danger there was very high. Snow seemed pretty consolidated, although we did not run any tests on it. But rhyme was falling off in chunks from the summit ridge etc, so I think it was a good decision not to climb in small technical couloirs that day.
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Re: Anyone up in the HOOD?

Postby dskoon » Mon May 14, 2012 6:58 pm

Yep, Shuzz's analysis is pretty concurrent with what the NWAC posted on Thurs. of last week. . Sounds like what they are worried about is that while the top crust layer may appear to be in good shape, the percolating taking place, along with bonding or lack of deeper down along with the spike in warm temps, could potentially let loose some rather large slides.
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Re: Anyone up in the HOOD?

Postby PhilOhl » Mon May 14, 2012 7:21 pm

TRIP REPORT: Well, sometimes there's a big difference between the forecast and the nowcast. We rolled into timberline at noon with expectations of a nice conditioning slog in the snow up to the top of the Palmer chairlift. Talking to three parties in the climber room who had summited that morning, the avalanche conditions sounded uneventful. (I know, only a third of the people who climb a mountain like Hood know what to look for). Regardless, we headed up prepared to camp and climb if conditions looked good to us. And they did. I'm pretty convinced that the south side of Mt. Hood is well on it's way to consolodation for the summer. IMHO, there is no slab waiting for a climax avalanche to release.

Conditions were near ideal. We camped on the East side of the Triangle Morain at 9,200' and went up the Old Chute from the Hogs Back and summited at 6:30am. The Bergschrund is well open with a snow bridge accross the middle. We talked to teams who reported the Pearly Gates as steep and icy, but that's really a realative thing so I don't have a direct report. There was an oreganized group of 8 (Mazamas?) that summited right behind us (one team of 5 up the Old Chute and one team of 3 up the Pearly Gates). The Old Chute route had a well established highway from Hogs Back to the steep section and from the top out to the summit. There wasn't very much ice/rock coming off the cliffs that early, but I wouldn't want to be under them after ~ 9:00am going up or down.

I really beleive that the recipe for avalanche conditions was in place this weekend in the south cascades, but I'm also glad that I checked it out myself was able to get in a thoroughly enjoyable climb. I would not substitute a random climber blog on conditions for (http://www.nwac.us/). Avalanches are serious business and I hope everyone takes this as route beta and not a green light to climb Mt. Hood without understanding what to look for and how to evaluate risks for yourself. Even more important on this front is to recognize when the forecast is more optimistic than the nowcast and knowing when to back off.
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Re: Anyone up in the HOOD?

Postby billisfree » Mon May 14, 2012 9:42 pm

I concur with what, Vitality, twoshuzz, dskoon have to say. It's basically guesswork from what's been happening over the past 2 weeks. Try to guess how much snow melted into water... and trickled down through snow - and MAYBE re-froze deeper down.

Vitality's right - falling rocks and rhime ice is a problem when temps soar above freezing.
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Re: Anyone up in the HOOD?

Postby billisfree » Mon May 14, 2012 9:46 pm

You didn't say what day you climbed, PhilOhl
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Re: Anyone up in the HOOD?

Postby PhilOhl » Tue May 15, 2012 4:40 am

billisfree wrote:You didn't say what day you climbed, PhilOhl


Sorry - Summited at 6:30am, Sunday May 13. Sent Mother's day text from the summit.
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