ApproachStart at the Timberline Lodge parking lot, and head up the ski slopes/climber trail toward the summit of Hood. You can also catch a ride on the chairlift if running. From near the top of the Palmer work your way to the west and cross the ZigZag glacier, which does have some small crevasses, and in early fall can be icy (although my partner did it in his approach tennies). Approach the south-southeast side of the Rock, and work your way to the left (facing the south face), until you come upon the Chamber. The Chamber is a wide open amphitheater, and is fairly obvious.
Route DescriptionEnter the Chamber from the low point in the depression. Make a short friction move on good rock, and enter the chamber proper. Work your way up the chamber on slabby rock/benches (class 3-4) towards the back wall, and just before the vertical rise notice a ramp/notch on the left. This is the start of the first pitch, and there are decent anchor points for a belay. The first move is trusting a large rock by pulling back on it - it holds. This will get you up and over the bulge and onto to a ramp. Pass some old, rusty 1/4" rivets - clipping is up to you, but not recommended. After another 20-25 feet up blocky terrain turn right toward the summit ridge line and follow a small crack. A 60m rope might just get you to the West Gable, but more likely you'll end up just short.
You will gain the summit ridge line just to the east of the West Gable. Once on the ridge-line the next pinnacle can be passed on the left, and protects well with some nice exposure down to the Reid Glacier. From here follow the ridge line on the south side. You will pass two spectacular "windows" looking down to the Reid Glacier. Follow to the east end and the summit block, and some great exposure.
DescentFrom the summit pinnacle work your way back to the West Gable. The Gable can be strewn with runners/slings, and requires a 2-rope rapple to reach the base. The Gable is big, and requires a very long (30' ?) runner to tie off. After reaching base of the Gable work your way down the West Ridge. You can "jump" off the ridge early into a gully to avoid descending the entire ridge-line.
Essential GearApproach: Crampons and axe.
Climb: Small rock rack with 12-15 pieces of small to medium size. A couple of pins can also come in handy.