OverviewOn Sunday night, April 19, 2009, Washington SPers EastKing, Gimpilator, and Redwic went to Mount Hood with hopes of summiting Mount Hood as a team. Redwic had already been to Mount Hood twice prior, but wanted to help SPers EastKing and Gimpilator make their first summit attempt of the mountain a successful one. The weather, wind, and snow conditions were perfect for an overnight ascent.
Unfortunately, our group discovered not all was perfect. After 9800' elevation, during the early morning hours of April 20, EastKing and Gimpilator started to gradually feel effects of altitude sickness and nausea triggered by the potent smell of the mountain's notorious fumaroles near the "South Side" summit route. By the time the group reached the "Hogsback", EastKing felt nauseous and Gimpilator felt dizzy... the smell of the fumaroles was endangering the health and safety of the group.
Although the summit was still only 600'-700' elevation away, the group made a unanimous decision to turn around. Summiting the mountain was not worth testing the health and well-being of any of the group's members. We still had a lot of fun on the climb... especially during the descent when we found places to see beautiful scenery shortly after sunrise as well as enjoy icy glissades. It was a great experience for each of us, overall, and we will return to the mountain together again in the future.
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