This is a fun route! Conditions were great with styrofoam snow but we didn't get past the crux before sunrise. There was significant ice fall starting at sunrise in the Hourglass.
What a fun ride this one was. Lots of ice coming down, heavy winds, icy conditions, and a whole lot of excitement.
We left Timberline on December 3rd. about 8:30 AM. We arrived at the Illumination Saddle at around 11:30. We started setting up our tent and a gust of wind came along and snapped our poles like they were nothing. The tent was rated for 60mph and so we are guessing the winds were between 60-70mph. We dug a snow cave and slept very warm. The next morning the winds died down below maybe 15mph. We roped up and set out across the Reid glacier. The Coulior itself was iced over so 2 ice axes/tools were used. The wind was funneling right down the coulior at us and kicking up whatever spindrift there was along with being constantly bombarded by ice pellets. We topped out around noon and it was PERFECT weather, which is shocking for this time of year. We relished the view for a bit and headed down the standard route. We didn't rope up in the coulior and therefore didn't set any protection either. Great day to be on the mountain.
The Leuthold Coulior in December is a strange place to learn ice climbing. We spent the first night at Illumination saddle. The wind destroyed my tent so we had to dig a snow cave. Later that evening another man joined us after he was unable to erect his tent in gale force winds. The following day, in the coulior, we found thin ice covered the steepest parts of the hourglass. Constant icefall bombarded us, thankfully no large pieces. We downclimbed the standard route.
Started off climbing Leuthold Couloir in poor visibility and got off route. After much downclimbing and traversing (all in the wrong direction apparently) we ended up climbing some unknown mixed chute that lead us to what I believe to be the upper part of the Reid Glacier Headwall route. From there it was easy 45-50 degree snow slopes to the summit ridge.
climbed this route with my friend Nate on a summerish winter day. Spectacular conditions on Hood led to some decent crowds; we opted to climb something different than the south side. The couloir was nice and firm, with some minor icefall from above (wear a helmet).
When we summited it was warm on the top.
Me, Vanessa Anderson (daughter) and Jim Hinkhouse (founder of OSAT) climbed the route, probably 1989. Vanessa and I camped at Crater Rock, Jim came up the next morning, having attended his high school reunion in Scappoose the night before.
This is one of the most esthetic classic couloir climbs I've had the pleasure of climbing. Do it in the right conditions, though. We had nice firm alpine ice the whole way up, but even on a fairly cool day we had pebbles whizzing by occassionaly like stray bullets. Had the route to ourselves, and got to the summimt to find about 100 names in the register for that day from the Hogsback.
Easy to leave your tent at or near Crater Rock and pick up on the way down if you want to descend the Hogsback as we did -- this is probably the smart thing to do as the rockfall probably just gets worse later in the day. Wear your flack jacket!
After working all day and even going to my son's t-ball practice that night, I began the 3 hour drive from Seattle. Met some folks near Portland and headed up to timberline.
We left the car at 2:45am in warm conditions. We roped up the traverse across the Reid Glacier but unroped soon thereafter. We climbed through the couloir with chunks of ice flying down consistantly. I was nailed a few times but no serious damage. Made it to the summit at 9:45am.
I carried my board all the way up but did not get a chance to put it on until top of Palmer (terrible conditions for ski/board higher above).
Fun climb but tired....stayed up for nearly 37 hours, except for little cat nap after the climb.
Skied from Timberline at 7:15AM, very cold (10 degrees?). Roped up in a team of two at Illumination Saddle and protected with vertical pickets from below Hourglass to Summit. Four experienced buddies soloed the route ahead of us without any problems. Excellent conditions, relatively warm when in sun, little ice/rock fall. 10 hrs round trip. Check link below for climb photos:
2006-02-19 - Climb - Mt Hood - Leuthold Colouir