Summited on an overcast and foggy day. The hogsback is a real slog, and not very steep. If I were to do it again, I would try the Leuthold colouir.
We took the long route and walked from Timberline Lodge starting at 12:30 a.m. Reached the top of Palmer at about 3:00 a.m. with very few teams on the mountain that day. The clouds broke about that time and we had good weather the rest of the day with no wind. Next time I will bring skiis for the ride back down because walking down the Palmer was no fun at all.
Climbed the South side anticipating the weather to change for the worse. However, the weather cooperated and we made good time up to the Palmer. We attempted gaining shelter at the Palmer Ski Lift House but an over zealous snow cat driver kept having us move out of his way. After a short time there and a little instruction on how to put on crampons to my buddy (first snow climb ever) we were off. Devil's Kitchen was in high gear and the stink was extra incredible even with the sustained winds. After reaching the Hogsback and roping up with Carl (from Reno), the five us made our way up past the slightly open 'schrund to the summit. Wind on the summit was bitter cold so our time there was short. The descent down was uneventful except for watching the lenticular clouds move in and decrease visibility for a short time. Glissading conditions were less than optimal, however, being the skilled shovel rider that I am, I made my way down the mountain at a quick rate. (My ass feels the pain today however)
Whose ideas was it to encourage people to climb through the night? I was just so exhausted. I really liked the way I did it last year when we started in the afternoon, camped at triangle moraine and then summited the next morning. I climbed with Gabe from the parking lot at Timberline to the summit and back. We were out for a total of about 9 hours (counting several very long rest breaks where I actually considered just going to sleep). I was just too tired. I didn't get my second wind until the Hogsback. It turned out to be a lot of fun but the fist three hours were the definition of a slog. As for the climb itself... Most people were in small two or three person groups. It was below freezing and hadn't snowed in several days. Roping up was not necessary but we did anyway at Crater Rock. The bergschrund was only about 18 inches wide. The chance of stonefall near Crater Rock and the Pearly Gates was pretty minimal due to lots of snow encrusting all the rock faces. It was a great day to climb with few people on the route and a beautiful sky. That said, it was quite windy. It was actually hard to stand still and take good pictures on the summit (during the time I was there around 7:45am) due to some big gusts. Nonetheless, it was a great climb and I can't wait to go back and climb it solo or with my wife (but not from the parking lot at 1:00 in the morning).
*No real bergschrund in April of 2002.
*No need for snowshoes (some people were carrying them).
*Water in waterbottles froze; took thermos.
*Starting at 1 am and climbing through the night sucks.
*Too much sulfur (near Crater Rock) made me really dizzy.
*Sleep is important. Sleep is good.
*Mt. Hood is wonderful and beautiful!
Zancudo and I set out from the parking lot at 4:40 A.M. after a worthless attempt of sleep at the Mazama Lodge. Pace was pretty good to the top of the Palmer and across to Illumination Saddle. The descent down onto the Reid was a little hairy and we ended up back tracking slightly after reaching a point where I didn't feel all that comfortable. Crossed the Reid and then roped together to make the ascent up the Colouir through the Hourglass. Lots of small ice rained down on us pretty much the entire time we were going through the Hourglass until we reached the Queen's chair. We took a nice break as a group that we knew came up on us. After a little BSing they went ahead and we followed up the last slopes to the summit ridge where we enjoyed a great summit.
See Hammer's note below. Good route, should have done it when it was colder to limit the ice fall. The summit ridge was really cool.
Left at 6am. Reached the top of the Palmer lift via skinning around 8am. Really icy conditions above the Palmer lift. Hardly any people on the route (8 ahead of us or so), even though it was a gorgeous day with no clouds and the sun was shining brightly. Winds were high, but once at Crater Rock they did diminish. Stashed our skis and made the ascent up the Hogsback Route unroped (not necessary, no bergshrund). The sulphur mixed with the blazing heat and the altitude made me alittle queasy a couple of times. Upper Hogsback and Pearly gates were not nearly as bad as I have read. Topped out around 11am. Noticed a few groups that had come up the Reid Glacier, Leuthold Couloir, and Youkam (sp?) Ridge. Descent was quick, and we got our skis on and were ready to go. No matter what anyone tells you, Plastic mountaineering boots and randonnee skis on ungroomed snow really sucks.
I loved this climb and though it is often crowded on the standard (S. Side) route, we found a great way to avoid the majority of other climbing parties. Instead of leaving from Timberline in the inky, a.m. darkness, we simply climbed up to Triangle Morain in the previous afternoon and set up a little camp (around 9000 ft). This allowed us to get the "slog" part of the climb out of the way, eat and sleep before the real fun started the next morning. I really recommend this extended version. You get to watch the sunset and the lights of Portland come on. You also get to sleep and still you are on the summit early enough to watch the sunrise. There were only three people on the summit before us that day. As we made our way down, swarms of climbers who had started in the night were still coming up from Timberline Lodge.
Departed from the lodge at 5:40am, solo behind a two hikers to the chair. Not knowing the route but skied here a few times, I followed the most travel path. From what I am familiar with, I travel light and fast. Using techniques from climbing in the Sierra's, I was able to find a route without the use of ice axe or crampons to the summit at 9:40am. I took some photo's had a snack and left at 10am. I went pretty slow & careful until the bergschund. After jumping it, (here the fun starts) I pulled out my space blanket and flew down. I descended in 1 hour to the lodge.
July 31st is usually considered the last day of the typical climbing season for Mt. Hood. This is for a good reason. We departed Timberline Lodge at 2am and summited about 8:30am. The bergshrund atop of the Hogsback and below the Pearly Gates was wide open. Climbers had beaten a path around both sides of the bergshrund, we opted for the left-hand side. The Pearly Gates were in poor condition with spotty snow and loose scree. Desending through here would have been near impossible so we choose to take the variation down that avoids the Pearly Gates to the west. Views: Awesome! With Mt. Hood's conical profile, check out the shadow it casts at sunrise, if you happen to be up high on the mountain at that time.
My first attempt at Hood was a lesson in what NOT to do. Packed too much food and extra weight and went in almost brand new La Sportiva Makalus. My heels were bloody and raw by the time we put crampons on just below the top of the Palmer Chair Lift. Was basically limping up the next stretch towards Crater Rock when it started getting really windy. At the base of Crater Rock my friend Mark and I sat to rest and almost fell asleep several times. The wind was almost knocking us over at this point and we decided to turn back as most of the climbers we could see were doing the same. As we descended the wind was strong enough that our rope was held horizontal in the air. Gusts knocked us over a few times and we self-arrested. Once we got back down to the ski area it was okay. Found out later that the winds were about 60-70 mph. Felt bad about not summitting but still think we made the right decision as the mountain was not going anywhere. A few weeks later we did summit in perfect conditions and had a great time doing it.
Easy up, got REALLY NASTY going down due to weather. Tents destroyed. Had to rescue another party in storm. Make no mistake, weather here can get BRUTAL!
After summiting for the second time just the weekend before on the same route, I wasn't too interested in climbing it again. However, this time was with the same group that I had summited with the previous year. My first summit! It is to become an annual trek for us to kick off the season.
This time, three of us were the same we got someone new to join us and the guy that had turned back decided against coming this time.
Once again, we were blessed with great weather and the climb went without a hitch. I enjoyed my third summit of Mt. Hood and we got some excellent glissading down the groomed climber's trail below the Palmer chairlift.
My third attempt at summiting a mountain with the Chemeketan Climbing Club would culminate with the Summit of the Crown Jewel of Oregon.
I had failed miserably my first attempt at Hood with the Chemeketans and weathered of South Sister my second try with the Chemeketans. I believed that the third time would be the charm.
My Uncle and I decided to go up a day early and stay in the Mazama Lodge, and spend the day snowshoeing around. We headed off toward Zigzag Canyon where I showed him some anchoring techniques and slope condition identification that I had learned in a Mountaineering class. A few weekends before I had been to the same area taking an Avalanche course, and shared some of what I had learned with him also. After spending the day acclimatizing we headed back to the lodge for dinner and rest.
We started at the Timberline parking lot at the infamous midnight start time. Weather was excellent as we moved past the top of the Palmer chairlift. The wind began to pick up slightly as our group began to spread out on the snowfield below Crater Rock. Eventually reaching the Hogsback most of our group dropped packs here until our return from the summit.
Due to the number in our group as well as the experience level, our designated leader decided on the use of a rope. I was much in favor of this, not so much due to the fear factor but more for the rope travel experience. We split into two rope teams, myself bringing up the rear of the second team. Due to the low snowfall this year the Bergschrund was open much wider than my summit the year before. As we passed to the right of the opening, I caught my first glimpse of a huge opening in the snow. In addition to the schrund being open wider due to the low snowfall, the path up to and through the Pearly Gates was much steeper than usual. In light of this our leader placed several pickets as we moved up. Everyone else on both rope teams essentially moved through the pickets but I was required to stop and pull the pickets out. This was fine until I got about six on my pack and ran out of room. All the while, the guy on the front of my rope was forgetting that I needed to stop to deal with the pickets and was pulling me.
Eventually, the summit was reached, with great views and weather. After a little time on the summit, we headed down through the busy gates to the Hogsback. After passing below Crater rock, glissading was pretty rough but nonetheless better than walking. Around 10:00 A.M. we reached the parking lot.
After failing miserably the weekend before with the Chemeketans where I didn't even make it to the Top of the Palmer Chairlift, I felt lucky to have the opportunity to go up with some people from work that had done it several times before. This was to be my first of many climbs with Zancudo.
We had planned to do the normal approach starting at midnight and reaching the summit early in the morning. We met at work and drove the hour and a half to Timberline Lodge from Salem. There was four of us, three of which had never climbed "successfully" before. We headed up toward the Palmer snowfield and I began to wonder about my physical state as I started to feel the pain shortly after the start. My original thinking was that I was going to fail yet again. Eventually, I set my own pace and found that I could move well within my limits. Although not super fast, it was far from slow. However, it was far from the conventional method of continually plodding along. I found that I performed better with bursts of exertion with short rests evry couple of minutes. As I developed a pattern this method began to work well as we moved up. I was no longer having difficulties keeping up and occasionally I would move ahead of our small group for a short time.
Eventually we reached the top of the Palmer. My first success and a new altitude record for me. However, we were still a good long while before we obtained our ultimate goal. One of our group had either turned back our dropped way back. After a short break and more clothes we made our way up past Crater Rock and the Devil's Kitchen. During a short break to put on crampons, I leaned over and watched my digital camera slip out of my pocket and slide down a thousand feet to oblivion. The sulfur smell, and the lack of food and sleep made me nauseous as we finally reached the Hogsback. Trying to relieve myself of my ailment I decided to take a nap as our group took a break before heading up through the Pearly Gates. After about 1/2 hour they woke me to get going.
Although we had shared carrying a rope up to the Hogsback we decided that we would go unroped as there were excellent steps cut into the steep slope. We moved forward at a snails pace which afforded us the luxury of not having to exert ourselves up through the Pearly Gates. The crowds were thick with people, most with scary amounts of lacking experience causing a severe bottleneck.
We finally made the summit and celebrated our success. Unfortunately, I could not photograph anything due to the loss of my camera. After spending some time on top we began our tedious descent down. It was a beautiful day and everyone was climbing Mt. Hood. The Sun had begun to warm everything up and the ice and rock fall was increasing as we made our way back down to the Hogsback. As we passed through the Pearly Gates I asked around if anyone had seen a digital camera fly by. With new found luck, a guy had retrieved my camera and was gracious enough to hand it back over to me. As we made our way down, misguided rope teams were criss-crossing all over the place causing saftey concerns from all of us. Eventually fate dictated that I get hit with a softball size piece of ice in the shoulder. God did it hurt!
After retrieval of our packs at the Hogsback we headed down, getting a few good glissades in. Shortly before 10:30 A.M. we reached the parking lot safely and met our co-worker that had turned back before the top of the Palmer.
A college-years classic. Only mountain that I've been rained off of. South side is fun, but nontechnical. I've got my eye on the north side for more technical routes next time I'm in Oregon.
Climbed up standard south side route to almost the top of the lift and then traverse right. Keep traversing right. When we went we encountered some 45-50 degree snow and crossed over some morraine. Once on the NE side of the mountain traverse upward and access the ridge above. From here we saw 60-70 people like ants on the southside route. We navigate through the crumbly rocks and some ice to the summit. A great day to climb and a really fun route. Nice exposure once your on the ridge.
Did this climb early in the season and found none of the rock or ice fall that most parties encounter on this route. A long route with few surprises. Not much as far as technical skill required. We did rope up to cross the Reid. Got a nice look at the Yocum Ridge! Maybe someday. . . .
Climbed this route with Dan Hughes. Read his account on this post for more details.
This was my first glaciated mountain, crampons, ice axe route. I have climbed several other routes up Hood since but this one will always be my first. One of the other guys I was climbing with got altitude sickness near the summit and literally staggered to the summit. He was incoherent and acted like a beligerent drunk. We short-roped him and led him down the pearly gates. Once down to the hogsback he came out of it and was ok to the bottom. A good lesson -don't take even the easiest of routes for granted.