Started at 2:10AM, topped out by 7:15 I think? No ropes, excellent weather, views, awesome people to keep me from killing myself. Will try this again someday.
This was my fifth time on the South Side and the first time I've done this route "alone," though we usually don't rope up anyway. I was solo but there were plenty of interesting folks to talk to going up (and down). It was nearly a full moon and it made the route beautiful and somewhat other-worldly. I didn't even mind the snowcats down on Palmer. Days like this one were made for climbing and nothing can steal the good vibe, heck, even the walk back down was nice. However, if you think you are going to walz over the Bergschrund in a month or two, you are crazy. The climbing season is now, not in May and June like the books tell you. It is going to be brutally devoid of snow up there this year, so if you want to climb Hood in '05, strike while the iron is hot, go now. If you want to go rock collecting, just wait a month or two.
Solo trip with my backpacking gear and pitched alpine camp on a ridgeline perch to the west of Crater Rock. My best campsite yet, watching the glow of Portland as the sun set. Heavy winds (50-70mph?) meant I slept through/didn't hear a helivac on the Hogsback Route the next morning. Apparently a rockfall had hit someone and broke their pelvis. Hogsback route was so frequently travelled that footprints had been pressed into the snow the entire way up the mountain.
Unbelievable weather. You could see the buildings in downtown Portland. 40+ degrees at the top. Some ice at the top of the Hogsback and up.
We did this on a clear night under a full moon, which made the monotonous lower sections pretty scenic.
Or at least that was the plan... White out conditions with sustained winds over 20mph. A fun day if you like blowing ice/snow and twenty foot visibility. We missed the beautiful weather the three days before and ended up backing off before the summit. It made for some interesting navigation and climbing though. A good day even though no one made the top. Hood won this battle, but I'll be back.
David Kantola and I tried to do Leuthold during an unbelievable weather window in February. Actually it was too warm. When we hit Illumination Saddle and heard all the ice falling down the Reid, we opted to maybe try a variation of the South Side. Got to the bergschrund at what, 10,800 feet? Ice falling down through the Pearly Gates going both ways around the Hogsback. Decided to not deal with the ice for another South Side summit so headed back down. Conditions were more July-like (see thread) so if you are heading up, you may want to start a couple hours earlier than you think you have to this time of year, at least until we get some real winter conditions in the Oregon Cascades.
Awesome weather and views, crowds were very bad.
Easy walk, but I was absolutely flabbergasted at the stupidity of a lot of the guided groups and the tremendous amount of slack that they allowed in their ropes. I had never before seen such short roping. Very amazed at the crowds.
3:00 AM and it's 40 degrees in the parking lot. Is this December, or July??? One helluva nice day for a climb. We took a whack at an obscure variation of the south side route called East Crater Wall. It's variation 1F in Jeff Thomas's Oregon High.
The route goes east accross Devil's Kitchen and up a large debris fan to the crater rim just north of the Steel cliff. From there it connects up with the standard Wy'east route and follows the rim to the summit. Under late winter conditions, this route should be straightforward. As we found it, the ice was poorly consolidated and the geothermic rocks had melted the ice causing it to peel away from the ground in giant sheets. Protection was near impossible. We ended up turning around about 50 feet shy of the crater rim - befuddled by a maze of rime ice cliffs.
We'll definitely be back to try this in a couple months when there's more snow.
We were caught in a storm going in on Sunday. Started pretty late on Monday (Dec 20) - at 8:30 am. There was a constant downpour of stuff (small rock, ice and snow) down the couloir. The route was pretty set otherwise. Used one ice tool and my ice axe. Traversing the summit ridge was somewhat scary, especially with the wind picking up! Descended the Hog's back without much problems, but had to tough out another storm on Monday night before we got our asses out of there on Tuesday morning in near whiteout conditions!
Very icy conditions through the couloir and reports of near vertical ice section through pearly gates.
Did not summit but enjoyed a nice long run on my snowboard from just above palmer down to the lodge.
Route was far more difficult than I have experienced it in January-June. We went right of the bergschrund on 45-55 degree ice for about 300 feet to a rest next to the Pearly Gates entrance. Decided to climb through the crux unroped as I had only brought two ice screws and was worried about falling ice. The Pearly Gates started as 45 degree ice, then turned to water ice with three and seven foot vertical steps. Glad I had one tool because my mountain axe just bounced off. A field of mixed powder and dinnerplate sized death cookies led to the summit from there.
On the descent we stopped above the Pearly Gates and roped up to simul-climb. I placed two screws and set up an essentially anchorless belay at the entrance. When my partner got there we unroped and started frontpointing down climber's left of the bergschrund. It was a bit easier than the way we had come up. Once at the bergschrund my calves were relieved that it was just a walk back to the car.
Whiteout conditions up to 9,000'... just clear and cold above that.
Don't try this one in the fall - at least not before checking out the glacier! When we were up there, it was a sheet of ice and we had to move to the left (S) and climb on crumbling, ice-riddled 3-5th class rock. I'd recommend doing this one as a car shuttle - then you can descend the much easier S face route.
Went with Timberline Mountain Guides on my first trip up Hood. Unusually good weather for climbing in April. Not a lot of people on the mountain, but they all populated the Hogsback at the same time so there was a nice little gathering of rope teams all trying to get to the Pearly Gates. Snow Bridge well intact. Minor ice and rockfall at the gates. Made the crowded summit at 7:30 a.m. Descent went well until midmorning when we began postholing. Back in time for lunch. Beautiful day all the way around.
Good and enjoyable experience. Climb guided by Eric Chalumeau from Timberline Mountain Guides, very competent and professional.
Perfect weather and snow conditions, despite a 90 degree day in Portland. Pearly Gates were melted out so we veered west as the Bergschrund and took another chute further west. A bit longer, Steeper terrain (40 degrees), and a some crumbly Class 3 rock at the top of the chute made for a more exciting finish than we expected. Probably the last weekend of decent conditions, but seeing the gaping 'Schrund upclose and stepping over some tiny crevasses on the Coalman Glacier higher up made it definitely worth visiting late season.
This was a great mountain to climb on short notice. We got to Timberline lodge around 12:30 a.m. and quickly made our way up the mountain. Crampons required to walk on the icy ski runs at this time of day. Once above the ski hill the hiking became mixed, with frequent scree patches making consistant crampon use a pain. Fog over the top of the mountain really lessened the thrill of summiting, but I do have to say, took all the exposure excitement out of the steep snow above the bershrund. Funny how you forget just where you are when you can only see about 50 feet in any given direction. Summit by 8:30 then a fairly quick desent thanks to slick pants and the heavy snow pack. A word of advice, I dont think the ski area likes it when climbers use the slopes to desend during hours of operation. Stay to the left side of the ski hill as you desend. Oh yeah, and the kids love to see a full grown man skidding on his ass at 20 mph down the side of the ski slope. Heh...kids! Cheers!
Bluebird day in the middle of the week--saw three other climbers and had the rest of the hill to ourselves!