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!
This was the second time I have climbed Hood. First was a midnight climb from Timberline in June of 2002 with a summit at sunrise. Was a long experience due to my seemingly constant promblems with my crampons. The second time was June 3,2004. We got a climbers lift pass and left at 8am and arrived at the top of the ski area at 8:20. Had a perfect day with no wind and awesome snow conditions. Summited in about 3 hours. Had a great glasade down. I am glad I experienced the climb from the parkinglot but probably won't do it again. The chair ride made it so much nicer than the slog up the ski slope.
I've been wondering how long it would take for me to do the South Side. So I headed up solo and took 3:53 to the summit, 25 minutes there, then 2:00 down. In the process I passed the twenty or so people ahead of me and reached the summit first in time for sunrise.
Went left of bergie and up a slope between two choss piles, then traversed right above the bergie to rejoin the hogsback. Although this is only a slight variation on the standard route, I've never done this or seen people doing this. Lots of rime on cliffs above made me nervous on traverse. Sun was on 'em by the time we were headed down and sooner of later those things are going to crash down, some large and hopefully not onto a climbing party.
Due to significant memory challenges, I've done gone and forgotten my true summit date - but I'm sure I'm close. Due to some flatlander attitude problems, Our intrepid party of three made an two day "expidition" out of this one. Really lucky here because we summited in beautiful weather...
...but ever so late in the afternoon.. (3:00!)
Congratulations to Becky Kanya of Madison, WI. on her first summit!
2001 we encountered a severe storm that stranded us at 8,500 in a ski shack. The storm raged for hours and we decided to head down, as the visibility low, the winds were high and the snow was falling hard.
2003 Cloud cap at 8,500. Storm below and sun above. The mountain was absolutely beautiful.
Pretty dicey weather But, still managed to summit. Lots of soft snow above palmer to summit. Much work But, worth it!