Climbed with Andre right after NTSB opened mountain after completing helicopter rescue crash investigation. Chopper dispatched to rescue/retrieve injured and dead in fall above shrund. Icy above the shrund on our climb. Weather deteriorated and tagged and turned at the summit.
A truly great mountain to climb, but much more
dangerous to the beginner climber than it
appears. The icy conditions near the top are
the cause of many accidents. I saw tourists in
cut-off jeans and sneakers trying to claw their
way to the top!! No problems for experienced
What an awesome climb! We broke through the cloud layer at 8,000' just as the sun was rising. The ice formations around the crater were truly spectacular to see with fresh snow and clear blue skies.
Here is my full trip report with some pics.
left around 4:30am from the lodge. nice weather up with some wind. quite a few parties climbing that day. the crevasse is almost completely open now. actually went left of the gates through a small chute due to all of the teams going up and down at the same time. lots of ice fall. summited about 8:30am. great weather on the top. overall a great day.
I read a recent summit log posted by Noah (Oregon) about the conditions on Mt. Hood. I decided to climb it while I still had the chance (on snow). I left this morning at 2:15am and the temperature was about 40 degrees (f). The snow was soft for most of the route. When I reached the Hogsback, the sun was just starting to shine on it and the Pearly Gates. As I approached the Pearly Gates, I felt like a pin at the business end of a bowling lane. There were many soft-ball sized chunks of Ice the p-gates were throwing directly at me. When I saw the bowling ball sized chunk of ice heading diretly toward me at the base of the Pearly Gates, I had to drop and protect myself with my pack. Since I forgot my helmet, I decided to head down, and the day was just getting warmed up. The snow bridge is still good direclty on the ridge of the hogsback. Not so good a few feet down either side..
Excellent climb, weather, partners, and Oregon SummitPoster's as hosts!
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.