Jeff and I left Timberline at 1:40 and summited at 5:40 with good conditions and easy hiking. Boot pack made the climb up more like a walk on a snowy staircase but don't let the "ease" of our climb take the edge off the mountain. Just because it is super easy one moment doesn't mean it can't kill you the next (the flowers from the ceremony for the deaths from one year ago were still on the 'schrund and the summit). I was more scared for the 50 climbers going up the hogsback (after we came down) than I was of the mountain. If any of these people fell, it would be like taking out pins in a bowling alley. Too many people are climbing Hood all at the same time (in my opinion), myself included. However, at 5:40 am, only one other group had been on the summit and had already left so we had it to ourselves. Some later groups must have been packed up there like sardines. Go early, in the morning and in the year! My best climb was in December, solo and frankly the whole thing seemed safer without so many potentially falling objects around me. This said, any precious moment on the summit of a perfect mountain is a wonderful one and I loved every second of it (except the trudge back down Palmer). NOAH
Martin and I had a great weekend. Got a late start on Saturday and slogged up to 8,930', right above the Palmer ski lift, and set up camp. Sunday, we set off about 4 a.m. and headed over towards the WCR route. Instead of going around Crater Rock, we headed up to the base of the rock. As we were traversing around to the west side, we noticed an ice chute between Crater Rock. We then changed our plans and headed up the chute. It was very steep in spots and called for a short section of technical ice climbing. Neither one of us was prepared for ice climbing, but we managed to get through it anyway. After topping out above the chute, it was an easy trip to the base of the hogsback. From there we headed up the hogsback, it was all stepped in all the way to the Pearly Gates. This made for a safe and easy trip up, despite the fact that the bergschrund was huge. We spent about 20 minutes on top, took some photos, and then headed back to camp. I had a few good glissades on the way down, including glissading the hogsback just below the bergy. Took an hour rest, broke down camp and made Timberline in about 1:45. Great Trip and Great Weather (except for the wind early on Sunday morning).
Bryan and I camped at 8,900 feet on 5/31. It was really windy so we dug a huge pit in the bank for our tent. About 1 hour of shoveling! We left camp at about 4:00 AM and climbed up through a 50 degree gulley on the south side of Crater Rock. There was some nearly vertical water-ice at the top, which I climbed using a fist jamb. I then climbed the west face of Crater Rock on snow, ice, and 4th class rock. After descending the north side, avoiding the huge overhangs created by the fumeroles, we slogged the Hog under blue skies.
My friend Nathan and I went with Timberline Mountain Guides for our first summit of Hood. There were 7 of us and 2 guides. We met at the climbers station at Timberline Lodge at 1:30am for the 2:00am cat ride up to the top of the Palmer snow field. We started off on foot at about 2:45. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and the stars were incredible. We headed north up the mountain and could see the Big Dipper ahead of us. To the east you could see the lights of Portland. It was so clear that a jet flew overhead and we could actually watch it land at PDX.
The temperatures were mild and the wind wasn't too bad as we headed up toward Crater Rock. As we passed by Devils Kitchen the air was filled with the smell of sulfur and you could see the hot gasses rising from the mountain. As the sun began to rise we could see the pyramid like shape shadow of the mountain - first against the fog and light cloud cover to the west and eventually against the lowlands below us as the sun began to rise higher in the sky. (Unfortunately, I didn't get a good time to take out my camera and take a picture).
By 6:30 we made it to the base of the Hogsback and roped up. We climbed up the Hogsback, around the Bergshrund to the left, and up through the Pearly Gates. We were on the summit at 7:20am. It was a little windy but still not too cold. We could see all the mountains north and south - Rainier, Adams, St. Helens, Jefferson, Three Sisters, Bachelor. After about 20 minutes on the top we headed down.
On the way back down one of my team members broke a crampon and we had some tense moments pressed up close to one of the rock formations of the Pearly Gates as our guide fixed it. We had been the first on the mountain and we had to negotiate other teams coming up as we very carefully headed back down the Hogsback. We got off the Hogsback and continued back down. It started to get very warm and the snow quite
mushy. We finally hit the Lodge about 12:30.
It was an incredibly perfect day!! I'm psyched to do it again. TMG is a first class outfit.
The mountain was packed by climbers wanting to get Hood in before the weather got too warm. You could've actually done the Mtn. without crampons due to the condition of the snow which was a big help to me as I was solo. It was like going up a staircase all the way to the summit.
In fact, the snow was so soft that snowshoes would have been helpful on the descent all the way to the parking lot. I had to wait at the hogsback for awhile to let the congestion ease up. When i summitted, there was no view as the clouds swallowed up the summit area.
However, it was still great to be up there with the amazing scenery. It was reported by a climber who summitted on both Sat and Sun that during saturday night a huge rock fell in the pearly gate area and triggered a wet slide that removed all of the snow leaving just bare ice and opened the bergscrund by about 18 feet making it more of a true mountaineering challenge for those who went up on sunday.
Began the ascent under a clear sky @ 3am. Cached skis at Illumination Saddle, began the traverse to the base of the couloir. Roped to my partner, we had no problems up through the Hourglass. Boom---whiteout conditions almost instantaneously. Continued up as conditions got worse---we figured it was best to downclimb the Hogsback than the couloir. The traverse on the summit ridge was dicey to say the least, especially after I fell through a cornice! Luckily we set solid pro, and continued to the summit. Ran into a solo climber on the way down, and convinced him only a nut would continue up to the summit in white out conditions with snowfall. :-) He returned with us to Timberline Lodge. A 9 hour summit, but I'd never climb in that weather again. That's where statistics are made!
Left Timberline at midnight and summited around 6:30 with a party of 10. Had clear skies and fairly light winds. The last slope after the bergschrung was a lot nicer than the icy conditions I encountered in May last year.
I joined a party of six other climbers, Tim from St.Louis, Dave from Rapid City,SD, Mike and Al from Mass, Kent from Titusville, NJ, and Mike from Portland. Guided by Eric and Bob with Timberline Mountain Guides, we began our ascent (after taking the snow cat up to 8500 feet) at 2:30am. After making only two stops (I would have preferred a couple more)we summitted at 6:30am. Virtually no wind. Clear skies. Quite a beautiful mountain. We were soon joined at the top by an 80 year-old man from Las Vegas and his 46 year-old son along with another Timberline Mountain guide. Thought to be the oldest to have ever made the summit of Mt Hood. "
Anchorage, Alaska USA
Climbed the Devil's Kitchen Headwall solo, and had quite an experience. Read about it in this trip report.
Easy cruise on a beautiful day. Nice ski down.
Began climbing just after 4:30AM.
Good weather until about 9:00AM when winds picked up significantly. Gusts estimated over 50MPH at summit.
Hogsback in great shape, shrund filled in. Snow in pearly gates was a little softer than ideal.
Snow conditions were favorable for a rope team or individual arrest of a fall. Chose to climb unroped as team of 2 was solid and safety factor of rope didn't outweight extra time to rope up, particularly given approaching weather.
Descended through cloudy, low visibility conditions below 9500'. Back to car a little before 1:00PM
I've made it 9 out of 11 tries. Only once climbed in summer, it was awful. February and March have had the best climbs. Favorite route: Leuthold Coulior. Worst climb: Taking a bunch or raw beginners up the Wy'East in icy October conditions. Best memory: Guiding two of my 13 year old students to the top, along with a fellow teacher\friend who lived in Hood River (with Mt. Hood in his backyard) was just diagnosed with Leukemia, and decided he had better climb the mountain, or he never would. Seeing him call his wife from the summit was one of the most rewarding moments in my climbing life.
Incredible route! We took the longer original route that goes through a prominent gully at the top of the glacier then traverses over an exposed snow rib and then up another long gully. We could see the easier/shorter variation over to our right as we were ascending. Had great views looking down on a party climbing Leutholds and again when we topped out above West Crater Rim. Conditions were icey in spots making sustained frontpointing the desired mode of ascension with two tools. We summited at 5:30 P.M. in time to watch a beautiful sunset. Even rode the shovel down once we reached the Palmer . Quite an experience in the dark!
Left the lodge at about 4:45 AM and climbed up to about 9,000 feet then accross to the east then up the Steel Cliff Gulleys. The Wy'East route was in excellent shape. A ton of exposure and lots of scary traverses. Definately bring 2 tools. We got ice particles rained down on us several times. I got calf flameout from frontpointing on 55 to 60 degree ice gullies a few times. The route was really long. It took us 9.5 hours to summit and I've done the Hogsback in 4. Incredible weather all weekend, but it got a bit windy on the descent. We encountered other parties doing Sandy Headwall, Reid Headwall, Leutholds, and West Crater Rim. All were happy with conditions.
Great conditions on a rare weather window in February. Views to Diamond Peak in the south. Sunny but solid conditions. Summited with friend Steve I met in an expedition course last year.
Route was much more difficult this year due to both the steepness of the couloir and the snow conditions being really soft. Due the warm weather we were pelted by ice and rock fall from 9000' to 10500'. the others on my rope and myself came down with minor injuries due to the icefall but nothing serious except some good bruises, facial scraps, and possibly a broken finger. Weather was beautiful (probably too warm to be climbing) and we enjoyed a clear summit with only one other party sharing the top.
Route took a couple of hours longer than anticipated and what wehad done it previously. Watched a climber take a reverse fall over a 30-40 foot cliff and fall another couple of hundred feet trying to downclimb a variation of leuthold's at the base of Yocum Ridge. Luckily he was unhurt. The descent was uneventful except noticing that the std berg was not visible but another smaller one is open on the east side of the hogsback not far below the pearly gates. The hogs back is extremely narrow compared to previous years.
Attemped to do West Crater Rim, but our group chickened out after discovering there was no boot track, the conditions on the route were very icy, and the wind chills of approximately 30 below. The Hogsback was a good climb. Signifacantly harder in winter conditions than a trip up in late spring or summer. 16 out of 19 members of our party summited. Spectacular sunrise as we climbed above the clouds at about 9,500 feet. All of our eyebrows, eyelashes, and facial hair were frozen into icecycles on the summit. We looked like the Yeti! Glissaded part of the way down, then had some beer and pizza and celebrated.
It was a beautiful climb in May of 1995, when El Nino was in full force, dumping massive snow on the Cascades. The Bergshrund presented no problems at all. I recommend leaving very early, as we had to negotiate a group of Snowcat climbers on our descent of the Hogsback, even though we left at midnight on a weekday in the early season.
In case you don't know this route... you climb the S. Side (as normal) until just below Crater Rock, head West towards Illumination Rock and then turn into the gap between Castle Crags and Crater Rock, heading up to the summit in a direct, stinky (due to the sulphur fumes) line over steep snow. I managed to get to the summit ridge in around 4 hours (including one failed attempt to reach the ridge more directly via a little couloir and frozen waterfall which ended in my rejection and retreat). I made the top of the West Crater Rim but couldn't move to the right without downclimbing beneath some sketchy, loose rock and regaining the ridge closer to the Pearly Gates. I will post a picture soon showing the crux, a stack of poorly covered rock no wider than a diving board and totally exposed. I was solo so I never even considered trying to take it head on. Going around it on the N. side was out of the question and I didn't really care enough to cross all the way over to the Hogsback and reclimb just to get the extra 20 feet of elevation and "bag the summit" as I have been up there twice before.
The climb was much more intense than anything I have done on Hood before because despite the "Winter" date on the calendar, there was a lot of loose rock and ice coming off the West Crater Rim and it was hot and sunny. This is a real bowling alley and I hope to never climb it again unless everything is under a solid sheet of snow (though this is also a big avalanche area). I took a chunk of ice the size of a softball right in the middle of my pack as I descended and many fying-pan-sized rocks went whizzing down the mountain on both sides of me. Obviously this route is technically pretty straight-forward (or I wouldn't have been able to do it), however the objective dangers seemed a lot greater than the Hogsback and I wouldn't do it again without better snow conditions.
Let's hope for some good snow. Enjoy and climb safe, NOAH
p.s. Technically I didn't reach the absolute highest point on the summit ridge, but don't hold it against me :)
Soloed this in just under 3 hours (from lodge) while on a retreat for grad school =) Watch out for loose rocks!