This was my first peak climbed using crampons and axe. We started climbing at some ungodly hour like 3a so that we could get up to the Pearly Gates and wait in a ridiculous weekend line. Since Eric and I didn't have a rope, we sort of skirted around the others all lined up like ducks - pissed off more than a few of them it seemed. On the way down we found that the normal folks climbed much later, carried skiis or snowboards for the descent, and didn't use a rope either.
I summitted with my friend Mark 6/16 about 7:15 am after doing the traditional trek through the night. Conditions were perfect and there were lots of other headlamps on the long line up. Great views up top although there are a lot of people on the mountain who think it's just a simple hike. This was my second attempt, tried it four weeks earlier and got weathered back down by ridiculously high winds that knocked us off our feet a few times and we had to self-arrest. After this summit though, my face got fried on the way down as I had misplaced sunscreen. Was awesome though. Didn't want to come back down.
July third, my first solo summit attempt, began at 11:50am at the t-line parking lot in near ankle deep slush conditions. After sloging 2+ hours, harried by groomers and "sick booters" on east palmer I made it to open terrain only to be greeted by an lmc sprite full of t-line Mt. guided climbers.
Fast forward to the summit, which I reached at dawn in perfectly hard snow conditions and postcard vistas. After lounging and taking photos for half an hour I started down to encounter the TLMG group at the pearly gates nearly draging a hysterical climber yelling "stop, stop'" and falling on his/her axe every few yards. Another climber (partner?) was repeating "I'm sorry I got you into this, we're almost there," backed up by similar encouragments by the guide.
A short while later, while waiting for a group of well equiped climbers to accend I stood under a rock face with several other accending climbers. All but two of them were not wearing crampons and all of them seemed oblivios to the ominous rockfall directly above them. While I watched three "stingers" fell on either side of us.
While I don't want to relate my experience directly to the rescue the day before, this climb illustrated to me the door for the media to hyper-capitalize on Mt.Hood climing.
My first climb of this mountain was under near ideal conditions. The night portion of this climb was beautiful with a near full moon and cloud cover at about 4,000'. I did this part of the climb with Rob and Dan and we were treated to several shooting stars. At the Hogsback, I headed up to the summit alone while they rested for a bit. After snapping a few pics on the summit, I started to head down, meeting both of them just above the Pearly Gates. A bit farther down, the guy behind me, who I was just taking pictures of moments before on the summit, slipped and fell about 300' into a fumarole. It was scary watching him slide down out of control and disappear. This was at 9:30am and we immediately called 911. What surprised me was that the USDA Forest Service, AMR, and PMR didn't show up until about 2:00pm, 3:10pm, and 4:00pm respectively. Check out the following Accident Photo Sequence: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ]
Conditions were extremely windy (estimated to be > 100km/h by USDA Forest Service) and crowded, as expected, but well worth the 7 hour drive from Vancouver.
I like getting to the top, but don't much care about routes. However I have now gotten bored to tears with Mt. Hood, partly for that reason I suppose. I have never been turned back by weather on Hood because I rarely try any mountains in questionable weather. So all of my attempts have been successful. On my last climb my wife succeeded in her first attempt on Hood, and her 2nd and last attempt of any mountain, the other being post-eruption Mt. St. Helens two weeks earlier. We had a cell phone in the party, and while we were roping up at the Hogs Back above Crater Rock, we were alerted by a climber or skier on the west side of Crater that there was an injured skier who had been hit by a falling boulder and was bleeding badly. We called 911 and watched the helicopter from the summit. One of the rescuers was also hit and injured by a falling boulder, but everyone survived. It was way too warm a day to be over on that side of Crater Rock!
Sandy Glacier Headwall - Great route; no traffic; pretty committing - not for novices but well worth the effort. Alpine III. Steepest at top. Climbed from base of Yoakum Ridge bivvy and carried over to summit. Exited a small ice runnel (the Hourglass?) covered with consolidated snow. Conditions required no fixed protection although parties we talked to have used screws and pickets for running belays. Bivvied again on summit in whiteout and descended in storm next day. The blizzard lasted the rest of the week. It's best to know the South Side descent route! (with Matt Wacker)
Spokane, WA USA
Web page: http://www.ieway.com/climbit/
Date(s) summited: 5/7/00
Nice climb. perfect day.
I summited the Cooper spur route on Mount Hood at the end of July, 2000. I would not recommend climbing this route this late in this season. We started the climb at around midnight and made good progress to tie-in rock where its time to strap on the crampons. From here the slope begins to steepen greatly from 35 degrees to about 50 degrees near the top. Even though we had an early start, rock fall was still a problem as we could hear rock all around us and had a few near misses. You need to be on top before the sun comes up because this side of the mountain receives first light and is the sun all day. This climb is very straight forward and is the most direct route on Hood. Even though its a basic snow climb we did encounter a rock band that was a little tricky to negotiate. No way to set protection on this rock. It seemed like every hand and foot hold could go at any second and some did. This was very exposed climbing at this point with a fall dropping you down to the Eliot glacier. Once we negotiated the rock we were back on steep snow and ice in the area known as the Chute. This is the steepest part of the climb and takes you to the summit. If you fall here you will probably die. Some people rope up, some do not because if one falls it may take their partner with them. For us the conditions were getting very slushy. We summitted under clear skis, then went down the south side route. We felt the conditions were too dangerous to decend the route with the rock fall and the slushy conditions. Great route with exposure. Even though this route is not technical, some consider it to be one of the most dangerous routes on Hood and has claimed several lives over the years.
I climbed Mount Hood twice (within a four day period) in May, 1999.
My first climb started at the 5,800 ft ski-lodge parking lot at 4:51 am. For the first 4,000 ft, I ascended very boring snow slopes. At about 10,000 ft, I arrived at the crater. I then made my way up through the "pearly gates" to the summit. The whole ascent took less than 2.5 hours. The descent was uneventful.
My second climb of Mt Hood took place a few days later. I started at 9:40 pm, and reached the summit at midnight. I was the only one on the mountain, and the conditions were perfect. There was a full moon to light the way, so I didn't have to use my headlamp at all. A very enjoyable climb.