With a fine weather and favorable avy forecast for the weekend, we decided to blow off work Friday and hit LC before the masses.
We traded crowds for slighly less favorable weather conditions, as a weak weather front provided us with 30MPH sustained winds, low vis and a coating of rime ice.
Think we were a little off route after the hour glass because climbing stayed steep, including couple of short pitches estimated at 60 degrees while climbing around some obstacle or another. Without being able to see much, up was good, so up we went.
Just as we topped out before the airy traverse to the true summit, the clouds parted. Wouldn't have been happy to try and make that traverse in a white out.
Very little ice fall (almost every TR I've read insisted the route was likely to be a bowling alley) was a blessing.
Our group typically is a bit faster than average, but it took us over 8 hours to get up.
Food for thought.....while not technical, this route is a pretty big step up physically from South Side slog unless you get better snow and weather conditions than we had. 2000+ feet of sustained 40-45 climbing isn't for the timid or physically unprepared.
Snow was solid neve thanks to an unusual melt-freeze cycle that started the previous few days. The route never felt steep or exposed, but frequent barrages of ice fall made it more interesting to say the least. Stay away from this route in warm weather.
This mountain is always special for me because it was my first ever climb, back in 1999. My friends Mike, Philippe, and I carried something like 45-50 lbs and camped above Palmer chairlift for one night. Crazy, after looking back (I would just start from the parking lot with a 25 lb pack next time). Plan to head back there in spring 2004.
Started out with a clear sky. about the time I passed Illumination Rock some clouds moved in but stayed below the 9000' ft level, leaving clear blue sky above. the clouds limited the views from the summit and I could only see the very tops of the Sisters, Jefferson, and Rainier. I could see Adams and St. Helens a little better. The Bergschrund was completely filled in. I saw about 12 other climbers mostly ski/snowboard mountaineers. on the way back down, there were a few points near the ski area where i could only see about 5 feet in front of me due to the clouds. It was nice to not deal with the big crowds, Rockfall, and crevasse danger that are more frequent later in the season.
Second trip to the summit in the last two months. Had a great view this time. Everyone on the route enjoying a great weather day.
What a nice day on the South side.
Not super cold for Feb. Little wind. Steps from the parking lot to the summit. Pearly Gates super easy. Views on top. As tame and easy as a Hood climb will ever be.
Lots of climbers due to the nice weather. Saw parties on two different routes on Devil's Kitchen headwall, which appeared to be in fine shape.
Ran into a group from SF bay area, climbing Hood as a bachelor party. Boy did they luck out on the weather. However, poor form for a bach. party as there wasn't booze or strippers on the summit.
Left parking lot at 6:20AM. Up top in 5.5 hours.
Solid windpack above the Palmer made for good walking conditions going up. It was warm and windless with unlimited visibility on the summit. The 'schrund was completely bridged and covered.
Traversed across head of White River @ 3am, Cimbed the main chute to the east of the main rock outcropping. 5.5 mixed ice/rock. The only real troubles were the holes/cavities created by the hot rocks, creating mini crevases/holes that would suck me in. The rime coating was a little weak for some the exposure to put too much faith in my tools. Had to leave a pair of poles at about 10,500 on the west side of the ridge, they kept getting caught on ovver hangs and walls. So if you find them they are all yours. Stayed on the ridge the whole way and only hit the Wy'East when it meets the ridge. But the day was beautiful and the night moonlight was plenty to climb by. Took 7 hrs from the parking lot to summit, solo.
Great day. It was a little gusty hiking up palmer, but not too bad. We had to cut our tracks so it was slow going. 7 hours to the top. It was well worth the effort. The summit was amazing! No wind and very good visibility. Awsome day.
Perfect day. No clouds. Very warm. No wind on the summit. A lot of postholing after the Palmer Chair. It made for a log day to the summit. Over 6 hours from Timberline, 2 hours down. We spent 30 Minutes enjoying the view on the summit. Helens, Rainier and Adams on one side, the Sisters on the other.
I have climbed Mount Hood a total of 4 times and fell off it once. That's what happens when you get too cocky. I did my third successful summit of the volcano on a crystal-clear morning, April 8, 2000. Everything was going great until I started down from the top. Just as I was descending into the steepest part of the Chute (without crampons), I lost my footing and fell down 300 vertical feet of steep ice to the bottom of the crater bowl just behind Crater Rock. That fall kicked the living crap out of me, but it could have been much, much worse. I signed up for a mountaineering course with Timberline Mountain Guides a month or so later and summited the mountain again in June, this time with ropes and a guide. Mount Hood is a great mountain and a very enjoyable climb, but if you underestimate it and don't treat it with the respect it demands of all climbers, it will kick the shit out of you. If you're lucky, you might live to talk about it.
Temperature was in the mid-20s, but with no wind and high altitude solar radiation it was the hottest day I've experienced on Mt. Hood. The bergschrund was almost closed and bridged across the middle. In the winter you should approach the Hogsback by heading straight for Crater Rock and staying as close to the rime-encrusted rock as possible. Don't cross the avalanche prone slope between Devils Kitchen and Crater Rock like you would in late spring/summer.
First trip to the summit. Left he parking lot at 6:15am and had a easy hike to just below Crater Rock. Meet three climbers from Portland who were postholing up to the Hogsback. Thanks guys for the steps. Continued climbing with this group (gave me a chance to payback some of their hard work) over the bergshrund and thru the pearly gates. We were the first to the summit. Clouds were thick but the wind wasn't terrible. Pictures of an untracked summit are great but guess the view will have to wait until another day. Climbed back down and was home in Camas by early afternoon. Awesome day for a climb.
Very late in the season - icy and loose rock in Pearly Gates (or whatever you call that gully above the bergshrung) - it was very stupid from me not to wear a helmet...
Reached the summit in driving rain and ice. I hear the view is nice, so I'll be back. Hopefully next time to try Cooper's Spur.
Great trip, perfect weather!
Started about 11:45 at night to try to avoid any crowds. Nasty weather through 9000 feet.
My first mountain! Starting at 12:20 AM with my brother David and friends John, Rob and Scott we summited 5 hours, 40 minutes later and were greated with clear skies and light winds. I grew up in Portland so I had been looking out at this mountain all my life. Finally got to the top.
I've climbed this peak at least another 12 times since '79 - (The most recent on June 9th, 2006) every trip memorable!
Did Hood as a two-day climb. Started from the Timberline Lodge parking lot about noon on the 22nd. Dreary conditions at 6000 ft. It had been drizzling / snowing off and on for two days. At the start of our climb it still cool (40's), but it had cleared a bit to offer intermittent views of the summit through the clouds.
We hiked up to above the Palmer lift, and set up camp near the twin rocks around 9000 feet. Now we were above the clouds and in brilliant sunshine, and the summit was in full view. We awoke about 3:00 AM on the 23rd and gathered together our climbing party. We roped up at the hogsback, did an end-run around the Bergschrund, and reached the summit about 8:00 AM. Was part of the summit ash-scattering cermony for Highpoint Club founder Jack Longacre. In all, a great climb with a great group of climbers.
Went with Timberline Mt. Guides. Great, professional guides. Had a lot of fun and learned a ton. Unfortunately, a women in another group unclipped from her rope and fell to her death 15 minutes after we left the summit. Very sad end to a great climb.