Planned to stay at 9,000' with a weather forcast at the summit of 10mph wind, low of 37 and 0 precip. Stated blowing sustained 35 and alternating tiny sharp hail and rain at 8,500'. Waited an hour before turning back. It was a real bummer, second year coming from Michigan for this mountain just to get onit and be shut down by weather. Glad we did, there were a couple incidents later in that storm.
It was so icy and loud skiing down that I felt bad for interrupting the conversations of climbers. Otherwise, super!
Elliot from Timberline Mountain Guides was an excellent guide: knowledge and attitude wise. We were a group of three women who met last year climbing Mt.Rainier.
We enjoyed learning to short-rope and were blessed with the perfect conditions. I was wearing my Ice Climbing booth Scarpa Mont Blanc and did not get cold at all.
Thank you, Mt.Hood. Now I will be returning all of your routes unguided with the proper team.
4 hour summit from Timberline in perfect conditions. We arrived at the Hogsback with no other climbers ahead of us and then decided to take the Pearly Gates route. The Hogsback lined up well leading to base of the gates. Bergschrund starting to widen (less than 12 inches where we crossed). Route to summit was in great shape up the Hogsback and left side Pearly Gates.
Up the South Side through Pearly Gates. Pearly gates are in fantastic condition and with the Hogsback lining up perfectly. Looked better than Old Chute, in my opinion. Good snow, 1 AM start and (somewhat) low crowds. What a day!
Went up the left pearly gates chute, decent amount of people on the mountain but we managed to be ahead of the largest crowds of the day. Great sunrise and expansive view on top.
During the summer of 1969 I drove to the Pacific Northwest with Nancy Rose from Oakland, CA to climb peaks in the Cascades. The first peak we were going to climb was Mt. Hood. I had hoped to climb a glacier on the west side of the mountain instead of the standard route. We hiked up past Timberline Lodge in fog the afternoon after we arrived at the road head. The next morning we passes over the SW ridge and began descending the ice to the glacier below. The climbing was too difficult for Nancy so we climbed back up to go up the hog's back route, ascending the glacier next to the SW ridge, dodging large rocks as they fell from the ridges on both sides. approaching the bergschrund we found that it was gaping and too dangerous for Nancy to do the difficult climb around the end to the right. We heard from another party that the crevasses on Rainier were difficult to negotiate this late in the season. Consequently we didn't climb Rainier either. When we got to Mt. St. Hellens the UC Berkeley hiking club member that was going to join us had bailed. It was also my first experience with a premenstrual woman. The trip was a bust, but educational!
I was pioneering a new alpine training technique where you sit around, drink beer and smoke cigarettes for a week before and stop suddenly and then climb a mountain. Doesn't work...
West rim variation for my first ice climb. Snow was already loosening up by 10am but we were well on our way down. Amazing views, 3am start which is recommended!
South climb / hogsback with skis, no cramp-ons so took it slow for snow to soften enough. Much slough on descent. (W/ Jon Carter)
Probably the most fun hike I've ever had. Love my rainbow unicorns!
A lot less snow than 6 years ago and so much warmer. Still a very fun climb. Summited via Old Chute. Bergschrund too big for pearly gate route but that did look like a fun way.
Started at midnight and successfully reached the summit at about 8am on the second attempt (had terrible weather on the first attempt 2 days prior). It took a little longer than expected because of 6-12 inches of fresh snow around Hogsback and bottom half of the Pearly Gates. We were the first group to ascend, after it snowed, so we had to break our own trail. Went to the right side of the Gates (both sides are quite steep). The bergschrund had also opened up pretty wide. I've posted a full write-up with pics of the trip on Medium if anyone is interested (https://medium.com/@kevinlyu/becoming-a-mountaineer-625a07fa9ab0).
Started at 0300 Hours (Alpine Start) from the Timberline Lodge with TMG (Timberline Mountain Guides).
There were light winds - compared to the winds we faced on the summit - all the way up to Hogsback, where we roped up prior to traversing across and through the pearly gates.
Summited at 0730 Hours and descended shortly after due to high winds, low visibility and deteriorating conditions.
Climbed standard south side route, Hogsback/Pearly Gates left chute, from Timberline under moonlit clear skies. Alpine start, 4 hour ascent with summit at 5:00 am. Below freezing temps and firm snow.
We put on crampons at the top of Palmer. Carried two ice axes and used them both on the descent. My climbing partner only had one axe, and did fine, but wished he'd had two.
The Hogsback appears to have possibly shifted a bit to the north compared to last year, and the ridge is not as sharp. The approach to the Pearly Gates was steeper and more exposed compared to May 2016, with the established foot path angling side hill and up at about the level of the Bergschrund. The crevasse was only opened about 5-6 inches on our ascent.
At the bottom of the left chute of the Pearly Gates we briefly waited to let a climber pass as he downclimbed. He stated that we had made it past the hardest part already, and after ascending the gates soon after, I'd agree. There were probably 4-5 people ahead of us, and another 4-5 directly behind us, with many more on their way, as expected. We were on the summit at 4:57, and it was bitter cold with a moderate wind.
It was too cold on top for us to wait 45 minutes for sunrise, so we descended to the top of the gates. At that point we decided to go back up to the summit to catch the sunrise and also warm up on the ascent! It was well worth it. We were on the summit alone when a solo climber arrived and stated it was his 170th summit! He was 66 years old.
Back at the top of the Pearly Gates we waited for a few climbers to ascend and then down climbed. A guided group had just fixed a rope and was waiting to ascend as we came through. By now there was significantly more climbers on their way up, and about 3-4 people behind us down climbing. We heard from several climbers that the Bergschrund had opened up and that a gal had fallen in part way but was uninjured.
Indeed the crevasse had opened up and now was a gaping hole with about a 10 foot wide snow bridge. Some climbers were going around to the south, some to the north, but at that point nobody was crossing the snow bridge. We chose to side hill above the Bergschrund to the north, requiring front pointing on the firm snow/ice, and went around the opened crevasse.
Back down on the lower Hogsback we noticed groups of climbers crossing the snow bridge. The crevasse looked to be about 5-6 feet wide at that point, which to me seemed too wide to take that chance!
Unfortunately we learned later that a climber fell to his death at about 1130 from just below the Pearly Gates. By then the sun was hitting that side of the mountain, and possibly this was a factor effecting the conditions. That is definitely a point with significant exposure, thus requiring careful attention and appropriate gear.
Overall it was a great morning to be on the mountain!
My family and I climbed Mt. Hood two days ago. It was a fantastic experience but one unfortunately tainted by tragedy. We have hiked extensively in the states and overseas, including Kilimanjaro, but this was our first true mountaineering experience. We hired Timberline Mountain Guides (who are excellent) and followed one of the traditional South Side routes up the Hogsback and through the Pearly Gates. While this route is undoubtedly easy for the experienced climber, it is a serious climb for the average person, requiring training, proper equipment, and a reputable guide.
On the day of our climb, the mountain was very icy due to a thaw the prior week and a sharp refreeze (common in the late spring). Four inches of new snow on the lower mountain the night we arrived did little to soften the conditions. Crampons were essential from the top of the Palmer Lift upwards and ice axes/ropes were needed starting on the Hogsback. The thought of anyone doing this without crampons is absurd, let alone in high heels, as legend would have it. We saw many climbers going solo without ropes but would advise against this for anyone but the most experienced. To underscore this point, a 32-year old climber slid to his death on the Hogsback the very day we climbed and only shortly after we descended. It sounds as if he was climbing without ropes and lost his footing. I recall thinking when descending the Hogsback that the slope was so steep and icy that an unrestrained slip could be fatal. Unfortunately, I was right.
Although we hired a guide service, had training, and used proper safety equipment, we still suffered a scare. Just a few minutes after crossing the Bergschrund, which was then just a hairline crack in the snow, we heard a thunderous roar and turned to see it open up into a gaping crevasse tens of yards long and several feet wide, almost swallowing the climber just behind us. Our guides expressed astonishment, one saying he had never seen that happen in the 14 years he had been guiding on the mountain. Rare but not unprecedented. After returning, we found a You Tube video reminding us of the 2002 accident in the Bergschrund that claimed the lives of 3 climbers, injured 9 others, and resulted in the crash of a Pave Hawk rescue helicopter.
My advice to prospective first time Hood climbers is not to be deterred by the risk, which is actually relatively low if you take proper precautions. Mt. Hood is a fantastic climb and a wonderful experience that is well worth the investment of time and money. The views are unparalleled both on the hike and from the top (where you can see Jefferson and the Twin Sisters to the South and St. Helens and Rainier to the North). It's a very strenuous but manageable climb if you are in reasonably good shape, with an altitude low enough that most climbers will not have a problem. That said, to fully enjoy the climb and, more importantly, stay out of trouble, you have to be smart. Hire a reputable guide service that provides training the day prior. Leave around or just past midnight to avoid rock and ice falls as the sun warms the mountain. (It was amazing how many people we saw just starting out as we finished up at 11:00 am. Really foolish.) And by all means, use proper equipment, including a fixed rope on the steepest sections. You should be mindful around the Bergschrund, but understand that what happened to us was apparently a freak occurrence, so very unlikely to cause any issues for most climbers.
Started at Timberline at 1 a.m.
Visibility low the first couple hours due to winds blowing new snow.
First light came when I was about 500' below Hogsback. By that time camera & cell phone died despite freshly charged batteries due to the cold. Luckily my GoPro soldiered the low temps.
Summited at 8:30 a.m. About a dozen people summited before me but I did have the summit to myself for about 10 minutes.
Pleasant descent; back to the car by 1:30. I am slow.
Attempted to skin up Hood with a few friends. Started at 3am from Timberline but due to weather we had to turn back at the top of Palmer. Snow was a lot on the crusty side.
03/31/2017 Via the Reid Headwall and down the South Side. Skied from Illumination Rock down w/ Thatcher S.