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!
Nice route- overcrowded though. We got an early start to avoid crowds - even with the recent deaths, people are still acting stupid on the slope above the bergschrund - roped up teams descending/ascending, crossing over eachother.... when are they gonna learn?
Parked at cooper spur ski area. Climbed with JZ. The glacier was covered well. Took a break in a snowcave below the bergschrund to eat and brew and nap. There were a couple of steep steps and we used a few screws. Summited late morning. Cooper was too loaded to downclimb as was the Sunshine route, so we hiked down the chairlifts and hitched a ride back to the truck with some guy who told stories of meeting all of the famous climbers of the previous generation. Interesting guy.
This turned out to be an epic climb. Perfect weather the entire day, but lots of rock fall and tricky climbing up rock couloirs. I would recommend climbing this route earlier in the season.
Had a great time in May on the Hogsback route, so I came back for a harder route. Slept in the car then took a snowcat to the top of the lift. Cut to the left of Crater Rock and around the scree patch, then straight up to the summit ridge. Was about as steep as between the bergschrund and pearly gates on the hogsback route, but the steep section is much longer. The weather this time was much better with almost no wind. It was a lot easier trip than last time with a daypack, the cat, and no 50 mph winds!
Climbed with my friend Scott on a beautiful day. 6 hrs roundtrip from the Lodge. Bergschrund was a little dicey, but negotiable.
Brought a friend up who had never skied or climbed before. We drove up after work on the 16th from Seattle and slept in the car. On the 17th we skied under perfect sunny skies, at 2pm we dumped the ski's and caught the chair lift up to 8,500'. We Climbed up to 9,200' and found a great spot for the night. We left the tent around 6am on the 18th, the sun had left us with low clouds. Above the Hogsback the bottleneck really started, at one point above the bergshrund we waited for nearly 30 minutes w/o moving. Conditions were very icy (I actually bent the point on my axe) and in the 50degree neighborhood. We summited at 11am, Zero vis from the summit. decent was uneventful and slow.(waiting allot)
We left Timberline parking lot just after midnight. The summit looked deceptively close under clear skies and a full moon. We took our place in the endless line of headlamps trudging our way up the mountain in the dark. At 8500 feet, we took a quick break for some food and then continued marching up toward the summit. By daybreak, some weather had begun to blow in from the West and visibility was down to about 100 feet. Ascending from sea level to 9000 feet in just a few hours had also left one of our party ill with altitude sickness. At 9200 feet, we paused to assess the condition of the weather and our altitude sickness-stricken teammate. The decision was made to turn back and try again another day.
Not the recommended month to climb Hood. Lots of small rockfall, that you could hear and see coming. Took 8 hours versus the 4-6 it was supposed to take. Descended the southside. Crossing above the bergschrund was horrible. Ice with a layer of dirt on top, also rockfall coming down. Cooper Spur is a challenging route especially at the top. Only saw one other person, some crazy englishman who summited up the south route in 2 1/2 hours. There is no shuttle service back to the trailhead so if you only have one car you better hope for a ride with someone who is prepared to go out of their way. (Thanks Keith). View was incredible and the devil's kitchen is pretty foul smelling.
Made an evening ascent, reached the summit for sundown. Made camp on Hogsback next to Crater Rock, I don't suggest camping here to anyone else as everything smelled like sulfphur afterwards.
Climb described by summit log already posted by idpinky. It's my tent that seems to be about to be blown away. My dad Jack , the guy who got hit by the rock, and I got a lot of sleep that night. yeah right. I guess the wind decided to blow at little different angle than usualy because the tent was setup to take blows from the direction that the ice and snow had been wind blown and we hadn't prepared it with guy lines. We ended up getting slightly side swipted.
1975 via Leuthold Couloir with David Coughlin, Al Munhall, & Chuck Grant
1981 via Sunshine with David Coughlin & Jon Petterson
2003 via the S. Side, Old Crater variation, solo