I loved this climb and though it is often crowded on the standard (S. Side) route, we found a great way to avoid the majority of other climbing parties. Instead of leaving from Timberline in the inky, a.m. darkness, we simply climbed up to Triangle Morain in the previous afternoon and set up a little camp (around 9000 ft). This allowed us to get the "slog" part of the climb out of the way, eat and sleep before the real fun started the next morning. I really recommend this extended version. You get to watch the sunset and the lights of Portland come on. You also get to sleep and still you are on the summit early enough to watch the sunrise. There were only three people on the summit before us that day. As we made our way down, swarms of climbers who had started in the night were still coming up from Timberline Lodge.
Departed from the lodge at 5:40am, solo behind a two hikers to the chair. Not knowing the route but skied here a few times, I followed the most travel path. From what I am familiar with, I travel light and fast. Using techniques from climbing in the Sierra's, I was able to find a route without the use of ice axe or crampons to the summit at 9:40am. I took some photo's had a snack and left at 10am. I went pretty slow & careful until the bergschund. After jumping it, (here the fun starts) I pulled out my space blanket and flew down. I descended in 1 hour to the lodge.
July 31st is usually considered the last day of the typical climbing season for Mt. Hood. This is for a good reason. We departed Timberline Lodge at 2am and summited about 8:30am. The bergshrund atop of the Hogsback and below the Pearly Gates was wide open. Climbers had beaten a path around both sides of the bergshrund, we opted for the left-hand side. The Pearly Gates were in poor condition with spotty snow and loose scree. Desending through here would have been near impossible so we choose to take the variation down that avoids the Pearly Gates to the west. Views: Awesome! With Mt. Hood's conical profile, check out the shadow it casts at sunrise, if you happen to be up high on the mountain at that time.
My first attempt at Hood was a lesson in what NOT to do. Packed too much food and extra weight and went in almost brand new La Sportiva Makalus. My heels were bloody and raw by the time we put crampons on just below the top of the Palmer Chair Lift. Was basically limping up the next stretch towards Crater Rock when it started getting really windy. At the base of Crater Rock my friend Mark and I sat to rest and almost fell asleep several times. The wind was almost knocking us over at this point and we decided to turn back as most of the climbers we could see were doing the same. As we descended the wind was strong enough that our rope was held horizontal in the air. Gusts knocked us over a few times and we self-arrested. Once we got back down to the ski area it was okay. Found out later that the winds were about 60-70 mph. Felt bad about not summitting but still think we made the right decision as the mountain was not going anywhere. A few weeks later we did summit in perfect conditions and had a great time doing it.
Easy up, got REALLY NASTY going down due to weather. Tents destroyed. Had to rescue another party in storm. Make no mistake, weather here can get BRUTAL!
After summiting for the second time just the weekend before on the same route, I wasn't too interested in climbing it again. However, this time was with the same group that I had summited with the previous year. My first summit! It is to become an annual trek for us to kick off the season.
This time, three of us were the same we got someone new to join us and the guy that had turned back decided against coming this time.
Once again, we were blessed with great weather and the climb went without a hitch. I enjoyed my third summit of Mt. Hood and we got some excellent glissading down the groomed climber's trail below the Palmer chairlift.
My third attempt at summiting a mountain with the Chemeketan Climbing Club would culminate with the Summit of the Crown Jewel of Oregon.
I had failed miserably my first attempt at Hood with the Chemeketans and weathered of South Sister my second try with the Chemeketans. I believed that the third time would be the charm.
My Uncle and I decided to go up a day early and stay in the Mazama Lodge, and spend the day snowshoeing around. We headed off toward Zigzag Canyon where I showed him some anchoring techniques and slope condition identification that I had learned in a Mountaineering class. A few weekends before I had been to the same area taking an Avalanche course, and shared some of what I had learned with him also. After spending the day acclimatizing we headed back to the lodge for dinner and rest.
We started at the Timberline parking lot at the infamous midnight start time. Weather was excellent as we moved past the top of the Palmer chairlift. The wind began to pick up slightly as our group began to spread out on the snowfield below Crater Rock. Eventually reaching the Hogsback most of our group dropped packs here until our return from the summit.
Due to the number in our group as well as the experience level, our designated leader decided on the use of a rope. I was much in favor of this, not so much due to the fear factor but more for the rope travel experience. We split into two rope teams, myself bringing up the rear of the second team. Due to the low snowfall this year the Bergschrund was open much wider than my summit the year before. As we passed to the right of the opening, I caught my first glimpse of a huge opening in the snow. In addition to the schrund being open wider due to the low snowfall, the path up to and through the Pearly Gates was much steeper than usual. In light of this our leader placed several pickets as we moved up. Everyone else on both rope teams essentially moved through the pickets but I was required to stop and pull the pickets out. This was fine until I got about six on my pack and ran out of room. All the while, the guy on the front of my rope was forgetting that I needed to stop to deal with the pickets and was pulling me.
Eventually, the summit was reached, with great views and weather. After a little time on the summit, we headed down through the busy gates to the Hogsback. After passing below Crater rock, glissading was pretty rough but nonetheless better than walking. Around 10:00 A.M. we reached the parking lot.
After failing miserably the weekend before with the Chemeketans where I didn't even make it to the Top of the Palmer Chairlift, I felt lucky to have the opportunity to go up with some people from work that had done it several times before. This was to be my first of many climbs with Zancudo.
We had planned to do the normal approach starting at midnight and reaching the summit early in the morning. We met at work and drove the hour and a half to Timberline Lodge from Salem. There was four of us, three of which had never climbed "successfully" before. We headed up toward the Palmer snowfield and I began to wonder about my physical state as I started to feel the pain shortly after the start. My original thinking was that I was going to fail yet again. Eventually, I set my own pace and found that I could move well within my limits. Although not super fast, it was far from slow. However, it was far from the conventional method of continually plodding along. I found that I performed better with bursts of exertion with short rests evry couple of minutes. As I developed a pattern this method began to work well as we moved up. I was no longer having difficulties keeping up and occasionally I would move ahead of our small group for a short time.
Eventually we reached the top of the Palmer. My first success and a new altitude record for me. However, we were still a good long while before we obtained our ultimate goal. One of our group had either turned back our dropped way back. After a short break and more clothes we made our way up past Crater Rock and the Devil's Kitchen. During a short break to put on crampons, I leaned over and watched my digital camera slip out of my pocket and slide down a thousand feet to oblivion. The sulfur smell, and the lack of food and sleep made me nauseous as we finally reached the Hogsback. Trying to relieve myself of my ailment I decided to take a nap as our group took a break before heading up through the Pearly Gates. After about 1/2 hour they woke me to get going.
Although we had shared carrying a rope up to the Hogsback we decided that we would go unroped as there were excellent steps cut into the steep slope. We moved forward at a snails pace which afforded us the luxury of not having to exert ourselves up through the Pearly Gates. The crowds were thick with people, most with scary amounts of lacking experience causing a severe bottleneck.
We finally made the summit and celebrated our success. Unfortunately, I could not photograph anything due to the loss of my camera. After spending some time on top we began our tedious descent down. It was a beautiful day and everyone was climbing Mt. Hood. The Sun had begun to warm everything up and the ice and rock fall was increasing as we made our way back down to the Hogsback. As we passed through the Pearly Gates I asked around if anyone had seen a digital camera fly by. With new found luck, a guy had retrieved my camera and was gracious enough to hand it back over to me. As we made our way down, misguided rope teams were criss-crossing all over the place causing saftey concerns from all of us. Eventually fate dictated that I get hit with a softball size piece of ice in the shoulder. God did it hurt!
After retrieval of our packs at the Hogsback we headed down, getting a few good glissades in. Shortly before 10:30 A.M. we reached the parking lot safely and met our co-worker that had turned back before the top of the Palmer.
A college-years classic. Only mountain that I've been rained off of. South side is fun, but nontechnical. I've got my eye on the north side for more technical routes next time I'm in Oregon.
Climbed up standard south side route to almost the top of the lift and then traverse right. Keep traversing right. When we went we encountered some 45-50 degree snow and crossed over some morraine. Once on the NE side of the mountain traverse upward and access the ridge above. From here we saw 60-70 people like ants on the southside route. We navigate through the crumbly rocks and some ice to the summit. A great day to climb and a really fun route. Nice exposure once your on the ridge.
Did this climb early in the season and found none of the rock or ice fall that most parties encounter on this route. A long route with few surprises. Not much as far as technical skill required. We did rope up to cross the Reid. Got a nice look at the Yocum Ridge! Maybe someday. . . .
Climbed this route with Dan Hughes. Read his account on this post for more details.
This was my first glaciated mountain, crampons, ice axe route. I have climbed several other routes up Hood since but this one will always be my first. One of the other guys I was climbing with got altitude sickness near the summit and literally staggered to the summit. He was incoherent and acted like a beligerent drunk. We short-roped him and led him down the pearly gates. Once down to the hogsback he came out of it and was ok to the bottom. A good lesson -don't take even the easiest of routes for granted.
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