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.