Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 45.36180°N / 121.69968°W
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: May 18, 2007
Activities Activities: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Spring

Mt.Hood and Swine Spine 5/18/07

This was an epic trip of the classic Swine Spine, or the Hogs Back,route that about everyone has done. However the weather that we endured along the way definitely increased the risk and difficulty!

We started off from Walla Walla, Washington 5/18/07. Two of my buddies and I decided to do a last minute mountain trip, feeling a little more adventurous we decided to climb Mt.Hood instead of going somewhere in the Wallowas. We ended up leaving town around 8:00pm and after hitting a poor possum along the way finally made it to the Timberline lodge parking lot.

The weather was starting to worsen. We had come all this way to climb mount hood knowing that the weather was probably going to be bad...It was a risk we were willing to take! We pitched out tent and decided to sleep in a little bit and wait for the weather to calm down.

At around 1:00am we could here some climbers starting to head up the mountain, around 3:00am we could here them returning, complaining of bitter winds and poor visibility.

We took that as our cue to go. We packed up camp and headed up (4:45am)! The wind and visibility was brutal, 40mph winds, frequent gusts of who knows what! But we were still going. We had our snowboards on our backs which made it even more brutal. As we finally got to the top of Palmer we finally decided that we probably couldn't make it. But we ditched the snowboards and decided to give it another good 30 minutes of climbing, just to see what would happen.

30 minutes later I looked up and saw a hint of blue sky, then it quickly disappeared. I knew we were home free. Another hour and we were finally breaking out of the cloud cover and the steel cliffs were in sight!
Mt.Hood ridge

These are my two buddies Evan & Seth, we are just getting out of the weather!
Cloud break

Just breaking out!
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The winds was still strong but everything has significantly calmed down compared to earlier and we knew we were going to summit. There was NO ONE up there, everyone had been defeated by the terrible weather, but luckily for us a late start was the smart choice.
Steel Cliff

The Steel cliff!
Hogsback Panorama

This is a panorama taken of the Hogs Back, I think everyone has seen it but this time was a little unique.
Top of Swine Spine :)

I am at the bottom of the pearly gates looking out over the clouds, you can see my two climbing buddies below.
Summit panorama

alas the summit! It was a magnificent view and well worth the suffering from earlier. I am glad we were able to make it, the weather made it memorable for sure, and the clouds made for some breath taking pictures.


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mauri pelto

mauri pelto - May 27, 2007 7:27 am - Hasn't voted

Early starts not always the answer

Great view of Hogsback and cloud tops. There is little better than climbing above the clouds and having that world to yourself, good patience.


williams - May 29, 2007 12:50 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Early starts not always the answer

It makes the world seems a lot larger thats for sure. We were lucky to have such good weather, and no crowds :)

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