News from the Hood

Distance is very deceptive is this picture. Mount Hood's
summit is really a long "slog" from the Hood Meadows area.
I took this photo in mid-summer so you can make out the
individual glaciers.

That's the White River Glacier on the far left, where three
climbers and a dog got into trouble earlier this year.
Luckily, they had their "climbing beacons" turned on.

In the center is Newton Clark Glacier, which looks healthy in
this picture taken over 6 years ago. I don't know why it
doesn't get more climbing activity. Probably because of
avalanche/rockfall hazard and steepness of the slope.

To the north and right side of the picture is Cooper Spur and
Elliot Glacier. This is where the triple fatality occurred in
December 2006, when one man lost his life inside a snow cave,
and the other two presumably fell off a cliff to their deaths.
It was a tragedy that occurs much too often on Cascade
volcanoes. We can only hope that climbers take note of the
seasonal changes and weather forcasts before attempting a
particular route. Sometimes, it's better to quit and go home
with your tail between your legs, than to be plucked off the
mountain by SAR workers ... or worst yet, not be found at all
and slowly freeze to death on an unforgiving mountain.

Mount Hood is still undergoing rapid and visible geologic
change. Rockfall occurs on unstable slopes high upon the
mountain and in valleys near glacial termini. Glaciers
undercut headwalls and valley walls, making slopes steep
and unstable. Some moraines and debris-covered slopes have
CORES of slowly melting ice. Rocks often tumble from these
unstable slopes. Be alert when stepping foot in these areas.
Please, use GOOD JUDGEMENT in your journeys and your efforts
will be rewarded!

~ Taken July 13, 2001 near the Hood Meadows Ski Area. ~


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