|Page Type:||Trip Report|
|Date Climbed/Hiked:||May 7, 2017|
We did the circumnavigation clockwise around Hood. This sets you up for early morning travel across the glaciers with the most significant crevasse hazard (Reid and Sandy), and good timing for corn snow throughout the day.
Crossing Yocum is the first crux. We skied from the Illumination Saddle (9300’) crossing the Reid to about 8,300’, then traversed close to the ridge down to 8,100’. It looked possible to cross at 8,300’ but with skis already in downhill mode, it was relatively easy to make an icy traverse down to the lower and easier crossing point. We booted it up the ridge for 100’ of gain and the Sandy opened up beneath us. Crossing at 8,300’ would buy you a little longer descent on the Sandy Glacier, but might take a little more up and down climbing.
The Sandy was an awesome descent on wind-packed powder. We traversed/descended to ~7,300’ to cross the next ridge, gaining a view of the Glisan Glacier. The Glisan was very tempting to ski. From here, we turned the corner and worked our way East with a combination of skinning and a little bootpacking to gain the Coe Glacier. We crossed the Coe on skins, not far from the base of Pulpit Rock, but in hindsight, a downhill rip would have been more fun and faster. Either way, it’s back to skins to crest the ridge that guards the Eliot Glacier.
The Eliot provided another great descent (about 1000’), with excellent corn near the bottom and rad views of the North Face and Cooper Spur. It’s possible to either ski-traverse out to the ridge crest, or boot up a quick slope to prevent more elevation loss.
The ski to bootpack ratio was slightly skewed ...
We skinned up the Spur to about 8,500’ then dropped onto the Newton Clark Glacier for a long, slightly uphill slog above Mt Hood Meadows with great views into Newton and Heather Canyons. We rounded the final corner at 8,900’ looking down into the White River Glacier. It’s best to cross this glacier/canyon as high as possible. Although it looks improbable at first, it is relatively easy to ski-traverse high and exit the west side around 8,600’. However, we encountered a fair bit of blocky, wet loose debris and 2’ deep runnels, which made for slower going than we wanted. From there, rip it down the Palmer to those cold beers you stashed in the parking lot snow bank!