South Side (West Crater Rim)

South Side (West Crater Rim)

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 45.37360°N / 121.6925°W
Additional Information Route Type: Steep snow travel (~45 degrees in places)
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Steep Walk-up
Sign the Climber's Log


Drive to Timberline Lodge as described in the Getting There section on the main Mt. Hood page to start your hike.

Route Description

Keep in mind that guide books warn of high avalanche potential on this route.

From Timberline Lodge climb along the lifts to top of the Palmer ski lift (highest lift at Timberline resort). At top of Palmer turn northwest ('left' as you're looking up at the mountain). You want to proceed toward the west side of Crater Rocks (photo taken from Hogsback route for which you'd go on the east side or 'right' of the rock). Once at the base of Crater Rocks on its west side you have two options: either proceed up the steep snowfield on your 'left' (to the west) or 'straight' up (roughly northward) over the dry patch of dirt. In either of these two options you want to end up in roughly the same place - the start of a steep (about 45 degree) snow field near top of the 'dry patch of dirt' (might be called 'Hot Rocks'?). From there head straight up toward top of the rim - it's about 800 feet of steep snow with a less steep snow 'ledge' about 2/3rds of the way up (you should be able to see the Hogsback with its line of climbers on your right). Once you top out on the rim, you are faced with a traverse (eastwardly) over a narrow (very narrow and seasonally corniced) ridge to the true summit. Would recommend descending via South Side (Hogsback) route ("standard route).

Essential Gear

Ice ax and crampons and - depending on the party's level of comfort - might want to consider roping up with a running belay for the steep snow (definitely NOT an essential procedure though).

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Noah (Oregon)

Noah (Oregon) - Jan 14, 2006 10:26 am - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

I didn't rope up (I was solo) but I would encourage people who are new to Mt. Hood to consider a rope on this route. The run-out if you fall and can't arrest was pure rock and would have been nasty. I would have been happy to have a picket or two and a rope on this route...

Ben Beckerich

Ben Beckerich - Oct 7, 2011 4:18 am - Hasn't voted


this is the only route available on the south side of the mountain later in the season (i climbed it as late as august 22, this year).. but be prepared for a steep headwall climb and very high rockfall hazard. the snow field shrinks down to bare glacier, increasing the slope to more like 65 degrees for the last 1/3rd of the headwall to the rim. easily two full 60m pitches, if protecting.

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