The Chute

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 45.37350°N / 121.6956°W
Additional Information Route Type: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Spring, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: 50-55 degree Steep Snow, Possible AI2
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 3
Additional Information Grade: I
Sign the Climber's Log


No one seems to know or climb this route. It's not "The Chute" or the Pearly Gates. I doubt we made a first ascent, but I'm taking the liberty of naming it. Hope you enjoy it; this is a top-notch, crowdless climb!

With the current location(2008) of the Hogsback, "The Chute" is the most direct line on Mount Hood's South Face when attempting to reach the summit from the Timberline Lodge. Despite this, it is definitely not the quickest route seeing that we were the highest climbing group on the mountain upon reaching its base only to be passed by a dozen, give or take, rope teams taking the Old Chute Variation during our ascent.

Getting There

From Portland, Oregon the quickest way to reach Mount Hood and the Timberline Lodge is to follow US Highway 26 East to Government Camp. From there take the Timberline Lodge 6 miles up a curvy road to the aforementioned building.

Route Description

The Chute follows the same path as numerous routes on the south side of Mount Hood for a long time.

Start by following the standard route through the ski resort. After that the typical route of ever steepening slopes will bring one to the Hogsback(~10,500'). Rope and gear up here before crossing.

When your team is ready, cross the Hogsback until the bergschrund is reached. Upon reaching this obstacle, evaluate the terrain and decide where the safest point to cross is located. In late May 2008, we found it was easiest to traverse left following the trampled Old Chutes Variation route until reaching a safe location to ahead straight up. Once a safe locale is obtained head back to the crest of the Hogsback. The Chute is now directly above you.

The ChuteAbove the bergschrund approaching "The Chute"

Pitch 1(crux): Upon entering the cliffband, you're funneled directly into the first pitch. As you climb higher, hard snow gives way to ice and snow combination and the angle steepens from low fourties to almost fifty degrees. At the top of this pitch you have two choices to get over the lip. The left side is less steep, but considerably icier while the right side is steeper and has icy steps to go along with rock hard snow. We found the right side to be to our liking. After cresting this pitch there is an excellent place to setup a picket and bring your partner up.

 The Chute  CruxDetailed view of "The Chute" crux as I top out.

Pitch 2: Short, sweet and steep! With a lack of ice, this pitch is prime for kicksteps. Good thing too because the pitch runs at 55+ degrees. You'll top out within 40 feet. Setting up a belay station here was difficult with current conditions. An ice axe belay worked the best.

Second Pitch in  The Jamies Gully Working on the second section of "The Chute", the shortest pitch

Pitch 3: Head straight up from the second belay station. This pitch is narrow, a couple of body widths, but that doesn't cause any problems. The angle begins to relent as this pitch is roughly 45 degrees. At the top of this pitch bring your partner up on belay for the final time.

Escape RouteThe narrow couloir providing access past the icy headwall.

From here it's an easy 5-10 minutes walk to the summit. Be careful of crevasses as there are multiple prime areas nearby.

Welcome to the Sun!Bright, sunshiny day. Summit(and crowds) just moments away.

Essential Gear

An ice axe, a second tool, crampons, rope, harness, 2 pickets, and a few ice screws are necessary for this route. We also brought a light rack of nuts but found them to be completely useless with no exposed rock to use them on.