Rain and snow berated us as we geared up at the truck, but it subsided before we laid eyes on Mirror Lake. We donned snowshoes just before the switchback at the cairn and hit the summit in three hours.
We dropped off the ridge and hit the bowl, then plowed through the woods, roughly following a small creek. Then, we met up with the trail around the lake and hit the truck, an hour and 45 minutes from the top.
The weather was okay; turning from spittin' snow and rain to dense clouds, to a raised cloud-line of about 7000 feet with sun breaks.
Was expecting lots of falling snow.......Instead, I was welcomed with partly cloudy skies. The wind kicked up with some strong gusts and blasting ice but for the most part a nice day. I packed my snowshoes up to the lake using the main trail. A solo X-country skier was coming down the trail as I was headed up. I put my snowshoes on at the lake and scrambled through the forest in 6" to 8" of fresh powder. By the time I got to the boulders the fresh stuff was a bit deeper. I climbed the ridge to the summit. I was the first of a few groups that summited today. Click PHOTOS to see a few of todays pics.
I do this one in the summer because the best huckleberries I've even found grow on the upper bowl to the left of the upper chairlift - there, the secret's out! Every time I drive by on the way to or from central Oregon I give it a try if the weather's halfway decent - and sometimes, even when it's not.
February, 2003 - I brought snowshoes but there was enough of a boot path, I only needed them for the traverse over to the real summit. had nice weather and great views of hood.
June 09, 2004 - I did this again on a misty/rainy day. I could barely see mirror lake from it's shores. Needless to say there was no view from the end of the official trail on the lower summit. I did not go further due to the peregrine falcon habitat issue. The highlight was all the wildflowers in bloom near mirror lake. a lot of beargrass, and rhododendrons in bloom. I also did the Mirror Lake loop where I saw a few remaining skunk cabbage blossoms and some white and pink trilliums.
Did this snowshoe hike with my friend Brian Jenkins. Questionable weather resulted in a gorgeous day with impressive views of Mt. Hood.
Finally knocked this one off and did both trails too. Started off as gloomy day, got to Mirror Lake in about 45 minutes, headed around to the SE side and then aimed southeast in between the main summit ridge and the east summit. Some steep snow on the way up. Made the ridge and traversed west along it to the summit. Was rewarded with great views of Hood hovering above the clouds. Had some lunch and headed back down the normal route. Followed some ski tracks down mostly but easy to get off trail as no one had gone up in a while this way. Weather kept getting better as the day went on. By the time we were back down to the lake, it was like 60 and blue skies. Great snowshoe fun!
Saw the mountain on my mountain biking map several weeks previously and decided to give it a try. The trail to Mirror Lake is very gradual, and in excellent shape with a minimum of obstacles.
The trail from Mirror Lake continues to the top of Tom Dick Ridge which offers a great view of the south side of Mt. Hood. It took us 35 minutes to reach the ridge from Mirror Lake. Overall, a nice hike with great views!
We were the first ones on the mountain this day and we paid the price as there was about 6 inches of fresh powder from the night before on top of the 4 or 5 feet laid down during the previous week. It made for tough snowshoeing. There were also many trees over the trail bent over under the weight of all the snow that we had to clear to pass. We met a lone hiker on the trail who was glad to follow the three of us with our snowshoes as we laid down a nice path for him but he still ended up postholing down in the snow about 4 feet deep so he turned back. We were averaging less than a mile an hour when we were about 3 miles along the trail with 2 and 1/2 hours of daylight left and another snowstorm started so we decided to turn back a few hundred feet below the summit. Once we got back to the car, we were boxed in by cars and trucks chaining up but I was lucky to not have gotten a ticket as I did not have a Snow Park Pass. Will be back another day to knock this one off.