Ascent of Mount Hood on 2004-07-01

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:guides Pete Keane
Ned and another of TMG
clients Barry
John plus 2 others
Date:Thursday, July 1, 2004
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Summit:Car
Peak:Mount Hood
    Elevation:11239 ft / 3425 m

Ascent Trip Report

I have come to the USA-NW to climb the highpoints/visit the capitol buildings of OR, ID, MT, WA and to attend the Highpointers Convention in Puyallup, WA.

I contracted Timberline Mountain Guides (TMG), Pete Keane and Steve Baldwin, for a 2 day group program (training seminar and the climb).

I did two acclimatization climbs before starting the program. Yesterday I participated in the training seminar given by Pete. He addressed (with and without crampons) walking up/down steep slopes/traverses/changing directions, self arrests in different scenarios and rope techniques. After the seminar Pete checked out our gear and briefed the group on tomorrows summit attempt. We will be a group of 11 (3 guides and 8 clients), we will meet here at 23h30 hrs tonight and leave for the summit at midnight by caterpillar to the Palmer Ski Station. We will use the standard south face route up snow covered glacier to the hogsback/pearly gates.

From the Timberline Lodge, elev 5920', 0h15 hrs, the caterpillar slowly made its way up the slope to the Palmer Ski Station, elev 8540', we put on our harness and crampons and started out at 1h15 hrs with our poles. No defined trail, we each took our own prefered line as we climbed. After about 1000' of elevation gain we switched the poles for the ice axes as the climbing got steeper. At the traverse below the crater rim 2 guys decided to turn around, so Pete sent one guide back down with them.

At the Hogsback, elev 10500', we regrouped and roped-up, Pete with Barry and Paul, Ned the other guide with Mia, Ollie and me. Another guy John, who had been struggling, decided that he would wait for us here. From here the distance to the top is only about 1/4 of a mile, however the most difficult and technical section, it would take us over 1 hr to climb. We safely ascended the Hogsback, crossed the snowbridge at the bergschrund, climbed the steep stepped trail thru the narrow Pearly Gates and the last final steep chute to the summit.

We summitted Mount Hood, elev 11239', at 6h15 hrs for my 43rd highpoint after a 5 hr climb. Exceptional beautifull day, lots of people on top. The views of Mt St Helens, Rainier and Adams to the N and Jefferson and the Sisters to the S are spectacular.

After a 1/2 hr of the usual summit routine we safely descended roped-up and retraced our route to the Hogsback, where we unroped and continued the descent, on our own, all the way down to the Timberline Lodge. We got back at 10h15 hrs after a 10 hr day, very satisfied with the days effort.

Pete Keane and the TMG organization were great, I was very satisfied with their services. Next stop is a solo on Borah Peak, Idaho.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2699 ft / 822 m
    Total Elevation Loss:5319 ft / 1621 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Guide, Tent Camp
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2699 ft / 822 m
    Distance:1 mi / 1.6 km
    Route:std S slope route/hogsback/pearly gates, Hpt #43
    Start Trailhead:palmer ski station  8540 ft / 2602 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:5319 ft / 1621 m
    Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Route:std S slope route/hogsback/pearly gates, #43
    End Trailhead:palmer ski station  5920 ft / 1804 m

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