Ascent of Mount Hood on 2013-06-12

Climber: Drew Gajan

Others in Party:Dan Gamache
Date:Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Hood
    Elevation:11239 ft / 3425 m

Ascent Trip Report

First climb of the year and turned out perfectly. Weather had been warming, but this week has dropped 20 degrees and snow was solid. Given it was the first climb of the year, we moved awfully slowly, traversing our way up after the Palmer Chairlift terminus to conserve energy. Most recent ascents of Mount Hood have been up the Old Chute. We chose to try the Pearly Gates. The snow bridge over the Bergstrund on the right side is getting smaller and ready to collapse. However, we found our way through that and ascended a very steep pitch 45 to 50 degrees up to a ledge below the center rock tower. Then went East (left of the tower) and encountered a 20 foot head wall of blue ice. We cut some inadequate steps in the head wall and basically toe pointed up. Bee lined up to the summit ridge and enjoyed a clear sunny 30 minutes at the summit above the cloud line. Descended down the same route, which proved trickier. Gave my climbing partner a running belay down the head wall and then down climbed it using a collapsed trekking pole and ice axe. As clouds were moving higher, we hightailed it down the mountain.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5382 ft / 1640 m
    Round-Trip Distance:16 mi / 25.7 km
    Route:Climbers Trail / Pearly Gates
    Trailhead:Timberline Lodge  5857 ft / 1785 m
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb, Ice Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Ski Poles
    Weather:Snowing, Frigid, Windy, Low Clouds
Low clouds, breaking at 9000 ft. Clear sky's above cloud line.
Ascent Statistics
    Time:8 Hours 0 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 20 Minutes

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