Ascent of Mount Hood on 2014-06-19

Climber: Tye Scott

Date:Thursday, June 19, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Hood
    Elevation:11239 ft / 3425 m

Ascent Trip Report

Pete and I had been discussing a good time for us to get together for Hood and it just happened that our schedules aligned between Ironman training, work, and obligations. Coincidentally, the weather matched up perfectly too. After getting off work Wednesday morning, I headed home for a quick nap, then woke up and left to go pick up Pete after he wrapped up his work week. The drive to Hood River was quick and uneventful though we did stop for some food essentials and a bite to eat at Brian's Pourhouse while passing through town.

Around 10pm we arrived at the Timberline Lodge parking lot where we found about 15 other vehicles parked. Not wanting to wake anyone we slipped into the back corner and set up our bags then walked up to the information center to look over other people's ascent reports. It seemed from the reports in recent days that most people had left between 11pm to 1am with a couple leaving as early as 6-8pm. We couldn't figure out why you'd leave the night before unless you were looking for a full moon adventure. Anyhow, we agreed to wake up at 0230, giving us 4 hours of sleep, and starting sometime thereafter.

Sleeping beneath the blanket of stars in the clear, cool skies was nothing short of incredible. It made for a very peaceful sleep. As scheduled, Pete and I awoke at 0230, packed up our bags, ate, and chatted with an unlucky guy who threw in the towel on his ascent because his Camelback sprung a leak all over his bag. Eventually we hit the trail starting across the street from the bathrooms at 0330. The snow was semi-soft and the wind was consistently blowing at 15 mph but it felt pleasant out. Between the moonlight and the snow it made headlamps optional. We made quick work of the first 2,000 vertical feet in an hour twenty. At the top of the Palmer Lift where the cat track is we donned our crampons and then gradually made our way up to the Upper Moraine chatting with a few people along the way.

Upon reaching the lower part just below the Hogsback we dropped off our poles, grabbed some food, and then geared up. We also spoke with a gentleman who had turned around from the Pearly Gates due to a 15' section of wet ice. Since we had the gear and I was looking for more practice, Pete and I opted to continue on this route. Once atop the Hogsback we noted a group of 8 or so people down by the fumeroles who were likely heading up through the Old Chute.

We roped up on the Hogsback then made our way up to the Bergschrund, traversed to the east of it and on up through the Pearly Gates to the summit. The 15' section of ice was pretty unremarkable, and quite honestly, gear from the Hogsback to the summit wasn't essential. Without a cloud in the sky, the views from the top were amazing! St. Helens, Rainier, and Adams were clearly visible to the north and Jefferson, Sisters, and Bachelor to the south. We sat up at the summit for about 20 minutes taking it all in, and completely alone surprisingly, before making our descent.

Instead of going back down the icy Pearly Gates, we went down the Old Chute as we felt this would be quicker. Along the way back to where we'd left our poles we passed the group of 8 who were quite thrilled about the nearing summit. I told them they wouldn't be disappointed. Shedding our gear and grabbing our poles we then trotted back down to the car for a 6 hour and 20 minute round trip summit before making the 5.5 hour drive home. All in all a great trip! 46 down, 4 to go.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5439 ft / 1657 m
    Total Elevation Loss:5439 ft / 1657 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Windy, Clear
Blue Skies
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:5439 ft / 1657 m
    Route:Hogsback - Pearly Gates
    Start Trailhead:Timberline Ridge Parking Lot  5800 ft / 1767 m
    Time:4 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:5439 ft / 1657 m
    Route:Old Chute - Hogsback
    End Trailhead:Timberline Ridge Parking Lot  5800 ft / 1767 m
    Time:2 Hours 2 Minutes

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