Ascent of Mount Hood on 2014-07-02

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Alan Bernier
Date:Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Hood
    Elevation:11239 ft / 3425 m

Ascent Trip Report

We climb Hood one day after Star Peak, with a travel day in between.

We arrived mid pm the previous day in hot sunshine, checked out the self-permitting system, noted that folk were generally using the Old Chute route as seems typical late season. The route can be seen pretty well from the Timberline parking lot using binoculars.

We'd planned to start next morning at about 3.30 am, but awoken by showery rain we prevaricate and recheck forecasts before deciding it's likely as good a day as any and we'll give it a try.

We drop our self-permit form in at the Climbers Cave (first part of lower building, on R as you enter, unmanned, open 24h) and set off at 4.15 a.m. The route starts up some steps then just follows the R (E) edge of the ski area (current route is nowhere near the ski lift mentioned in some descriptions). Progress seems slow in the slushy early July snow. My mind goes back to late July last year when Pete Ellis turned back in snow conditions seemingly not very different from today...

Looking south to Mt Jefferson and the Sisters the weather is looking stormy: there are some impressive cloud effects. We also see Hood's shadow cast on the atmosphere, a common early morning high-mountain effect.

Reaching the top of a scruffy rock/stone ridge just below Crater Rock, we fit crampons and contour round passing R of Crater Rock and climbing steeply (soft snow, a few tiny crevasses but no need for our rope). Arriving on the Hogsback snow ridge the situation is obvious. The large bergschrund and lack of snow means the Pearly Gates route is out of favour. The main route which we follow makes the short descent to the Hogsback low point, heads L and ascends a patch of soil/rock then climbs straight up the snow face to the ridge. Plenty of signs of volcanic activity here with sulphur and steam.

The snow slope has a good boot trail leading up slightly R of the fall line and is a straightforward climb except the snow is a little soft. Topping out we turn R along a ridge with a couple of short narrow very exposed knife-edge sections before an easy ridge leads to the summit, which we reach in 4h from the parking lot.

The summit N45.37354 W121.69593 is under about a metre of snow: the trig plaque must be buried: we see a reference marker a few metres to the N, accessible but in an exposed position, pointing back at the summit. Mt Adams shows well to the N, but to the south, Jefferson has disappeared under a mass of dark cloud. We think it might be heading our way so after 10 mins we head back down. The first part of the Chute seems pretty steep and we front point down, but soon are able to plunge step down the steep softish snow.

Once off the Hogsback the descent is quick and easy: we stay on snow the whole way down and are back at the car in 1h35: 5h45 round trip. In an hour it's raining, although not for long. Turns out tomorrow would have been a better day weather wise, but we're very happy to have this "crux" peak under our belt, and the morning skies were rather dramatic.

In the afternoon we climb Mount Saint Helens.

Mount Hood photo album
Summary Total Data
    Round-Trip Distance:7 mi / 11.3 km
    Route:Old Chute/ Mazamas
    Trailhead:Timberline  -9999 ft / -3047 m
    Grade/Class:YDS 2
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 3 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 32 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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