Ascent of Mount Hood on 1982-09-06

Climber: William Inman

Others in Party:David W. McKinnon
Date:Monday, September 6, 1982
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Hood
    Elevation:11239 ft / 3425 m

Ascent Trip Report

Our second "serious" mountain after Mt. Shasta the previous year. We were driving north through Oregon with no particular plans until, as we approached Portland, we spotted a pretty impressive mountain off to the right. Dave was driving, but had an atlas, so I took a look and spotted a notation that said something like, "Mt. Hood 11,239 ft - highest point in Oregon". Well, our decision was made - we had a plan now! - Well, not really - we didn't research it hardly at all, just naively thinking it was so much lower than Mt. Shasta, it would be a "piece of cake".

With little more than the clothes on our backs and a half gallon water jug bought that morning, we found the ski area parking lot & headed up. When we came to the bottom of a steep glacier, Dave got the brilliant idea to kick little steps - toe holds, really - into it with his boots, and in this manner we climbed all 800 vertical feet of it, me following with my softer soled boots. At the top was a crevass, but we walked along the edge until we found a place to jump across. From there, as I remember it, the summit was a short hike. I remember being able to see smoke or steam coming from Mt. St. Helens to the north, which had recently had it's big eruption.

After reviewing an old photo album with captions and comparing the pictures to others, I believe we took what is called the "Old Chute" route, or something near it. We cannot remember anything resembling the "Pearly Gates" shown in other trip reports, but one picture shows steam (fumes) rising from east of a rock below us (Hell's Kitchen & Crater Rock?)

Heading back down, we managed to jump back onto the glacier without killing ourselves and started back down the "steps" from before. But I slipped and had a very fast slide down to the bottom, unable to stop or steer myself, but somehow miraculously missing the crevasses on either side of where I landed. - I've been told I have a VERY good guardian angel.

>>>EDIT - In looking closer at the map, the glacier that gave me the fast ride down must have been Coalman Glacier. It's the only one that looks the way as I remember it: we had worked our way up as far as we could on "dry land" until, on a ridge with a hill behind us (Crater Rock?) we were at the foot of the glacier. There were very steep walled canyons on both sides where the glacier continued down, but cravasses on both sides, too. Upon reaching the top and jumping across that crevass (bergeshrund?) it seemed like a short walk up a gradual slope to the summit. Coalman Glacier kind of fits that picture on the map. I'm not sure how we figured it was 800 ft, as I'm pretty sure we didn't have an altimeter or good map with us - this was a spur-of-the-moment climb and long before GPS, so it may have been less than 800 ft. It seemed like a MILE, though! (the note on the back of my old picture said 1000 ft.)!!<<<

We made it the rest of the way down without incident, and my running log for that date says only, "No Run - Climbed Mt. Hood. 4 1/2 hours up. 2 1/4 hours down. equal to at least a 4 mile hill run"

But this gave us an idea: Why not try to climb the highest mountains in all the states? - except maybe McKinley - - - even as reckless and crazy as we were at the time, we kinda knew that one might be beyond our grasp...

My 1st state highpoint!
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Mt. Hood, Oregon, was my 1st state highpoint and gave me the idea to climb all the other state highpoints (1982-09-06). Photo by William Inman.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5359 ft / 1633 m
    Total Elevation Loss:5359 ft / 1633 m
    Route Conditions:
Scramble, Glacier Climb
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:5359 ft / 1633 m
    Route:***** OREGON.HIGHPOINT ***** .. Coleman Glacier
    Start Trailhead:Ski area parking lot  5880 ft / 1792 m
    Time:4 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:5359 ft / 1633 m
    End Trailhead:5880 ft / 1792 m
    Time:2 Hours 15 Minutes

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