Ascent of Mount Hood on 2016-05-30

Climber: Lane Johnson

Others in Party:Ken Johnson
Date:Monday, May 30, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Hood
    Elevation:11239 ft / 3425 m

Ascent Trip Report

Ken Johnson and I left Timberline Lodge about 2:30 a.m. and headed up the "climbers trail." Several other climbers were near us on the trail, and already we could see many lights high up in the "crater," ascending the Hogsback and the Pearly Gates. A cold northerly breeze was blowing as we slogged up and up, skirting the ski area. The night had been unexpectedly cold, for which we were glad because the snow was crusty and firm. As daylight approached, the cold breeze blew stronger. We had put on MicroSpikes early on, and they worked wonderfully along with trekking poles all the way to Devil's Kitchen, where we switched to crampons and ice axes. The Hogsback was easy going, with a few dozen climbers coming and going. We were amazed at the depth of the bergschrund, about 4 feet wide and 80 or so feet deep, especially dangerous because the downhill edge was higher than the uphill edge, so that if a climber slipped up above and slid down, there was zero chance that he would escape being swallowed up. From the Hogsback up to the Pearly Gates there were good steps and holes to jam ice axe handles into for security. Both chutes of the Pearly Gates were open. We went up the left-hand chute using ice axes and had no problems. There were 15 or more climbers at the summit. The views were, of course, spectacular except for a lot of low-lying haze in all directions. Our descent was uneventful. We were glad to switch back to MicroSpikes at Devil's Kitchen, and we started the long slog back to the car. The temperature got warmer and warmer, and the snow on the steeper stretches softened, making downhill long-stepping easy--but as we neared the bottom we had more than a mile of the annoying "mashed potato snow" to stumble through on the climber's trail. A great climb, scary in a few places and scenic everywhere. If I were to try Mount Hood again, I would leave earlier--at least by midnight. We were amazed by the number of climbers carrying skis and snowboards all the way to the top, then crossing over to descend the Old Chute and of course ski all the way back to Timberline.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5315 ft / 1620 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Route:South side approach
    Trailhead:Timberline Lodge  5924 ft / 1805 m
    Grade/Class:Grade IV
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Ski Poles
    Weather:Cold, Breezy
Clear with cold breezes
Ascent Statistics
    Time:7 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 

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