Mt. Hood - Reid HeadwallDate:
There are enough TRs on this route in the database, so I don't need to bore you with the minor details. What folks do need to know, however, is that the route is in stellar shape right now!
Trent and Mr. Sepultura rendezvous at my house on Sunday afternoon and we make a leisurely trip south to Timberline in Trent's trusty Vanagon, Speedy. The wind was pretty strong upon our arrival and we endured a fitful sleep in the van, hoping things would calm down. Serenaded by yahoos honking horns and spinning donuts in the overflow lot, we didn't get a lot of sleep and the 2am alarm was a bit of a shock. We got hiking about 3, and it was cold, though not horribly windy anymore. We reached the saddle a little before six in the dark, and were pretty excited to find Adam's cave. This meant we could chill out of the wind, eat some food and gear up for the long day ahead.
Emerging from the cave, we dropped to the Reid and traversed over to the start of Leuthold's. A few years back, I had climbed the Reid variation that ends up on the West Crater Rim, and wanted to go for the longer variation that tops out on the summit ridge. From the base of Leuthold's we went up and slightly right to gain a gully, then mostly went left when presented with options. There was a lot of ice, water ice, and we probably could have left the pickets and brought a few more screws. Weaving through rime towers, it was spectacular climbing that went on and on!
We topped out on the summit ridge a little before noon and enjoyed the new found warmth and strange lack of wind. Glorious!
We followed the tracks from the weekend down, going a bit west of the regular route (I think). Strangely enough, we had not come across another party on the entire mountain! A short ski back from the top of the Palmer lift finished the day, and we began the long trek back north. We stopped in Kalama for dinner and were treated to quite a show by the local drunks. Playa Azul!!
Good times!Gear Notes:
Skis to the top of the lifts, screws, 60m half rope, second tool, helmet!