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#1123227 - 04/21/14 10:05 AM [TR] Mt. Hood - Old Chute 4/19/2014
Bronco Offline
Deskjockey

Registered: 02/16/01
Posts: 3555
TRs: 15 Photos: 131
Loc: Port Gardner, WA
Trip: Mt. Hood - Old Chute

Date: 4/19/2014

Trip Report:
Took the family to Timberline Lodge for Easter Weekend and decided to bring my touring gear in case they wanted to sleep in and weather was suitable for skiing on the upper mountain.

As luck would have it, the sky was clear at 3:30 on Saturday morning and temps moderate. After finally locating my beacon in a secret pocket of my pack, I was off at 4:25 am. Skinning up the groomers was fast, reaching the top of the Palmer in a little over an hour. Ski crampons would've been good above that, iced up sastrugi was not good or fast so I resigned to booting up to the Hogsback where I originally considered skiing from. Chatting with a couple of groups descending I learned the upper mountain held decent snow from the day before and I'd never been up Mt. Hood before. Summit or plummet dude!



The storm forecast to arrive that afternoon hadn't materialized yet so I continued up, traversing styrofoam into the Old Chute. The very top of the chute was a little icy, and the roar of the wind on the summit ridge was deafening.
I encountered a couple on the summit ridge who were hurriedly trying to descend but asked me to take a quick photo of them triumphantly hoisting an ice ax in the air on the summit of Oregon's highest point. As they scurried off I realized the summit was vacant, a rarity on this peak. Loitering was discouraged by the wind and clouds rapidly closing in so I donned my puffy and took a quick photo just after 8:00.

Briefly considering a ski from the very summit was dismissed due to the rimed up ridge and hellacious wind which I'd estimate was gusting to 70 mph, threatening to whisk away unsecured gear from the mountain.

I caught up to the couple who were battling out the descent by front pointing down the top of the chute. I felt pretty secure and frenched down to the spot where the chute widened out and stomped out a small platform to transition from crampons to skis. The transition only took a few minutes and, with some trepidation, I leaned into the first turn right, to get clear of the couple now moving below me. The conditions were good, but a bit thin. Edge penetration was acceptable on the firm surface. I will admit I allowed myself to feel a little smug carving turns past the folks front pointing down the upper mountain. With only a dozen or so climbers to keep my sluff from hitting, I was able to relax and enjoy the ski until reaching the bottom of crater rock where it turned icy. I briefly considered booting down this section but felt it too humiliating to walk down the mountain carrying skis and toughed it out.

Back at the lodge by 9 in time to watch the upper mountain disappear in the clouds. Soaking in the hot tub rendered much needed warmth. We enjoyed catching up on reading by the fireplace and watching the storm buffeting the trees and people skittering across the parking lot. According to the Timberline weather update, the winds reached 60mph at the lodge that afternoon. Not sure where all the new snow ended up, it looked to be snowing and blowing all afternoon.

Riding the lifts on Sunday in the sun was fantastic, the groomers were superb and constant stream of spindrift streaming off the summit was only matched by the hoards hiking and skinning toward the upper mountain. Most terrifying moment of the trip was our 15 year old taking her turn driving through Seattle.

Photo my wife put together for FB.


Gear Notes:
Light axe, whippet, probably would've been fine with just the whippet. Ski crampons would've been good but I assumed I'd descend if I encountered conditions necessitating them as the skiing would be rather lame which it certainly was for that part.

Approach Notes:
Skins, dynafits.

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#1123230 - 04/21/14 10:34 AM Re: [TR] Mt. Hood - Old Chute 4/19/2014 [Re: Bronco]
olyclimber Offline
☼☼☼☼☼☼☼

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 25303
TRs: 47 Photos: 895
Loc: In Love with You
Nice dude. Good wholesome fun!

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#1123277 - 04/21/14 09:10 PM Re: [TR] Mt. Hood - Old Chute 4/19/2014 [Re: olyclimber]
JasonG Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2780
TRs: 107 Photos: 1811
Loc: Mount Vernon
Most excellent!! I can't believe you never have been on top of Hood before.

Way to tag it in good style, while threading the needle meteorologically, and familially. Classy.
_________________________
<><

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#1123289 - 04/22/14 07:48 AM Re: [TR] Mt. Hood - Old Chute 4/19/2014 [Re: Bronco]
BirdDog Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 11/29/06
Posts: 408
TRs: 8 Photos: 103
Loc: too close to civilation
nice way to sneak in a summitt!

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#1123301 - 04/22/14 10:26 AM Re: [TR] Mt. Hood - Old Chute 4/19/2014 [Re: Bronco]
Bronco Offline
Deskjockey

Registered: 02/16/01
Posts: 3555
TRs: 15 Photos: 131
Loc: Port Gardner, WA
Thanks dudes, after the difficult skimo season I had this year, I was pretty stoked for a successful and fun outing.

I continue to be amazed by the Dynafit TLT5-M boot. Light, climbs and hikes well and makes a punter like me appear somewhat competent skiing down. Stopping on the summit was the first time I've noticed cold toes in them and it was pretty dang cold.

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#1123333 - 04/23/14 02:19 AM Re: [TR] Mt. Hood - Old Chute 4/19/2014 [Re: Bronco]
Whatcomboy Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 12/30/05
Posts: 212
TRs: 14 Photos: 79
Loc: hwy 542
Take the fam skiing and get a summit. Smart.

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#1125316 - 06/08/14 12:15 PM Re: [TR] Mt. Hood - Old Chute 4/19/2014 [Re: Bronco]
VegasJoe Offline
stranger

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 13
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Great trip report, impromptu summiting Mt. Hood is impressive!

My friends and I are planning to summit June 19th. But I am getting in the area before they arrive and will have time to hike up to around the hogsback area one morning to do some "scouting" etc. haha

As I live in Vegas, I need to pack my gear beforehand, I am wondering how the ride down from hogsback area back to the parking lot would be? It's not the weight of the board I'm thinking about, it's just the extra thing to pack if not really worth it. I know this is subjective obviously but with really no snow forecast until the trip (and yes I know this can change rapidly as well) I'm just wondering if it's going to be and ice slide or able to get a few decent carves in. (if my abilities allow of course)


Thanks in advance for any replies.

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#1125317 - 06/08/14 12:48 PM Re: [TR] Mt. Hood - Old Chute 4/19/2014 [Re: Bronco]
Water Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 1386
TRs: 8 Photos: 182
Loc: pdx
hmmm... if you've never bc'skied or boarded before then I'd be a hesitant to endorse bringing it up.
But otherwise the ski or board down from the hogs back is killer, waaaay better than trudging down. I hurt my foot this winter and haven't gotten out otherwise I'd have more concrete advice about conditions but I'm going to say there has got to be a really healthy corn cycle going. I bet its good riding once it warms up a little with some sun on it (9-10am??) depending on wind and such. if you haven't ridden off piste corn snow is a very good first intro, fwiw.
_________________________
feel free to feel free

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#1125318 - 06/08/14 12:59 PM Re: [TR] Mt. Hood - Old Chute 4/19/2014 [Re: Water]
VegasJoe Offline
stranger

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 13
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Originally Posted By: Water
hmmm... if you've never bc'skied or boarded before then I'd be a hesitant to endorse bringing it up.
But otherwise the ski or board down from the hogs back is killer, waaaay better than trudging down. I hurt my foot this winter and haven't gotten out otherwise I'd have more concrete advice about conditions but I'm going to say there has got to be a really healthy corn cycle going. I bet its good riding once it warms up a little with some sun on it (9-10am??) depending on wind and such. if you haven't ridden off piste corn snow is a very good first intro, fwiw.



Solid beta, thank you very much. I'm going to bring it....

I've done some backcountry stuff up in my local Mt. in the trees and tight stuff (Charleston) but never on a big open area like Hood, looking forward to it! :drool:

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#1125323 - 06/08/14 02:38 PM Re: [TR] Mt. Hood - Old Chute 4/19/2014 [Re: Bronco]
Water Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 1386
TRs: 8 Photos: 182
Loc: pdx
at the very worst, you leave your board stashed behind some rocks a hundred or two foot above palmer lift. Hike back down to it and still have a 2.9k or whatever 'groomed' run back to the car. Many a time a climb of mine has gone like that as the upper mountain is not always amenable to skiing no matter the amount of sun (rime/chicken heads/breakable crust/etc).. Have fun with it.
_________________________
feel free to feel free

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#1125373 - 06/09/14 09:46 AM Re: [TR] Mt. Hood - Old Chute 4/19/2014 [Re: Bronco]
Bronco Offline
Deskjockey

Registered: 02/16/01
Posts: 3555
TRs: 15 Photos: 131
Loc: Port Gardner, WA
Totally agree with Water. Don't hesitate to hike back down to where the snow is good if you have doubts about self arresting in the event of losing your edge on the Hogsback. Typically, if the sun is out, you'll have better snow later in the day after it softens up.

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