Trip: Mount Hood - Reid Glacier Headwall
Route is in great shape. Low avy risk. We generally followed (with a few variations) the main gullies as described by the green line in the main route photo on summitpost. Randy, and another fellow headed up a right-ward variation, continuing up the entrance couloir instead of cutting over the small ridge to the left after the entrance. We went left wanting to avoid the more committing ice at the top of the headwall, or being forced over to the crater/old chute to the right. A bit of wind as we approached the summit, but once on the false summit it was dead calm. Felt like summer.
Snow is pretty firm from Illumination saddle to the bergschrund. Most of the schrund is open, but a couple easy bridges. Above the schrund it's a mix of styrofoam, rime crust over sugar, or just shin-deep sugar, and occasional thick, firm ice. Nothing really protects well, but great feet and manageable sticks on the less steep stuff, and great sticks on the short ice step we encountered. The top 500' was soft, not very supportive snow with a bit of rime on top. It was not fun to traverse on. So start your day early to avoid the soft. Not too much stuff coming down on us. One basketball sized chunk wizzed past us down low, but once you get higher, nothing was bigger than a golf ball, and mostly it was just sugar spray.
The old chute is definitely skiable from the summit ridge, or just below. not icy or rimed up. We weren't on skis and just plunge stepped down with about a foot of penetration. Nothing seemed to propagate. We descended skiers right of crater rock and the snow there seemed better than the hogsback left side. Again, snow seemed stable. Most skiers were eventually making their way right to Illumination saddle. A couple skiers followed our tracks down to the right of crater rock. So that seems to be the best way to go if you're skiing.
Go get it people. forget the boring southside routes.
Maybe a link to photos to follow.
We soloed. So the rope was just training weight. And the pickets and screws on our harnesses were just to make us look cool. I also had a BD #6 cam on my harness to make me look cool. I don't think it worked...