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BrandonU

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Everything posted by BrandonU

  1. Marc and partner missing in AK

    Fuck! Really hoping Marc is ok, he is such a massive inspiration to me - and us all
  2. Trip: Mt Hood - Reid Headwall - Iced up solo Trip Date: 12/09/2017 Trip Report: Went for a solo outing on the Reid Headwall last Saturday and found AMAZING ice conditions! Got lucky with great weather, no wind, and sick ice. By far my favorite route, and the best conditions I have found. I could tell you about it...but seeing is way more fun! Check out the climb in 4K! Gear Notes: Petzl Quarks, Petzl Lynx crampons Approach Notes: Timberline to I-Saddle
  3. I think the route should generally be in until Spring, the amount/conditions of ice you encounter might vary though with new storms and snow dumps. I didn't see any open crevasses high on the Reid, but I was weary of them so stayed as high as I possibly could to avoid them. Also the bergschrund was partly open and visible, but there were a couple great spots to safely cross over it.
  4. Thanks for fixing that!
  5. [TR] Mt Adams - North Ridge (solo) 6/10/2013

    Good job and nice TR! Looks like a very fun outing, nice pics!
  6. [TR] Mt. Baker - North Ridge 5/9/2013

    Awesome TR and sweet pics! Looks like a really cool climb and lots of fun, plus mountain safety research always enhances a trip
  7. 4 season neo air vs. closed cell foam

    The Neoair Xtherm is a kick ass pad for sure. Comparing the specs between the Xtherm and the Exped Downmat UL 7, for virtually the same exact length/width dimensions and R-Values, the Xtherm saves you over 7 oz on the regular 6 foot size, and 5 oz on a small tosro-length size. Another nice thing is you can just blow it up with your lungs and not worry about moisture vs. having to use a pump-bag to keep the internal down dry. The exped pads do offer a bit more in comfort however, altough I still find the Xtherm mighty comfy. Both are awesome pads and you can't go wrong with either choice.
  8. 4 season neo air vs. closed cell foam

    I picked up the Thermarest Neoair XTherm pad at the beginning of this winter and I absolutely love it. Best pad I have used. Definitely the warmest pad I have used. A little "slippery" but that I can deal with for what it offers in weight, warmth, and volume savings. I got the small version, it weighs 11 oz, packs down to the size of a small soup can, and has an R-value of 5.7. Better warmth/weight ratio and smaller packed volume than the exped pads I believe....may be wrong though. Thing takes up no space in my pack, sweet for such a warm winter pad. I have a whole bin at home of WAY to many different pads, both inflatable and closed cell foam. This is the last one I will ever buy for winter use (hopefully). Of course being inflatable the disadvantage is it can pop, but i also carry a repair kit and have never popped a pad yet with many many uses of them. http://cascadedesigns.com/therm-a-rest/mattresses/fast-and-light/neoair-xtherm/product
  9. Trip: Mt Adams - Mazama Glacier Headwall Date: 8/20/2012 Trip Report: I have been wanting to climb Mt. Adams for a while now, but didn't want to do the south spur route. I have a really messed up ankle that has kept me from doing anything since my North Sister trip in early July, but it has been starting to feel just good enough to do another trip. I had been looking into the Mazama glacier recently, and after seeing Ben B. post a heads up that the route was still in, I packed my gear up and drove to the Bird Creek Meadows TH on Monday the 20th. Hiked up the climber's trail to the Hellroaring Viewpoint, where I met a few groups of hikers enjoying the view as well. Me at the Hellroaring Viewpoint: I started up the faint trail from the viewpoint that quickly faded into oblivion. I knew that Sunrise camp was at the base of the Mazama glacier, but not much else about how to get there. After climbing up and over a steep scree moraine I ended up at a beautiful iceberg lake. Iceberg Lake: From here I traveled cross country across boulder and snow fields and eventually found the Sunrise camp. What an awesome basecamp. Flat, soft sand, fresh clear glacial water, and many nice boulder windbreaks built up to camp in. I found the nicest one and set up camp. Sunrise Camp: While chilling out and watching the mountain, I looked over to see 5 mountain goats passing by about 75 yards away. Cool! Mountain Goats! I ate some freeze dried spaghetti for dinner, then went to sleep. The crux of the climb came shortly after my alarm went off. My sleeping bag was warm and toasty, the wind outside was howling and freezing, my ankle was feeling crappy. I started to think about how I should just go back to sleep and not screw up my ankle any more. After all, it was pretty awesome just coming to Sunrise and camping. I layed back down, but damnit, I knew I would regret it and kick myself forever if I didn't at least get my ass up and make an attempt to climb after hauling all my gear up there! I forced myself up, ate a nutritious breakfast of strawberry pop tarts and twix, drank a liter, and started up toward the glacier in the dark at about 5:20 am. Climbing Mazama glacier at first light, Ben B.'s tracks? There was a cold wind that grew colder and colder as I climbed higher. It was very good as it kept the snow nice and hard for good climbing. I climbed up the far right side and passed all the crevasses on the right. After the initial 40 degree section, the glacier eased off in angle and was relatively flat. I paused to drink some water before starting up the next 45 degree section. Hood and Jefferson in morning pastel colors: Self Portrait: Approaching next steeper section: Heading up: Nearing the thin strip section of glacier: Upper Mazama glacier and Klickitat Icefall: By now the wind was very cold, I was wearing all of my clothing, and my hands were frozen to the bone with midweight gloves on. Luckily this kept the snow nice and firm for the short but steep ~70 degree headwall pitch. I headed right for the steep headwall instead of going left on gentle slopes. I came up to the lip of a beautiful but large crevasse, and headed farther right to climb the headwall. I'm pretty sure I climbed up in the same spot as Ben cause I saw a solo set of tracks heading up. Looking into the belly of the beast: Climbing the headwall pitch, sketchy taking a photo here! Looking up and left from top of headwall: Looking right from top of headwall: From here I decided the best option was to go immediately to the left and climb down into a crevasse, then traverse left through it until I could come out on Piker's Peak and meet up with the South Spur route. Climbing into crevasse to traverse left: Looking back after crevasse traverse: I popped out on Piker's peak and saw a lone climber there who was surprised to see me. His name was Brian from North Carolina and he was back in his home state on a climbing trip. This was his last climb before his flight home. We headed off to climb the last portion of the mountain together. On Piker's Peak looking towards real summit: Looking south while climbing the final bit to the top: Me on top of Mt Adams! After taking pics around the shack on the west end, we headed over to the east to tag the actual high point, then quickly headed down. I was going to downclimb the Mazama glacier, but Brian had brought along an extra trash compactor bag and asked if I wanted to glissade the south spur with him. I have heard a lot about the famous Mt Adams glissade chutes, and I couldn't resist! What a good decision, not only was it infinitely more fun than downclimbing, it was very fast, and we were down at the lunch counter in no time. The glissade chute at the very beginning was 4 ft deep, I felt like a bobsled and was hauling ass! Fun as hell! Brian in between glissades wearing his trash compactor diaper. I told him I wouldn't take any pics of him wearing it. I lied. With raw and frozen asses, we parted ways just above the lunch counter, and I began the leftward traverse toward the Mazama glacier. After crossing a never ending hellacious lava boulder field, I popped out by the glacier. Unfortunately I descended too far. Note for anybody wanting to do this in the future: traverse over to Mazama glacier between 9500-10000 ft. Popping out on a snow shelf: Traversed too low below ice cliff, must climb back up above it! Back on Mazama glacier, looking back toward Hood: Sunrise camp from above: After traversing to the far east end of the glacier, I was able to foot glissade all the way down to Sunrise, what a blast! I chilled at camp for a couple hours, drank water, dried my socks, then packed up and started back to the car. On the way out I was surprised to look up while concentrating on boulder hopping to see a group of goats 25 yards away! Goats up close: Cute baby goat face More goats!! I had a really great time on this trip, a very beautiful place and a fun route! Thanks for the beta Ben! Gear Notes: Used trekking poles,crampons, helmet for most of the route to Pikers peak. Used 2 ice tools for headwall portion only. Trash compactor bag for glissading south spur to lunch counter! Approach Notes: Bird Creek TH to Sunrise Camp in approach shoes
  10. The difference between the 'regular' and 'headwall' route is only a small section of the route, otherwise they are mostly the same. The 'normal' route veers left on milder terrain to meet up at the false summit, while the 'headwall' version heads right to tackle a short but steep section to the false summit. This pic was originally posted by CraigA. 'Regular' route in blue, 'Headwall' variation in red: This is my pic from the upper glacier, showing the approximate route I took (red) and the regular mazama glacier route in blue: denalijacob, thats too bad about the impassable conditions on the glacier. Sounds like a crazy trip though with a forest fire evac!! Bet you have a cool story and pics.
  11. [TR] Mt Hood - North Face 4/2/2013

    Nice job!
  12. Trip: Mt Hood - North Face - right gully Date: 3/25/2013 Trip Report: The north face has been at the top of my list of routes to do on Hood since I started climbing, one I have been dreaming of for a while now. To kick off my spring break, I figured it was time to give it a go and headed up for a solo climb of the right gully. Left from the Tilly Jane TH late Sunday afternoon and reached my bivy spot behind a large rock at about 7400 ft on Cooper Spur just before dark. The mountain was entirely engulfed in clouds on the approach, and I was really hoping it would clear out before morning. As I sat eating dinner, the wind began to slowly blow out all the clouds and the mountain came into full view. The bivy was beautiful laying under the bright moon and stars and watching the north face, with only moderate wind. Left the bivy at 5 am, and I was a bit unsure of where to drop down onto the Eliot glacier. Visibility wasn't that great in the dark while it was lightly snowing, and I missed the best spot to drop down. I kept climbing higher on the spur and eventually realized that I was much too high up. Oh well, I figured I could just traverse across the face above the glacier to the right gully. I saw tracks in the snow on the spur and came across a tent. As I began the traverse at sunrise, I met up with Spencer and Tom from Eugene, who were also climbing the north face. We reached the left gully just above its ice step and originally wanted to downclimb it and traverse to below the 1st ice step of the right gully. It had a very steep and hairy looking portion that would have been fun to climb but not downclimb. We decided to just traverse over the ridge into the right gully instead, and ended up popping into the upper portion of the 1st ice step in the right gully. Spencer & Tom traversing into the right gully: I was a little bummed to have missed out on the first ice step of the route, but next time around I won't miss the drop onto the Eliot and I will climb it then! The gully was steep and filled with powder snow, and after kicking steps up it for a while we reached the 2nd ice step, with loads of spindrift pouring down it. It looked awesome. Looking down the gully below the 2nd step, Spencer below: Nearing the 2nd ice step: We stopped to fuel up before heading up the step. I wanted to solo it and started up the right side. I immediately started getting showered with buckets of spindrift that didn't seem to stop. It froze on my glasses and I couldn't see through them at all! In between spindrift showers I would look up between the thin slot between my glasses and forehead to locate my next tool placement. The ice was very hard, and my dullish horizontal frontpoints would not bite into the ice worth a shit--fucking sucked not being able to trust my foot placements. When I started the pitch my gloves were pretty wet, and shortly into it my gloves froze into an icy/spindrifty block. My hands were completely frozen like I have never felt before-very numb, extremely painful, and I couldn't move them. All this made for a very gripping climb up the step to say the least. I was very relieved to be at the top! I frantically tried to get blood and warmth into my hands, which felt completely fucked up. I sat at the top of the step for a bit just cussing as the blood rushed to my hands along with intense pain. Then I melted some snow and hydrated while Spencer and Tom climbed the step. Me climbing the 2nd step: We regouped and headed up together, encountering a mix of powder snow and ice. Upper mountain above cathedral spire: Me pullin onto the summit: Spencer & Tom on top: Myself on top: I descended the south side while Spencer & Tom descended Cooper Spur back to their tent. Great guys to climb alongside and cool as hell. An awesome climb and adventure--one that I will always cherish. Pre-climb at the Tilly Jane TH -- fresh and ready to go: Post-climb at the T-Line parking lot -- completely knackered: Gear Notes: Ice tools, crampons w/ dull front points, helmet, snowshoes.
  13. Thanks all! Who would wanna go to Cancun for spring break when we have this?! Well maybe it would be nice afterward. Thanks for the sweet pics Tom, I added a couple in here, love that sunrise pic of me on the traverse.
  14. Good job! Great TR and awesome pics!
  15. Trip: Mt Hood - Reid Glacier Headwall Date: 1/20/2013 Trip Report: Went for a solo climb up the Reid Headwall on Sunday, what an outstanding route! Amazing ice for most of the route, just incredible. The ice was bullet hard in many places, with some bulges and ice steps of 70-80 degrees Got showered with smallish ice particles a few times and took a chunk of ice to the knee, which occured while I was shooting a video Left Timberline at 2:15 am, got to the Illumination rock saddle at 5:00. Virtually no wind, crystal clear sky with amazing stars, and very firm snow made for great conditions on the approach. I attempted to approach this route a few weeks ago and spent 3 hours trenching through waist deep powder snow just to get from the top of Palmer to I-saddle! So much better now Melted snow at I-saddle and hydrated for a couple hours. My friend Daniel and two of his friends showed up at the saddle before daylight as well, and were climbing Leuthold couloir. We all waited for daylight and descended down onto the Reid glacier. We parted ways and I started up toward the Reid headwall at about 7:30. Looking up Reid Headwall Daniel and crew heading toward Leuthold, Yocum behind Approaching the first gully Entering the first gully Climbing ice in the 1st gully Looking down 1st gully On the snow ridge above the 1st gully Yocum ridge in early light Traversing to 2nd gully Entering 2nd gully Starting the ice in the 2nd gully First steep ice step Climbing the steep ice step Beautiful Here is a video I took after the first ice step. Hard to climb and take a video with a point and shoot! Climbing up towards an ice fin. I went right to find the best pitch of ice on the route! Fun ice approaching the fin Nearing the fin Starting the beatiful pitch right of the fin Stuff i've been dreaming of, pure fun! Looking down Icy goodness Having a blast but feeling the intensity at the same time Emerging from the long 2nd gully system First snow in a while! Traversing to a 3rd gully on the upper Reid Headwall More ice in a 3rd short gully. A couple very spicy moves transitioning into this one! Looking down 3rd gully Another snow traverse Last bit towards the summit ridge Almost to the summit ridge! Summit ridge, with Daniel and crew exploring the summit area Me on the summit! Reached the top at 11:30 and met up with Daniel and his friends who had summited a bit earlier from Leuthold. We all descended together, and it was very hot in the sun! Climbers descending the south side Crater rock Gear Notes: Ice tools, crampons, helmet
  16. [TR] Mt Hood - Reid Glacier Headwall 1/20/2013

    Hahahaha yeah I took/shared a lot o pics. I like to take a lot of pictures, I took 300 on this climb! Definitely an amazing route, the ice was so much fun. I'm pretty sure I did the left variation, I tended to head left/up for the most part.
  17. Trip: North Twin Sister - West Ridge Date: 9/19/2012 Trip Report: With school quickly approaching my summer is coming to an end and my free time going to zero for the next 3 months. I was hungry to get in one more climbing trip before that happens! Time to treat myself to my first north cascades trip! After much research on this site I settled on the classic West Ridge of North Twin Sister. Gear packed I began the 7 hour drive up to the middle Nooksack River on the 18th with a quick stop in Portland to pick up a mountain bike to aid in the descent of the 6.5 mile logging road approach to the peak. As is my usual style, this is a picture heavy TR! At the "trailhead": Pushing the bike up the steep gravel roads went smoothly, although it felt a bit weird to be approaching a peak on logging roads next to ongoing mining and logging operations. Soon great views opened up to Mt Baker and North Twin Sister, helping to get me stoked! Mt Baker: North Twin Sister (west ridge is right skyline): Good research before I left made navigating the possibly confusing logging roads a snap. I reached the end of the logging roads and the start of the trail up to the west ridge as the afternoon sun was just about to set over the hills to the west. North Twin as the sun sets, west ridge on right skyline: I was hoping to find some sort of water source close by, but to no avail. The last water source I came across was a very small, shallow trickle in the ditch on the side of the road a mile or so back. I hopped on the bike and cruised back on down and decided to bivy right there in the road. Logging road bivy: In the morning I got up, hiked the 1.5 or so miles to the base of the west ridge, and began scrambling! Out of the timber, and starting the west ridge: On the lower west ridge: North Twin's shadow in the morning sun: Views of South Twin Sister opening up: The super grippy and solid dunite rock was amazing to climb on. Awesome holds presented themselves everywhere for the most part. I stuck to the crest of the ridge as much as possible and often went out of my way to seek out more diffucult and fun climbing. There was some pretty good exposure in some places, adding to the whole experience and making this climb freaking awesome! I was glad I brought some thin leather gloves to climb with, otherwise the rock would destroy your hands. Climbing on the lower ridge: Approaching the "Pinnacle": Beneath the Pinnacle: Upper west ridge: Looking down the west ridge from "notch" pictured above: Mt Baker and the summit of North Twin in view: South Twin from the summit of North Twin: Got to the summit 2.5 hours after emerging from the timber and hung out for a while to enjoy the awesome views! It was a bit of a hazy day so all the mountains in the distance were not in clear view, but I could still see them. So many peaks to climb, so little time! Summit photos! Baker from North Twin's summit: As soon as I began to descend from the summit, my ankle flared up bad. I have this messed up undiagnosable ankle injury that is the bane of my existence, and downclimbing the ridge put it in agony. Despite that, the downclimbing was also a blast. I loved the climbing that the route presents, the rock, and the exposure offered in some places. And it is a cool feeling to be completely alone on a peak! West Ridge on descent: Two hours after leaving the summit I was off the ridge and back on the trail going into the timber. I was limping bad and really looking forward to getting to my bike and being able to just cruise the last 5.5 miles to the car. I got to my bike, hopped on, and...WTF!?!? The damn back tire was dead flat. You have gotta be f@*&^%# kidding me!! I let loose a prolonged outburst of obscenities. Come on! This is freaking ridiculous! Of all the times to get a flat! Oh well, I guess this is just one of those things that makes the trip that much more memorable I thought as I downed mass amounts of ibuprofen and began to limp & hobble the bike back down the road. Instead of a fun and fast bike descent that would have saved my ankle so much, I limped in pain for what seemed like an eternity back down to the car at the Nooksack river. What a great climb! I can see why this route is such a classic! I already want to go back and do it again! Gear Notes: Leather gloves for super abrasive rock, 5.10 camp four shoes, helmet, useless bike with flat tire. Foam pad and sleeping bag for bivy. Water filter to suck up 2" deep trickle of water in ditch. Approach Notes: Mountain bike with flat tire to push for 12+ miles and not get to ride back to car.
  18. [TR] North Twin Sister - West Ridge 9/19/2012

    Thanks everyone, I definitely learned my lesson. Any future trips with a bike i'm taking a patch kit! I can barely walk, but still totally worth it.
  19. Good job guys! Love that first sunrise pic.
  20. When I got to Sunrise I dropped my gear and scouted out all of the possible dugouts, that was the best one by far with a nice high wall that blocked the wind nicely, thanks for making it higher lol! I couldn't get over how great Sunrise was while I was relaxing and watching the mountain... The approach was definitely fun and extremely scenic, and not knowing exactly how to get there was part of the fun I was hoping to see at least one goat, and I was very surprised to see so many, that made the trip for me--cool as hell. The route itself was also great, so cool being on a scenic glacier like that. When you put it all together, it just rocks
  21. Awesome trip report Ben! I took off early Monday morning to climb the route as well after seeing your post in the mazama glacier thread saying the route was still in--thanks for the beta! I had a great first trip up Adams, what a cool place. I'll get my TR up shortly....
  22. Trip: North Sister - Early Morning Couloir--Solo Attempt Date: 7/14/2012 Trip Report: I love the Three Sisters area and it had been way too long since my last visit, so I decided a trip was in order . The east face of North Sister has always inspired me and is such a beautiful place, so on the 13th I packed up my gear and headed out to the Pole Creek TH with the intention of climbing the Early Morning couloir route the following morning. The hike in amongst the fragrant pines and along splashing Soap Creek was as wonderful as I had remembered. All packed and ready to go: A friend I met beside Soap Creek: North Sister over Soap Creek: I dropped my pack and hiked around the area for a while, taking in the awesome views and scouting out a good spot to set up camp. Eventually I found a great protected site on a ridge at about 7000 ft and got all set up. Camp: Broken Top from camp: After filling up my water bottles and having some chili mac for dinner I settled in to relax and gaze at the mountain as the sun went down over the ridgeline. North Sister at sunset: I wanted to get a nice early alpine start and be up climbing before sunrise, so I set my alarm for 3:15 am and went to sleep. I vaguely remember my alarm going off, then me shutting it off, then the next thing I know i'm waking up and its past 5 am. Damn! So much for the alpine start! I scrambled to get dressed, eat some museli for breakfast, grab my gear, and I was headed off by 5:45. At least I woke up before it was fully too late I guess! North Sister at sunrise: Broken Top at sunrise: Climbing towards the Early Morning Couloir: Looking North towards Mt Washington, 3FJ, Jeff, and Hood: Entering the Couloir: There was definitely lots of signs of rockfall, but luckily as I climbed nothing much came down, and what little did was funnelled into the large runnel that ran the length of the couloir. The snow wasn't that great, it reminded me of shaved ice for a snow cone. I came across several small cracks opening up, but they were all easy enough to go around or climb over. Midway up the couloir: Me having fun! Climbing... Nearing the summit headwall: Looking down from the top of the couloir: At this point a cluster of large boulders broke loose from above and came crashing down 10 ft to my left, scary! From here, there was not an easy way up to the top I could tell. I was curious as to what I would see if I traversed to the south so I headed over there for a look-see. Traversing South: I was greeted by amazing views of Middle Sister, South Sister, Broken Top, and Bachelor! But the options here for going up were even worse... South and Middle Sister: South Sister, Broken Top, Bachelor: Looking North, you can see my tracks: I decided to traverse back to where I emerged from the couloir and attack the headwall directly. From below it looked doable, like 4th class or low 5th class. Once I got on it, it was much harder than I thought, made worse by the fact that all the rock was loose and unstable. Hand and footholds were easily broken off, and worse of all the tops of all the rocks were sloping and covered in a volcanic sand that made it very slippery. Climbing up the headwall: Sand covered loose rock: I wasn't comfortable soloing this, so I decided to bail. Plus I knew I didn't have enough gear to rappel all the way down if I did climb up it. So I climbed up to a rappel anchor I spotted from below, a single wired nut fixed in a crack, and set up a short rappel with my 20 m half rope. I still had a bit to go before I was back on the snow, so I slung a stable boulder with some cord and made a 2nd rappel back down to the snow. By now the snow was becoming much more slushy, which made the monotonous downclimb even worse. I was very glad and relieved to finally be off the mountain and out of the rockfall hazard! I was back at the tent by 1 pm and I dropped my gear and took a few hour nap. I awoke to thunderstorms coming in, so I figured I had better pack up and head back to the car. Parting shot on the way out: A fun trip and a good experience! Gear Notes: Ice tools, crampons, helmet, 20 m half rope Approach Notes: Pole Creek TH to Soap Creek, approached in tennis shoes and packed climbing boots
  23. Thanks! You know I wasn't exactly sure what that lizard was either, I also thought it looked like a horned lizard but without the horns. Definitely cool though, and I saw 3 of them along the trail on the way up.
  24. Trip: Mt Hood - Leuthold Couloir - Solo Date: 6/20/2012 Trip Report: I've been reading these forums for a while now but have never posted, so I thought i'd give it a go with a trip report. I am outta college for the summer and finally free, so I was itching to get out and climb Leuthold's Couloir on the west side of Hood before the conditions got too bad on the route. After watching the weather and noticing nightly below freezing temps above 9000 ft and nice sunny weather on the 20th I thought it was the perfect time to go check it out! Headed up to timberline and got about 1.5 hours of sleep in the car, then took off at about 12:30 am for illumination saddle. Reached the saddle shortly after 4 am, then huddled behind a rock to get out of the freezing wind until daylight. Yocum Ridge: Yocum & St Helens Illumination Rock: The descent onto the Reid glacier was straightforward but a little tricky with the hard/icy snow conditions. Once onto the Reid, I traversed across the glacier and ended up passing Leuthold's Couloir to check out another small couloir that dead ended into Yocum ridge (center of photo behind rock buttress). Yocum Ridge Reid Headwall Shadow of Hood above Reid Glacier Dead end couloir: Downclimbing the dead end couloir Finally on the right track, I began to climb Leuthold while a constant barrage of tiny ice and rock pellets flowed down all around me. I wanted to move quickly to get up through the hourglass and away from the rock/icefall danger! The couloir consisted of hard snow/ice. A second tool was probably not necessary but made the climb easier and more fun! Starting Leuthold's Couloir: Looking back at Illumination saddle: Nearing the hourglass: Entering the hourglass: First rays of sun hitting Yocum ridge: Looking down Leuthold's Couloir from above the hourglass: Once at the top of the couloir, I took a nice break to hydrate, eat, put on sunscreen, and enjoy the views. After the rest, I began the final bit of the ascent to the summit ridge. Cool ice formations: Summit ridge: I was glad to have a second tool when traversing this bit of ridge, as one short section was pretty dicey! Arrived on the summit shortly after 9 am to enjoy wonderful views up and down the cascade range. I had the summit all to myself, as most people climbing the south side route had already begun to descend. Self Portrait on summit: I headed over to the Old Chute to descend the south side route, where many parties were belaying each other down the chute. I squeaked on by and started the dreadful slog down to the car. Downclimbing the Old Chute: Looking south toward Crater Rock & the Hogsback: It was a fun outing, and it was cool to finally check out the west side of Hood. A fun route! Gear Notes: Ice axe, Ice tool, crampons, helmet
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