Trip: Mt. Hood - North Face - direct
We climbed the North Face on Sunday Nov. 29 during the great weather window. We had done the West Gully last year and were initially hoping for the East Gully but our rather late start, beta of difficult berg crossing and expectation of others on the Face steered us toward a scoot up the Face direct. The route is between the NE Spur and East Gully routes, a seemingly logical path but I’ve not seen a TR of it.
The lower 2/3 is 40~45 degree slope, the upper 1/3 is 50 degree rock band terrain. We had originally planned to traverse to the East Gully lower down but that quickly became an arduous task so we aimed upward for the lower step of the Gully. Once near the Gully it became clear that a rap would be required for entry so we bailed and went straight up through the rock band. There was little to no water ice but plenty of very plastic alpine ice for great sticks and feet. The route does not lend itself to protection at all, we solo-ed the thing. Sustained calf work is required with little relief.
This is an alternative to the Gullies if you’re done them, and a way up the face if the berg is a monster.
Low on the face:
Higher on the face:
Entering the rock band:
Traversing into the East Gully
two good ice tools and vertical front points pons.
Elliot, 5 hours from Cooper Spur TH.