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[TR] Mt Hood - Old Chute 06/16/2018

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Trip: Mt Hood - Old Chute

Trip Date: 06/16/2018

Trip Report:

I know what you're thinking: "Old chute? Lame". Yeah, I'll tell you what's lame: How dead this forum is. Old chute will have to do (and I want to see more lame reports!).

I'd been feeling extremely itchy for an interesting outing for a while. I was encouraged by the weather forecast and looking forward, but then this happened I caused this:


Remember to drive with not bald, well aligned/balanced tires, especially if you go (tastefully) over the limit after fresh rain. It's much worse than it looks: the frame deformed about two inches and one of the engine mounts failed (though, very surprisingly, the engine still runs fine). The displaced engine broke a CV joint. Oh well, cars are for wussies.

Invigorated, I eventually settled on using the bus to climb a new to me route on Hood: west crater rim. I started walking toward the transit center at 11:30 on Friday. Soon, civilization fades and I get my first view of the mountain:


The slog was great. I don't get how people can be disappointed with it. Do a little zigzag on your way up, there's so much to see!


I get AMS at the drop of a hat (literally, dropping a hat decreases air pressure around it and makes me sick) and I'm generally weak so I shared Illumination Saddle with a hardcore duo that just did Reid, a mountain rescue person and his bro, and a big group of energetic residents from Legacy who surrounded me with tents and snored all night and played my least favorite music and didn't offer me any of their alcohol despite me doing minor favors for them. Bless everyone's souls.



The weather forecast called for calm clarity followed by PM clouds, wind, and snow, so I was a little surprised to emerge from my tent at 5:00 and find the upper reaches encased in angry clouds.



Seemed foolish to try a new route off the beaten path above fumaroles in a likely white out, so I very loosely decided to try the Old Chute instead: familiar terrain. I hastily packed up my stuff, imagining that the visibility would only decrease (the clouds were usually about 1000 ft above us) and navigating back to the saddle would suck. Seems like I was correct, as I could hardly see anything when I left my tent and sleeping bag on some random rocks at 9300 ft somewhere between the saddle and the edge of White River glacier.


I talked to a few unhappy climbers on the way down, but for some reason every interaction bumped my inclination from "prolly not" toward "this'll be extremely fun". Visibility remained about as bad as it could be up to the summit (well, it can be worse when the wind blows ice around your glasses into your eyes, thankfully none of that), and the snow conditions were excellent. It took an unexpected amount of mental energy to stay on the boot path, but it worked and it made for my favorite mountain experience so far. The contrast was so weak that I had a scary moment realizing I had to stop climbing at the summit ridge.




On the way down once I was near the bogshack the clouds lifted very dramatically every now & then.





Anyway, that's my hyped up ho hum story. My loveliest climb yet!


Gear Notes:
I think I get curved axe handles now

Approach Notes:
Watch out for house centipedes on your way out the basement apartments
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The is the best Old Chute TR I've read in a long time.  Keep the lame TRs coming! (and slow down)

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twas a lovely bit of angry clouds atop the mountain that morning - looked quite compelling from the gorge :)

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On 6/18/2018 at 10:33 PM, JasonG said:

The is the best Old Chute TR I've read in a long time.  Keep the lame TRs coming! (and slow down)

thx for the compliment and yes to both!

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