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[TR] Mt. Hood - Reid Glacier Headwall 03/03/2019

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Trip: Mt. Hood - Reid Glacier Headwall

Trip Date: 03/03/2019

Trip Report:

With clear skies in the forecast, my partner, Landon Lim and I, decided to head up to Mt. Hood and check off the Reid Glacier. Last time we got turned around by bad weather before the saddle, so this was our first attempt actually on route.

We started from Timberline at around 3:30am at a nice leisurely pace. With no issues, and lots of white dots below us, we made it to the top of Palmer by 5am and continued to the Saddle just before 7am. There we put harnesses on, but didn’t rope up and met a few groups going to Leuthold and another who gave us the opportunity to break trail on the Reid. We’d seen images the prior day of some serious swimming in unconsolidated snow on Cooper Spur, so we were prepped for a full day.


Illumination Rock basking in the morning glow


Dropping down to the glacier


First tracks on route, always a pleasure


Dropping down to the Reid Glacier we found the path boot packed but still very soft at 9000ft. After getting on route around 7:30am, we thought we’d bypassed the bergschrund until I post holed into it. It kind of traverses from the visible spots at the base of Leuthold, all the way up to the base of the West Crater Rim. With no effort we traversed around it, finding a more stable snow bridge. The snow, starting at the base of the route, was knee to ankle deep, which continued until after the first ice gully at 9800ft.


If you look closely, you’ll see 2 holes, thats apart of the bergschrund that we missed, keep an eye out


The gully itself was kind of tricky, a short AI2 at best, but passable. It begins with steep snow that turned to snow covered ice. In the thick of it, the ice got really thin and under it was rock so placements were rather precarious. It was low angle enough to where the secondary points on my crampons weren’t engaged, but if they were and I dropped my heels, I felt like I would just pop off because of the conditions of the ice, probably just my own bad technique though. Maybe if you stick right in that first gully, there would be better ice, just a tad steeper.


looking down at the first gully


looking up, above the first gully


the rime shroom that sucked us in, also next to where we down climbed and traversed to get back on route


looking down before we traversed, we probbably should have trended left begening at the first zig zag, but the crux is route finding, so expect to do some.


Above the first gully is where we should have trended left over the ridge and dropped into another chute, but we continued upward on the right side of the ridge towards a singular giant rime mushroom that sucked us in and forced us to downclimb and then traverse to the left. As we entered a second gully of steep snow, we were surrounded by giant cliffs coated in rime. This section looks like a majority of other photos you see, in a steep couloir. Didn’t experience any rock or ice fall on route, just debris from my partner who plowed through the upper sections. In just about all of these areas, you could kick in deep to rest. Above this section we were to the right of ridge where you could look over and see a few groups on Leuthold and the Queens Chair.



Landon checking out the ridge we were about to traverse


End of the traverse where we were funnelled into a maze of giant rime shrooms


making our way through the rime shrooms


our buddies behind came into earshot right before we crested the ridge.


Final moves before pulling the ridge, but the route wasn’t done yet.


Basically at the ridge I was talking about. You can see, on the left, where we were funnelled back into. The ridge leads you right there.


At that ridge, looking over the way at several parties climbing Leuthold and another group chilling at the Queens Chair


Above the ridge, we were funnelled back into some more rime cliffs where there was another section of ice, less than 10 moves of AI2, but it was quality ice. From there it opened up again and we moved left at the base of a mushroom where we took a break and put on glacier glasses. We were in the shade the entire morning and didn’t hit sun until we linked up with summit ridge. Around this corner/ mushroom around 10,800ft we were presented with two options: a steep pitch of ice probably 15m in length or a traverse around another mushroom in steep snow, we choose the ladder. In the guide book, it shows a traverse like we did, but I’m sure the pitch is possible.


Small gully where we cruised through a few techy moves, but nothing difficult.


Looking back at the second gully with some fun moves


Continuing up, we navigated through more snow with a tech moves. We crested the summit ridge where we found a great view of the Cathedral Spire and ran up to the summit around 11:15am and chilled for a lil. There were a few other groups up there, much different from the serenity of the Reid.  


the last bit, before linking up with the summit ridge, not too far over from the old chute.


Cathedral spire looking real nice from the summit ridge


Summit Ridge


Obligatory summit photo, the stoke is real!

The descent was rather forgettable, we down climbed the Pearly Gates where there was a lil bit of ice and cruised down to Crater Rock, making it to the car around 12:30pm. 9 hours in total and my 2nd trip to the summit.

Gear Notes:
2 tools and horizontal points would be sufficent for the conditions. You could bring gear and a rope and not place anything like we did, always nice to take the gear for a walk.

Approach Notes:
Pretty straight forward, if you’re unsure, it might be useful to have an image of the route. Always trend left.
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Nice! We were that group chilling at Queen's chair. Didn't see you guys, but saw the group behind you hauling skis up. 


Leutholds was in good ski shape, BTW. 

Edited by AlecE

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7 hours ago, AlecE said:

Nice! We were that group chilling at Queen's chair. Didn't see you guys, but saw the group behind you hauling skis up. 


Leutholds was in good ski shape, BTW. 

Leutholds was in good shape, easy climb and manageable ski. Great pics of us on the Queen’s Chair, thanks!

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