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dyerh

[TR] Mt. Hood - Devils Kitchen Headwall 04/20/2019

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Trip: Mt. Hood - Devils Kitchen Headwall

Trip Date: 04/20/2019

Trip Report:

I probably should have posted this a few days ago, but oh well, better late than never. For all you Hood-rats, the mountain is in great shape. Had a friend go up the North face on the same day and it was great. He also sent a few photos, and the ice on the Elliot and it’s looking super fat! Back to the route I climbed.

Conditions were looking good during the week, so I decided to make the quick trip up to Hood. The plan was climb Devils Kitchen Headwall and get some nice aerobic work in. I got to the lot with a rain sleet mix and the temp hovering right around 33/32. I was hopeful that as I gained some altitude, either Id be above the clouds or it would turn to snow. I started at 3:30 from Timberline, I cruised past the Mile and the clouds stayed low and the precip stopped around 6500ft. I made it up to Palmer in less than an hour and a half. Once above the clouds, I turned my headlamp off and the glow of the moon lit the way. Saw a giant group of 10+ skiers coming down at about 4:30, which was a little odd, but I just assumed they were going for a midnight ride which they were. At this point, just above Palmer, putting crampons on, I realized that I was going to be climbing the headwall in the dark so I slowed down the pace a little. I’ll also note that the snow was pretty firm, but not icy. There was only one other person in front of me and lots of little white dots following behind, a very peaceful morning. There was no wind up above Palmer and that held true all the way to the summit. I got to the Hogsback right at sunrise and rested below the route while the sun rose.

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I’ve never climbed this route before so in prep, I’d read a bunch of old TR and checked the guide book just to make sure I know what I’m getting into. At the base of the route, I inspected it from below and it looked stellar so I continued up.

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Anyone else like to get artsy mid route, I must be the only one

 

Also being solo added another layer of delicacy, so I was in no rush once I got into the technical stuff. The ice itself was stellar, there was only one section that was a little thin, but I could always swing into the rime and it would hold pretty well. There was also no spindrift coming down the chute, so that was quite nice. On some older TRs there was some exposed rock probably near middle/ bottom, not quite sure, but when I was up there, it was all filled in. Right before the crux section, I took a quick break and the barfies ensued. That was not a fun 2 minutes.

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The final crux section was in super fat, it would definitely take screws. It was a little brittle, but once a pick was in, it was super solid. Topped out that final couloir or whatever you want to call it and found steep snow all the way to the top. Route finding was not hard at all on the upper portion.

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From the base of the route to the summit was under an hour and made it to the top around 8. I could have descended via Pearly Gates, but there were a few groups at the base so I opted to go down the Old Chute. It was in prime condition for skiing and I was able to plunge step all the way back to the Hogsback.

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I’ll also note that the bergschrund around the base of the Old Chute was fully filled in, no signs of it even being there. Rested at the Hogsback right as the masses arrived to the fumaroles. I took my crampons off at the top of Palmer and found some soft snow to walk through back to the bottom. The snow around the Mile was already turning to corn around 9:30 and the skiers were heading up in full force. I think there was some skimo race happening later in the day. Was back in the car, leaving the lot by 10am. C2C was something around 6 hours. Not sure how conditions are going to change this week, but the route was in excellent condition.

Gear Notes:
you could bring screws/ rope if you want em

Approach Notes:
straight forward

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Nice job, that’s a fun solo.

 

I was just thinking of going up the North Face, it’s good to hear it’s in condition!

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