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zaworotiuk

[TR] Mt Hood - Cathedral Ramp - FA 04/17/2021

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Trip: Mt Hood - Cathedral Ramp - FA

Trip Date: 04/17/2021

Trip Report:

 

 

Today a group of us (@Nolan E Arson, @ktarry, @The Real Nick Sweeney) did what we believe is the first ascent of Cathedral Ramp off of the Eliot glacier. Of course I’m half-expecting someone to show up and post photos of a previous climb of the route, but we don’t have any reason to think it’s been done before and it’s listed as unclimbed in Mullee’s guidebook.

We approached by racing the hoards up the South Side. @Nolan E Arson and I simul soloed DKHW 1, which is becoming quite mixed, to reach the summit, and then dropped down to the Queen’s Chair, with @ktarry and @The Real Nick Sweeney close behind. We continued down to near the top of Horseshoe Rock and traversed across, staying underneath the large bergschrund at the top of the glacier.

The whole Eliot Headwall area, with lots of ice and lots of footprints from the last couple weeks:

20210417_063951.thumb.jpg.56aec6b6ce44e3725e7c50d33ebc7eed.jpg

@Nolan E Arson and I approached the lower left ice flow that leads up and right to near the bottom of the upper snow ramp (orange line in photo below). @ktarry and @The Real Nick Sweeney approached the slightly higher streak of ice that forms a straight line with the upper ramp (yellow line). Perhaps one of them can chime in here to describe their first pitch.

607bd588547e6_20210406_071856(1).thumb.jpg.fc8d1b31a66d1666701c728e0e695162.jpg

We started by doing a little mini pitch, still in our glacier travel setup, to get above the frighteningly undercut/moated area right up against the rock:

20210417_073748.thumb.jpg.4eb02d80d4c59a1b94a0ec032b090a38.jpg

From here we could see that there was ice leading all the way to the upper ramp. @Nolan E Arson led a nice fun pitch of WI3 (photo below), eventually meeting up with @ktarry who had traversed in from our right.

20210417_075649.thumb.jpg.60f92be872a21c3bdfb03ce16738ef65.jpg

While following I got a good view of @The Real Nick Sweeney coming up the other line:

20210417_083838.thumb.jpg.57a5a1e9080501522fcd194e3052be0d.jpg

I started up the snow ramp, which is easy at first and then progresses to a few steeper mixed moves:

20210417_085758.thumb.jpg.7435ffb76df6a9bc3f262711e56cabb1.jpg

Above this was the big unknown part of the climb. Some random photos we’d found online seemed to show easy, fairly flat snow wrapping around from the top of Cathedral Ramp to meet up with the top of the Pencil. Every time I’d looked across from the Queen’s Chair recently, however, the top out looked dry and steep and kind of scary. After the brief section of mixed climbing I reached a ledge where I could see that I was around 10-15 meters from the top of the Pencil. Of course I’d hoped to see an easy way across, but instead I was confronted with a few meters of climbing on absolutely atrocious, crumbling rock, up on to a previously invisible little ridge:

crumbles.thumb.jpg.ddc8cf52729385e77884c0e527c597dd.jpg

Thankfully things weren’t that steep and I proceeded through this section without too much trouble. The rock was so loose and shitty that I didn’t even consider placing any gear, though I think perhaps @The Real Nick Sweeney found a decent cam placement on his way through? From on top of the little ridge there was a clear way to traverse, mostly on ice, to gain the main part of the North Face Cleaver, near the top out of the Pencil.

I was hoping to climb the additional ice pitch to the top of Cathedral spire from the Pencil trip report, but at this time it’s completely melted. Maybe it's only there in the winter? Instead, @Nolan E Arson led around to the left on a series of icy ramps and snowy ledges:

ledges.thumb.jpg.5814cbc1370f6684ae56326d19b546d9.jpg

We were eventually deposited in the North Face right gully directly above the upper ice pitch. From here we unroped and soloed back to the summit.

I'll add some concluding thoughts at a later time, once I've slept!

Gear Notes:
Took a lot of stuff. Mostly used screws with just an occasional piece of rock pro.

Approach Notes:
South Side
  • Rawk on! 6

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An absolute pleasure meeting you and sharing the route with you, Matt! 
 

if you are a competent alpine ice climber, GET YOUR ASS TO THE NORTH SIDE OF HOOD ASAP. The goods are waiting.

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  • Rawk on! 1

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Posted (edited)

Great day out! Big fun exploring the mountain in perfect conditions with fantastic company. Thanks @zaworotiuk for yet another day of both mountain fun and mountain “fun”.

Really great to meet you again, @The Real Nick Sweeney!

And what a cool way to finally meet you, @ktarry! Big thanks for the bonus round on the Eliot HW.:very_metal:

Edited by Nolan E Arson

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Posted (edited)

Looks a bit popular and crowded ... :-)

Suggestion on the MP description:

Current : From the end of P4, continue up ~500 vertical feet of snow, ice, and easy mixed to the summit.  This portion of the route is shared with Right Gully, Ravine, and The Pencil.

Suggested: From the end of P4 continue up remaining ~500 vertical feet of the Right Gully Route to the summit.

That is list the primary route, the fact that other "variations" join in are moot.

Edited by ScaredSilly
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Hey Nolan how was the ice on the Eliot HW and what top out did you take?

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, ScaredSilly said:

That is list the primary route, the fact that other "variations" join in are moot.

Seems like a nitpicky edit; all of those routes share the finish, so I see no reason not to list them.

11 hours ago, DET said:

Hey Nolan how was the ice on the Eliot HW and what top out did you take?

The headwall was RIDICULOUSLY FAT.  I used 17cm screws on a bunch of the pitches, which is nuts for Mt. Hood.  We started towards the right side of the HW, then went slightly left and topped out right near the top of Mazama Chute.  @zaworotiuk started near us but went a bit more right, and topped out near Old Chute, and I think they report it was also fat over there.

Edited by ktarry

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Posted (edited)

For EHW, here’s a shot of @ktarry heading out on our third pitch (of four). The exit chimney is visible above. 

This is also the exit taken by others (notably @ACosta and @bedellympian) in recent CC reports.

672CBF17-303B-4135-A1EB-63157D414A79.jpeg

Edited by Nolan E Arson
Clarity
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Posted (edited)

Here's the "right" exit chimney on the Eliot HW. This one is a bit less steep/physical though there are still a couple tricky moves getting around the exposed rock. Super fun climbing! I think the line Ktarry/Nolan took climbs more ice lower on the face, getting up here involves more steep snow. But everything is close enough you can basically traverse wherever you want without too much trouble.

20210411_110236.thumb.jpg.b0bcd0c3c1beb698a8787bb2574517bc.jpg

Edited by zaworotiuk

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11 hours ago, ktarry said:

Seems like a nitpicky edit; all of those routes share the finish, so I see no reason not to list them.

When writing a description one wants concise details that makes it easy for others to find all of the information needed. Which of those three routes would one who is unfamiliar wth the area search for to learn about the finish??? The right side gully is primary route, the others including this one are variations. If there is something relevant about the other routes, such as the Ramp and Pencil joining up then list them as you did. 

 

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Thanks all for the photos and info. The HW looks fantastic. Nice work out there :very_metal:

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, ScaredSilly said:

When writing a description one wants concise details that makes it easy for others to find all of the information needed. Which of those three routes would one who is unfamiliar wth the area search for to learn about the finish??? The right side gully is primary route, the others including this one are variations. If there is something relevant about the other routes, such as the Ramp and Pencil joining up then list them as you did. 

 

That’s just like, your opinion, man.

Edited by The Real Nick Sweeney
  • LMAO 2

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16 hours ago, ScaredSilly said:

If there is something relevant about the other routes, such as the Ramp and Pencil joining up then list them as you did. 

Cool, so we're in agreement that I should list them? :D

  • LMAO 1

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15 hours ago, DET said:

Thanks all for the photos and info. The HW looks fantastic. Nice work out there :very_metal:

Based on the topo below, I am pretty sure we climbed the Center Cirque Direct (Wallace-Olson, 1989).  The location and route description matches up.  Matt and Theresa would have climbed the McJury-Leuthold (Right Cirque), 1938.

http://www.portlandrockclimbs.com/mt-hood-rock-climbs/eliot-headwall.htm

 

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