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mrkittles13

[TR] Mt. Hood - Cathedral Ridge - Summer Climb 07/18/2021

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Trip: Mt. Hood - Cathedral Ridge - Summer Climb

Trip Date: 07/18/2021

Trip Report:

Tim Stabio and I climbed Cathedral Ridge yesterday, July 18, 2021.  We left Top Spur TH at 3:45am, and stumbled our way to the summit 5 hours 36 minutes later, where we relaxed alone on the summit in summer sunshine for about half an hour and ate wild boar burritos before descending the ol' south side.  We reached my car parked at Timberline 7:34 after leaving, feeling good and unexpectedly wondering what we were going to do with the rest of our day.  Overall, the route felt wild and remote, with about 1/2 of the route comprised of moderately OK rock and 1/2 comprised of horrible stuff only faintly resembling rock.  If one assumes that everything one touches will move, then the experience will be great. There is also stellar positioning, offering some unique views of some of Mt. Hood's sexiest features. 

Beta: the route is obvious, and generally follows the path of least resistance.  I thought the route photo at https://www.summitpost.org/cathedral-ridge/660166 was good.  We didn't encounter any snow/ice to really speak of, which was good because I packed the wrong crampons for my boots (dummy!).  Fortunately, we each had two ice tools, so I was able to smear/tool my way down the still-frozen old chute on the descent.  We didn't encounter the steep snow slope mentioned in other trip reports on the route, although it'd be easy enough to find one in the upper reaches; instead, we stuck to the ridge proper (rock).  The only notable section might have been a pitch-ish of class 4/5 uber-choss that could have been bypassed on climber's left with a snow slope.  

Lots of downed trees on Timberline Trail, which provided some interesting but not time-consuming navigational experiences in the wee morning light.  We wore trail running shoes in, then switched those out for more rigid footwear when we started clawing our way up scree/choss fields.  

Overall, a worthy and under-appreciated route for those not against a little groveling on choss.

Gear Notes:
Standard alpine affair. Lighter is righter. Rope would only potentially be of use if there is snow/ice.

Approach Notes:
Top Spur TH provides the full experience of the ridge, from bottom to top, which was important to me. Better IMO than Timberline, if you can swing a shuttle.
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I tried to do this last weekend and it was too scary for me. I was expecting the rock to be trash but somehow it's even worse than I imagined!

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