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heatmiser

Hood south route questions

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I'm thinking about climbing the south side route Saturday or Sunday, but I don't know what conditions to expect due to the bizarre lack of snow this winter. I hope someone who has been up recently can answer a few questions.

I climbed Hood via this route last April, and the bergschrund was nothing but a crack. I know that normally the bergschrund is nonexistent in winter, but I'm wondering what sort of obstacle or hazard, if any, it currently presents. Also, I'm assuming the avalanche hazard will be low in coming days due to snow consolidation this week caused by sunny days. Is this a safe assumption? And what about that mystery crevasse that swallowed a climber along this route last May? Probably a stupid question, but is it even an issue at this point?

Suggestions for start time ?(my partner and I are in good shape)

Lastly, snowshoes or no snowshoes?

Thanks for your help.

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Lots of people have posted trip reports about Hood recently, so check those out in the OREGON CASCADES forum.

 

Snow conditions - The lack of recent precipitation and recent freeze thaw cycles have likely stabilized the snow up there pretty well, so I doubt you will have any avalanche concerns. For future reference, you should bookmark THIS PAGE.

 

Snowshoes - God no. Take skis if you got em. Drop them at the hogsback and ski down. If you don't have skis, at least take a plastic bag or something to aid your glissade on the way down.

 

Start Time - Depends on what you want. You want a chance to be alone on the mountain and see the sunrise from the summit? Midnight or 1am. Want to sleep in and get a sunburn? Start later. Sun-softened snow can make for nice climbing conditions (easy/secure step kicking) if it isn't too deep. It can also ball up your crampons and make you slip (more of a problem on the descent).

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bergsch is nearly closed - can step over it

snow above top of palmer may be soft to knee deep (it was this past wk-end) but melt/freeze this wk may help.

no snowshoes

leave at 5am is fine

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info and recommendations based on 3 hood climbs this month, including yesterday, all descended ss route:

 

shrund is open to both sides but has strong bridge, no issue at this time.

 

last may crack-seeker was out of state climber walking too far east on ss route; follow footpath from top of palmer to crater rock you will encounter no weird cracks.

 

lack of snow has had no effect on ss route this year; it looks just like usual (exepct on the lower ski slopes).

 

i've yet to have anyone show me a photo or give other compelling evidence for an avalanch hazard on the ss route.

 

no snowshoes. winter climb has HUGE benefits: sleep like god has us set up to do daily + team is rested/stronger + climb in daylight. thus step on snow at 6-7am, lunch on summit or hog, down by sunset.

 

-anticlover

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Trip from yesterday 2/25/05 --> Approach Bergschrund with caution... Snowbridge deteriorating rapidly due to really warm temps. It wasn't corniced on the down hill side so you should be able to peek in there to see what's going on.

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