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markseker

[TR] Hood- Schrund Idiot 4/27/2006 + photo link

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Climb: Hood-Dog

 

Date of Climb: 4/27/2006

 

Trip Report:

This report is my first-hand one, as the halfwit who opened the schrund this year. It's not a climb report, but a partial descent report with focus on the bergschrund. These are the words I sent to pals who called after figuring out the victim in various unwanted media reports.

 

===========================

Yes, you know the fortunate idiot. I can confirm that I did snowboard directly into Mt Hood's bergschrund at noon on 27-April-2006. ...thus making the 2006 climb season safer for all as the well-known but previously hidden crevasse of the popular south side route is now located and clearly marked. I made this bonehead move on my descent after summitting on a gorgeous day during a solo climb, my 23rd to the summit. To be sure, 30+ people summitted that morning, including two Mazama teams lead by Tim Scott and Chris LeDoux, each of whom I talked with prior to my little boo-boo. Terry Cone was also ascending solo nearby and I spoke with him moments before my submarine antic.

 

My errant method for schrund-seeking was a spectacular speedy punch thru the top of the west half of the schrund, which was not visible until my fat dumb ass snowboarded over the abyss. It was my first true trap-door experience... I now feel some small affinity with Joe Simpson of Touching the Void fame. The entire schrund as of that day was almost completely closed and the spine of the hog quite safe and secure as a climb route. The only evidence of the schrund we all know is below was a single but small hole into the abyss directly on the spine's boot track and then some long skinny cracks off to the east at least 40 feet away. The unbroken west-side slope where I chose my initial snowboard line had faint but clear tracks of skiers from days-earlier descents of the west crater route. My geometry error was only a few feet off - had I begun my line just 10' lower, I wouldn't be typing this report.

 

As such I ended up sliding along directly above the entire length of the bergschrund, held up by early season snow bridges until...in less than a second the trapdoor opened a hole approx. 15' x 3', and it wasn't sunny any more.

 

The crevasse configuration where I dropped in was cave like and typical for the schrund, uneven and approx 75' long, 0' -10' feet wide and 15' deep where I landed. My entry point was over the cave's tallest part, so I got to free-fall for a moment before glancing off the downhill wall and sliding to the bottom of the acute V-shaped crevasse. Soft snow covered my board and bindings and it was jammed into the bottom of the V. I was relieved to see rocks that my rig had partially landed on, so I knew there wasn't further to fall. I was unhurt but couldn't easily move and worried that more snow/ice would fall before I could get out of the bindings. Snowboard bindings need to be manually released and this took a bit of snow clearing and a yoga move to accomplish. My Bikram yoga training was helpful, but the room this day was a lot cooler - and smaller - than the yoga studio's.

 

The uphill wall was vertical to overhanging a bit and the downhill wall 60-70 degrees. With my ice ax I had in hand during the descent, I cut steps and worked up 5-6 feet. Eventually I got verbal - but not visual - connection with Simon Weaver, who seemed to be on the scene first, and was safely positioned on the slope below the crack. I let him know I was unhurt and moving up, and that he and others would be safe as long as they stayed 4-5 feet below the new hole. He threw in a rope with harness, which I donned, and the belay helped me out and over the soft overhanging lip. I was in the hole 20-30 minutes, including the initial 5 seconds I consider my scariest to date.

 

Consistent with my theory "Nobody takes photos when they're scared," I have no photos while in the hole. But here are five shot immediately after, two of which show the actual track I shredded on the 50-60 feet from the spine of the hogsback to the trap door: http://members3.clubphoto.com/mark258190/3989329/

 

To clarify media reports, I didn't walk down the route (why bring the board?). I did walk down to the saddle to talk with the wide-eyed Mazama team full of 1st-timers, but then had a marvelous, spring-snow, largely untracked, sunny and warm 29-minute ride from 10,500' to 6000' and the car and a cold, tasty Mirror Pond microbrew.

 

Renee was not pleased and I am currently grounded while she invents my punishment, which seems to have multiple parts.

 

Thanks again for your call.

 

-s

===========================

568990-PICT0021edit2.thumb.jpg.c708920c44c7edb7ee1fc016d5be0a31.jpg

Edited by markseker

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Thanks for sharing. Glad you're all right. Mind if I ask a few questions? I have some theories and I'd always like to check them with the real world whenever possible.

 

Did you stop over the 'schrund?

How fast were you going?

Were you in the 'check' part of a turn?

 

I appreciate any answer you can give. I can't really tell from the photo. It could just be that shit happens...

 

It almost seems like your description implies that you were traversing directly over the hole. Is that the case?

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This report is my first-hand one, as the halfwit who opened the schrund this year.

 

yelrotflmao.gifyelrotflmao.gif

 

Well spoken dude. My only comment is "there, but for the grace of God, go I". You get out enough and you wind up with some of these stories. I remember once soloing Wyeast, choosing to cross over White river canyon via Timberline. Thinking I remembered the location of the now covered crevases from the previous year ...until I got out there anyway, then I wasn't so sure.

 

I knew better too. I pulled off so many stupid things as a pup without getting tagged I'd need my own thread to list them all.

 

Real glad for your happy finish...so to speak.

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A1 - no, i was on a slow traverse when the trapdoor opened

A2 - pretty slow, as you can surmise from my windy track in the two photos

A3 - no, i was traversing

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Thanks for the answers. My hypotheses remain intact. Glad you're all right!

 

Meaning if he was hauling throught that section fast enough there would not have been enough downward force on one area long enought to break through?

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Wow!!! Glad you're okay. You certainly picked a sweet line yelrotflmao.gif

57591218-57a0-01800200-.jpg

 

Somebody ought to take up golf cause that looks like a hole in one to me! hahaha.gif

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Wow.

I'm so glad you're OK.

So many of us have taken similar risks without any consequences. Thanks for your frank self-assessment.

See you on the mountain!

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Ha - great story! It's good to learn from others' mistakes, especially if they're still around to tell the story. I appreciate the candid analysis.

 

Looks like the snow bridge is about 2-3 feet thick where it collapsed. Had I been probing that with my axe, I'd probably have deemed it safe to cross. Interesting....

 

Glad your still with us! bigdrink.gif

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