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Yocum Ridge


climbing4fun2000
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Hey, who wants to climb Yocum Ridge on Mt. Hood?

Ok, Ok, I'm not technically ready for that route yet but it is my dream climb. Has anyone done it? What is it like? How would you prepare for it both physically and mentally?

Oh yeh, when the time comes who would be interested in joining me?

------Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow--

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Get used to v. steep semi-consolidated snow and rime ice. I haven't done Yocum, but did Castle Crags in the winter, which is reputably similar (it's right above Illumination Saddle and traverses above the Reid Headwall). Think lots of steep and unprotectable rime and snow with a fair bit of traversing on the steep. If the easterlies are blowing, which is not uncommon when the weather and conditions are favorable, count on high winds (40 to 50+ mph) on the ridgecrest and lots of spindrift.

That said, it's a neat looking route and I've been told is not that technically difficult - more of a mind bender than anything else.

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I climbed Yocum Ridge in April with a higher than average rime load on it. Walter is right - the climb is not technically difficult and it involves a lot of traverssing on steep slopes, with some short sections of steep rime ice, never even close to vertical for more than twenty or thirty feet unless you go out of your way to make it difficult. That said, be prepared for adventure: I believe we belayed 15-16 pitches, and there was not one truly solid anchor anywhere. If you are up for it, it is a fun climb.

-Mattp

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Depends on the snow year. Probably not before late December unless it's a heavy year. Best time to hit it is right when after a high builds in and the freezing level drops, but before the winds start hammering out of the Gorge. There's a camera of the south side of Hood from Timberline on the web somewhere - when it's good and rimed up on Illumination rock and on the east side of the crater rim, it's a good bet the ridge is in decent shape.

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FYI: The photo was taken from the north with the Sandy Gl. headwall just out of the picture to the left (east). Most of the climbing on the route that isn't on the crest is on the south side below the gendarme. By the way, the route is in terrible shape in that photo - it'd would be a choss pile. The rock should be well caked with snow and rime.

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