Rodchester Posted March 4, 2002 Share Posted March 4, 2002 Wopper and I did the Reid Glacier Headwall route on Mt. Hood on Sunday (March 3, 2002). We slept at Illumination saddle on Saturday night. We had spoken with two climbers on the way up that had done the Leuthold Coulior on Sat. (cc:comer = Fairweather?). They had informed us that high winds had caused a constant barrage of crap coming down the coulior and that the Reid might be a better/safer objective. At about 3:00 a.m. a group of three Rondo skiers pased through the saddle on the way to the Leuthold. Another group had said they were going to the Yocum, but had the Leuthold as an alternative route. When we got up and ready to climb at 6:00 a.m, a party of five rolled into the saddle saying they were heading for the Leuthold. The winds seemed to have died down, but we figured on the Reid anyway, given the crowds on Leuthold. We left the sadlle at 6:30 a.m. We dropped down from the saddle onto the Reid Glacier with no problem. After traversing the Reid we turned right toward the headwall and started climbing the lower snow fan. We crossed the bergshrund to the left hand side and then enetered what I will call the left hand chute. The lower sections of the Reid are estetic and interesting, mostly just steep snow. We protected occasionally with pickets, where we figured a fall might result in a big ride. Then about half way up there were some icy sections. A screw or two here would not have been a bad idea, but were not required. Then we started to get hit by crap coming down. As it turned out, the three skiers that cut through the saddle at 3:00 a.m. had thought they were on the Leuthold, but actually were on the Reid Headwall. The skiers were understandably moving somewhat slow. There are many ways to climb the Reid Headwall. We tried to get away from the crap coming down by vearing left up a different gully. This put us on about a 10 foot section of 70-80 degree hard ice. Wopper lead it with no problems (Screw here would have been nice). The ice had good foot pockets, so even my aluminum crampons worked fine. I followed Wopper up, and wouldn't you know it, just as I was on the steep section the skiers kicked a bunch of shit down that somehow funnelled right into the gully I was in. I took afew punches with one hell of a punch in the nose. I saw stars, but held on. Once out of this gully we followed the skiers, traversing around some gendarmes/spires. This was almost exclusively on good snow. We threw in a picket here and there as a fall meant a big ride over a cliff or two. From here we could see down into the Leuthold Coulior. There were multiple parties in the coulior, but it did not look too crowded. There were no winds causing the problems of Sat. We noticed two guys coming off Yocum Ridge. The route from where we were, looked to be in about as good of shape as it gets. Good enough to know I'm not getting on it. But these guys did and we watched them top out by the top of the Leuthold Coulior. The Skiers took a break and we climbed up and around them. We finally broke at about twenty feet below the summit ridge (sub ridge) and took a much needed water break and candy bar snack. After powering up we traveresed the summit ridge to the true summit. Good conditions down hogs back. Overall impressions of the route: Both Wopper and I really enjoyed this route. It is sustained (40-50+ degrees) depending on how you do the route, mostly 50 degree stuff with some steeper sections) and not one you want to putz your way up. I would only get on this with good snow conditions and cold-ass weather. It is not an incredibly technical route, but does force you to actually climb the vast majority of the route. A fall on several sections of the route would result in a big ride if it was unprotected or not arrested. Not a beginner route, but not an expert route either. A good moderate route that climbs all the way to the summit ridge. We mostly simul-climbed and only actually set up what I would call an alpine belay twice. The route was very estetic and interesting, it could be made more difficult or more easy depending on which gullies you choose. Some route finding abilites are required. I would choose this over the Leuthold if you are looking for a slightly more diffcult and interesting route with fewer folks on it. One word of caution. This would not be a fun route to try and bail on. Sure you could do it, but it seems to me that finishing the route is easiest. Helemts are mandatory. I have no idea what the books say about this route. Smoot's book just says there are two gulleys that can freeze up but are otherwise garbage chutes. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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