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nigeljmcclung

Pearly Gates vs. Old Chute on Mount Hood southside

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I headed up on Saturday morning, set to camp at the saddle with a couple buddies, but decided to turn around due to horrendous snowstorm, and the enticement of cold beer and the Final Four back at the bar.....snowshoes came in handy, but I wouldn't even consider trying to snowshoe up hogsback; If it's that soft, just pop the crampons off; I can't remember having to do that either though personally....

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Thanks for the info. I always have my "pons" with me even when I am not on snow, I guess they are the one thing I add on to my essentials list for everything. Note to self, "after looking at the picture buy anti balling plates, Check." I just wasnt sure wether or not I needed my snow shoes. Once again thanks for the info. Steve

Edited by shortstow

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Skis, baby! It's the only way to fly!

 

Seriously though, I don't think I've ever bothered with snowshoes for a south side climb. Sometimes it's tempting but I've always left them at home and I've never been sorry. There's typically a cat track all the way up to the Top of Palmer anyway and above there it's usually wind-blown, rime ice or there's already a boot pack.

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Skis.... well, sometimes not.

Most of the time, "hell ya", but if the conditions are really firm then you can expect full on ice up high and you'll just end up having to carry them down anyway.

 

I'm only saying this because I've already done this once this year!!! :anger::cry:

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I myself dont have skies, maybe this will be the next piece of gear for me. If the weather stays like it is showing I am going up on Monday with 2 of my friends. Hopefully it stays good.

 

Is anyone taking a cat up on Monday morning that wants to lower the cost? If so let me know, it will be adding 3 more people, and no worries we will not join your climbing party we just want a lift.

 

Once again thanks for the advice. Steve

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So would you need snow shoes or crampons at the moment? I was up there over X-mas and snow shoed up. It seemed there were places where I needed them and not. I just dont want to lug them up there if I can just use some crampons (or my boots) and slug my way through some smaller areas of powder, or just shoe over them? Has the powder blown mostly off?

Thanks for any help I plan on going up Monday the 9th. Good climbing to all. Steven

 

You will absolutely want crampons right now.

 

I summited last Sunday (4/1) with TMG and if you want to get to the summit you will need it no matter which route you choose. We went the Old Chute route because Pearly Gate's is pretty steep this year.

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I was just up this morning and will give my $0.02 on conditions:

 

Nice icy crust up to the hogsback. Crampons are fine. I can't see using snowshoes unless there is a dump of new snow. Things did not freeze up like they did a week ago and there was a constant rain of small ice chunks from the rim. I opted to stay out of the line of fire this time. The photos from last week look the same as it did this morning.

 

As soon as a few more parties go up the Old Chute, I would imagine that there would be a pretty good boot pack. If the showers of ice chunks do not bother you, it looked very reasonable today.

 

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After replacing several pairs of shell pants from butt-sliding down from triangle morain, I crafted a pair of "summit skis" just for SouthSide climbs. I took an old pair of 80cm ballet skis and mounted an old pair of Rainey SuperLoops on them.

 

I have a pair of (hybrid) leather mountaineering boots that have crampon notches which fit in the bindings and I can schuss down the slopes doing bastardized tele-turns. The whole set-up only weighs a couple of pounds so carrying them isn't a hassle if conditions warrant.

Edited by cartomat

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Update from a climb on Thur, April 26:

 

While the snow was soft, there was a good boot pack up to the hogsback saddle (thanks Timberline guided group in front of us!). No boot pack up the Old Chute and we did not feel like breaking that much trail so we went up to the Pearly Gates to have a look-see. The shrund is ~barely~ open with a bridge across the center. We chose the left gully at the gates and found it to be a bit of a sketch-fest while soloing with aluminum crampons and one mt axe. Additional fun was had practically squirming through the rime mushrooms that narrow down the gully to about 3ft at one spot. I let my partner know that was f*#@ed-up considering our equipment. We traversed over to the old chute and descended on softening snow there.

 

Most other teams were equipped with ropes and anchors for that one icy pitch through the gully.

 

I would post a pic, but they would look the same as last months.

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We also were up there yesterday.....came up through Leuthold .....snow was very soft all the way....talk about a leg burner.....seemed there was a thin crust of ice over 7-8 inches of real soft snow.....an exception to this was hourglass, which was in great condition. Descended old chute....this was aggravatingly a soft, slippery mess later in the day.

 

I'll post a trip report today, hopefully with some pics.....

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I took a team of three up there....we were roped up, but didn't see the need to set any protection in the couloir....it was in good shape and footing wasn't a problem in there. I did however set a couple pickets going across the summit ridge.....there's one down step there that is a little hair raising....

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Sounds like it's time to get some tele skis... I started alpine touring this year and love it... I would highly recommend to all.. especially when the snow gets softer during the later months of spring... makes for a fun, safe and fast getaway... no more tears in your but from glissading downhill like a short buss!

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this "hair raising" down step that you mentioned...is it in a section of the summit ridge that one would intersect coming from the old chute?

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Fo' shizzle my nizzles! You betta check yo'selves n watch out fo' da crevasse-izles.

 

Word.

 

word.jpg

 

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brief comments on today's summit via the pearly gates:

 

- the left variation (not the old chute) is a breeze if you have an extra tool.

 

- there was a significant traffic problem in the chute that might be solved if someone would just haul up some signals. :)

 

- and a special note to one climber: while it was certainly forecast to be a nice day... blue jeans?! skull

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- and a special note to one climber: while it was certainly forecast to be a nice day... blue jeans?! skull

 

Apparently this is not the first time someone decided that Jeans where the correct apparel for Mt. Hood summits...

 

 

117272.jpeg

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So the current conditions in the chute are that it has gotten steeper than in previous years?

 

I was thinking about going up there and was just going to do the "standard" south route, but might bring a spare tool for the left variation that you talk about.

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and a special note to one climber: while it was certainly forecast to be a nice day... blue jeans?!

 

...old school pack too. i must be a complete biiiatch with all my high tech gear. will be going all cotton, hobnails, wooden axe, and canvas woodframe pack next time... :wazup:

 

gotta give 'im props for gittin' 'er dun i guess... :crazy:

 

So the current conditions in the chute are that it has gotten steeper than in previous years?

 

steeper yes - but (on the left) pretty chopped out and mellow despite all the hype it's gotten this year. From the shape of things saturday I would say you don't need a second tool for the left chute, except to beat off the hordes all funneling through (felt like the DMV office up there - take a number...and wait). The rest of my trips up this year will NOT be SS/PG...

 

I went up the left, decided i'd had enough of that crap, and down the right (east) side. Depending on your comfort level, a second tool might be advised if you come down/up the right side - but honestly, with the tight awkward squeezes involved in the lower section, a second standard axe would probably just turn it into a fumble-bumble-fest. Anyway...short version is this side is also not as intense (not anymore at least) as all the hype either - but does require more care than normal conditions.

 

Oh - and despite my griping - it was a BEAUTIFUL day up on the mountain and well worth it. Gotta love our little, local volcano...even if it IS a bit OVER-loved. :D

 

edit: just noticed i've made "newbie" CCer status...woot woot...movin' on up... :rawk::D

Edited by jfs1978

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I did my first solo yesterday (Sat. May 5th) and apparently I took the left P.G. shute. It was perfectly fine with a single regular axe, i left my second tool on my pack.

 

new_014.jpg

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I did my first solo yesterday (Sat. May 5th) and apparently I took the left P.G. shute. It was perfectly fine with a single regular axe, i left my second tool on my pack.

 

Wow, congrats.

 

So did you go up Saturday morning, in other words Friday night/ Saturday morning? Winds were completely outrageous Saturday night/ Sunday morning. Had to turn back at the Hogsback.

 

 

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