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sean_beanntan

Mt Hood Cnditions

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Just got down from the hill today. Crampons on at the top of palmer. There was an thin ice crust over soft snow. Even on boot pack trail there was boot pen to several inches as you broke through....very warm overnight even those there was no cloud cover. Pearly Gates has lost lots of rime ice, no longer the tight squeeze of last week and is now starting to look more normal. Certainly the route to accend if there are crowds. Only need one tool to accend, maybe 2 to decend depending on you comfort level. Decended the left chute, one tool is fine.

 

The biggest obstacle is the sugar snow under the ice crust. I saw someone break though to their knee and then fall forward just below the chutes. He did manage to stop

 

 

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Any beta on conditions up the old chute? Does it look like people have gone up that way?

 

 

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I climbed Leuthold two weeks ago. We ended up doing a A LOT of postholing. There was a thinner crust of ice over several inches of soft snow. Traversing the Reid and climbing up to the hourglass was slow going because of this.....Surprisingly to me the hourglass was in great shape. There wasn't much debris falling through it, and the surface was much more compacted. Of course, this was two weeks ago, and that route can change in a day, so for what it's worth......

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Has anyone been up the Pearly Gates in the past two days? We're planning on going up tonight/tomorrow, but I'm worried its going to be too warm. The snow level has stayed above 10,000 ft for three days so I assume there has been some movement.

 

Any word on the 'shrund? Are the conditions still soft snow under a breakable crust?

 

We're going to do an early start (1 am), and bring 2 tools for the decent.

 

Thanks an advance!

 

 

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Just got back from a morning summit. Crowds going up the left-side Pearly Gate and waiting in line. Myself and a few others took the Old Chute which looked much more fun. It was.

 

Highlights: chatting with some cool people on top who followed me up and meeting a PMR team member.

Scary: watching the young man with no ice axe and his hands in his pockets strolling along the narrow ridge from the summit to the top of the Old Chute and back for a look-see.

 

img5504mp8.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by wannabe

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Icy, but solid. Got soft as soon as the sun hit it and let loose the small ice chunks. Did ok with just a mt axe, but wished I had a second tool like others I saw.

 

Clouds were rolling in by the time I got to the car. Not sure if Sat will be as nice as today.

 

 

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We got trapped right behind the team that was so slow. According to the last member of that team, they had some new climbers along, and apparently one freaked out a bit and froze going up the right chute. At any rate, we departed the Hogback at 6am, but didn't top out until after 8. It was literally two steps up, wait a few minutes, then a few more steps. Then it came to a complete stop once they entered the chute. For something to do while we waited, we traversed a bit west above the bergschrund, but that didn't pan out. Once we got past the slow team, it was literally five minutes toe-climbing up the left chute, and there we were.

 

We envied you guys over there to the west, and wished we'd thought of that sooner.

 

Here are a few photos:

The Hogback when we left. Looked good.

hogback_before.jpg

 

Now we're stuck and everyone's bored, looking enviously at all the guys traversing west.

shadow.jpg

 

Here's how the chute looked, coming back down.

downclimbing_leftchute.jpg

 

The scene after we got to the bottom of the Hogback.

down_from_gates.jpg

 

We saw the same guy you did, wandering around on top. yikes. We too chatted with some cool people (perhaps you were one of them). Here are some photos I posted of our trek.

 

Photos from trip up Hood, 11 May 2007.

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I will stick to climbing on weekdays, although it might be fun to try to weave your way around them all

Edited by shortstow

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Blurpy, nice photos, Hope you dont mind a quick question but I notice that there was no protection placed in the chute on the down climb. If this is correct, what is the reason for the rope?. Sorry but seems if the climber fell, the rope team is going for a ride...based on my visual past experience....of course, he could be the highly skilled leader after belaying the other climbers down.

 

 

Edited by sean_beanntan

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i don't mind the question, especially if i can learn something.

 

there were only two of us, which of course begs the question of whether we should have been roped together at all, but we decided it was better.

 

i downclimbed the chute first, while my buddy anchored me from above. i was able to have 3 good points of contact, as it was pretty easy to set the spike off to the left or right of the ice itself and my toe-points were digging into the ice quite well. i was then standing on a relatively level space at the bottom of the pitch while he downclimbed. had he fallen, he would have slid into a bunch of ice scree on the level area and i could have gone into self-arrest on the flat, eastward of his fall line. i do admit that we simul-climbed while i was on the last 10-20 feet, but i moved east of his fall line and was ready for self-arrest. Perhaps it would not have helped.

 

we were not terribly happy about the guys who came directly after us (neither of which wore a helmet), and someone up above did dislodge a decent-sized chunk of ice that luckily missed my partner (and I was able to call to those below to look out).

 

he is the more experienced climber, which is why he came last.

 

would you have either not used a rope, or set protection points? We thought we were (reasonably) safe, but quite possibly we were taking unknown risks due to inexperience.

Edited by blurpy

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All good questions. If the second falls and he falls by you, there is tremendous force placed on the second. In rock climbing, it can "equate" to a factor 2 fall potential. Enough force to rip you out of your stance and even blow a snow picket. The snow up there is a combination of ice crust and sugar which makes very weak anchors. What you did was not incorrect but the last person down has no real protection and is in a no fall situation. That is fine if you are aware that is the case. An alternate is for you to place a picket on the way down to limit a fall, he removes it as he downclimbs. Another option is to decend the west crater rim which last w/e had less ice and is not as steep. It is very difficult to arrest a fall above the Shrund. The conditions are usually ice and in the chute, the ground is covered in shards of rime ice that offer no purchase for the pick. Also there are so much bootprints that the pick can easily pull out during self arrest when it hits one.

 

A fun route fof your both would be west crater rim using snow pickets to ensure that if either climbers falls and fails to self arrest, there is another attachment to the hill.

 

pm me if you need more info

 

Your options may be

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Just figured I'd chime in. I climbed/skied Wy'east yesterday. The view down on the south side route was interesting. Quite a few climbing groups, one or two skiers it looked like.

 

Seemed like most of the boot tracks we could see headed up the Gates. Old Chute looks primo to ski, Gates not so much.

 

Anyone interested in skiing SE to E facing slopes, with the temps the way they've been lately, 9:30 - 10:30 is about the latest one should summit (we left the top of Wy'east at 10:00 and it was perfect).

 

We did the route from Meadows parking lot. Skinned up to the top of Cascade. Booted up to about 9,000 ft where we put crampons on and booted up the rest. I didn't bring an axe, partner had whippets on his poles. A fall while climbing the face would have been a problem, but I felt comfortable with the decision.

 

I should have taken more pictures from the top of Wy'east looking over the S Side, but here's the only one I took:

PICT0044.JPG

Edited by ptavv

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Advice?

 

Everything I've read about the south side route has claimed an easy/moderate 35 degree snow couloir - but the nat'l forest site says there is now a "vertical step" at the pearly gates with some hard water ice??

 

I'll be there (solo) on the 29th/30th and was hoping to give it a shot - on good snow... Any idea how long the ice step is? Are there any crevases below the 'shrund? I'm from Colorado so the Cascades will be a new experience-

 

any advice is greatly appreciated!!

 

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As of 6 days ago, the climb was completely nontechnical except for the main chute. Here, the well trodden boot path is covered over with hard water ice. It appears that liquid water pours over this area in the heat of the day, then refreezes. The result is hard ice, but with steps in it, also very well picked at with crampons and axes. If you have any experience, you will probably feel fine with crampons and a single tool.

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Thanks for the infor. When you said "Descend the left chute, one tool is fine." is that the climber's left?

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Clouds were rolling in by the time I got to the car. Not sure if Sat will be as nice as today.

 

Any one planning on climbing Hood should be tracking these two links in addition to the local forecast. The PacSat loop shows weather systems out to Japan and the jet stream snap gives you an idea of where they might land:

 

Pacific Satellite Loop

 

Jet Stream

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As of today (5-25), the two Pearly Gates chutes have well distinguished steps, and the "Old Crater Variation" has a "hard to miss" boot pack.

 

The biggest hazzard today was the large number of rope teams all jammed up trying to descend the old crater variation.

 

On a more positive note the snow at 11AM up on the crater was "A-1 smile on your face" corn.

 

-r

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