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Stick

Mount hood....what do I need to know.

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I'm considering climbing mount hood this summer and havnt really be able to find any information thats answered my questions.

I need to know what type of gear is required and what are the conditions.

I'd also like to know if its possible to backpack my son to the top?

Not sure I'd do it and I definetly wouldnt do it without climbing it myself first to see what I'm up against.

My son is 3 1/2 yrs old and was born without the use of his legs and is still small enough to backpack around. We are going to spend alot of time next summer hiking and going places he wont be able to get to when he gets bigger and if I could get him to the top I'd certainly do it.

Also whats the best time of year to go for the best weather.

 

Thanks for any advice..Jason

 

 

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I am just taking a wild guess and say you have little or no mountaineering experience. I would say you'd be best off partnering up with someone who has some experience.

 

It should be possible to get your son up the mountain provided you trained adequately and had some support from other members of your party. Other members could carry some of the gear that you'd otherwise carry yourself.

 

 

Edited by catbirdseat

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I am just taking a wild guess and say you have little or no mountaineering experience. I would say you'd be best off partnering up with someone who has some experience.

 

You are correct. I dont plan to go alone.

 

When you say trained adequately exactly what do you mean?

I've been running and lifting to get into better shape. If there is anything else I should be doing please let me know.

 

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Suggestions:

Not sure what your son will weigh in a year and a half but he may be able to absorb the experience more if you can carry a 5 year old as opposed to 3 1/2 yo. If he is average, it will be around 40 lbs which is doable on Hood especially if the CAT ski groomer is still running then - it can give you a nice head start.

 

You should really check out the guide service at Timberline. Or, at the minimum, have a partner or 2 with experience and ropes as even the easiest routes on Hood are steepish near the top for a new climber - not good to slip while carrying a child.

 

Training:

You'll need some mountaineering skills to be safe with yr son - self arrest practice and other basics. You should train as though for endurance and include a weekly or bi-weekly long mountain hike with 30+lb pack.

 

Season:

Id be looking at April for the best odds at good conditions - Maybe March to May depending on the type of winter. Summer is probably not a good time for Hood as thawing choss is quite unappealing to be on or beneath.

 

Route:

The easiest routes (you may know) are south side, departing from the Timberline Lodge parking lot.

 

Hazards:

Crevasse danger is very minimal but occasionally someone will "find one" above the Triangle moraine. Issues that you'll have to deal with are -mainly- a nice weather window, good snow conditions, your conditioning, keeping your son warm etc, not slipping near the top (especially coming down), keeping your son safe from ice and rocks coming down near the top (helmet w/face shield for him might be a good idea).

 

Gear:

As for gear, you'll need standard mountaineering gear, (in part) synthetic clothing, decent stiff shanked boots, crampons, ice axe, trekking poles recommended.

 

--

 

As CBS said, experienced partners are HIGHLY advised IMO because it is not your sons choice to go up there, and you want to minimize the risk as much as you can - at least I would want to.

 

You should really check out the guide service at Timberline.

 

 

I hiked up toward Muir with my 5 1/2 year old daughter some years ago. She did fine until she figured out just where we were. At around 8000 feet "DADDY I WANT TO GO DOWN RIGHT NOW!" I carried her nearly back to Paradise. She was pretty mad at me.

 

 

**PS- JUST A THOUGHT - Hood should be possible for someone without the use of their legs. As a teen or adult, he could make the choice himself if he wanted to train and climb it with his arms, ropes and a sled IMO. He might need help with fixing some lines but I could see someone doing it.

 

Good Luck and take care.

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Stick....if you check Hood history, you'll see that often the greatest hazards are falling rocks, and getting taken out by parties falling above you - often beyond your ability to control. I'd second the recommendation for a helmet and face shield at a minimum. The question I'd have for you, as a father myself, is why? Is this really for his experience, or for you to be able to say you carried him up to the top of Hood. Odds are you would make it up and down with no problems but If something were to happen to him, you'd be infamous.

 

From an objective hazards standpoint, Mt. Adams might be a better consideration, although it's a much longer approach.

Edited by ericb

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I wouldn't rule out the possibility of your son going on to do things that you wouldn't have thought possible...check out this guy who's summitted Hood, Rainier & Shasta without the use of his legs.

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Stick:

 

I think you have an admirable aspiration in getting your son up the hill. I would echo some of the previous comments.

 

A good plan might be to get up to Hood sometime before your actual climb, to do an exploratory hike. A lot of folks do Hood in June, depending on the season.

 

One can get in a decent hike up to the Hogsback typically without getting into too much trouble, and this would give you a feel for the demand. It gets steeper after that point.

 

I would still recommend having someone along for the hike, and of course, knowing what gear you need.

 

Though I haven't seen anyone volunteering to guide you up the hill, I am certain you could find a taker or two for the hike.

 

Best of luck to you.

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ooops just noticed that you were from springfield. Check out the UO outdoor program, or I am sure there is another climber organization down where you live.

 

timing will be all inportant for you. Rockfall is not a trivial problem for that route. Take head of what the others have said. good luck. If you are still doing this post for a partner later in the year or get a guide service. I would have several people along to help you out!!

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Not sure what your son will weigh in a year and a half but he may be able to absorb the experience more if you can carry a 5 year old as opposed to 3 1/2 yo. If he is average, it will be around 40 lbs which is doable on Hood especially if the CAT ski groomer is still running then - it can give you a nice head start.

 

He is actually pretty small 22 pounds right now. After thinking it over today and reading your opinions I think 2009 will be the better choice. It will give me more time to prepare for the climb and he will be nearly 5 then so should enjoy the experience more.

 

Summer is probably not a good time for Hood as thawing choss is quite unappealing to be on or beneath.

 

Whats Choss? sorry if its a stupid question

 

The question I'd have for you, as a father myself, is why? Is this really for his experience, or for you to be able to say you carried him up to the top of Hood.

 

Excellent question..Its certainly not for any kind of ego trip. Its tough to explain on a computer. My son has had a few close calls in the operating room and there was a few times in his short life that I seriously thought he may not make it, he's put up with tons of crap so far and this is just something I want to do with him as a father son kinda thing. Just the experience of climbing with my son I guess. And if he tries when he's 20yrs old with just his arm's I'll be there climbing with him again.

 

A good plan might be to get up to Hood sometime before your actual climb, to do an exploratory hike. A lot of folks do Hood in June, depending on the season.

I was actually planning on doing it without him first so I was somewhat familiar with the terrain.

 

Odds are you would make it up and down with no problems but If something were to happen to him, you'd be infamous.

 

I am aware of this. Thats one of the reasons I'd like to climb it without him first. If I dont think its something he should be doing we wont do it.

 

We are going to spend next year (2008) hiking as much as we can. We are going to climb the south sister and I am also wanting to do the Black Butte crater (i think thats the right name)

Here's a pic of me and my boy, thought you might enjoy it since he's kinda the main subject.

100_3530.jpg

 

 

 

 

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The most important thing you are going to need to know is the proper footwork technique and ice axe technique and to go with someone experienced.

 

Self arrest is something good to know, but is FAR too heavily emphasized, as it takes much practice in order to be effectively used when the time calls. As a beginner, better to learn good climbing technique and how to stay on your feet, than how to fall.

 

Wear a helmet and if the person you go with has little experience, don't rope up to them. Using a rope effectively relies on having at least one person who knows what there doing.

 

May and June are probably the best months and definately go mid-week; the weekends at that time of year can be a kook-fest.

 

And finally, better to go with a guide service than a climbing club, as you will learn better and more up to date technique.

Edited by BuilderBob

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I can't imagine any guide service letting you go up with your son in a pack. I wonder how you'd feel about practicing self arrest with him in the pack? I've slipped on ice with my son in a pack and the experience is way different than a regular self arrest. For example, have you ever had to slam on the brakes and found yourself moving your arm to the side to hold back your wife? Even though she was wearing a seatbelt. It's funny the protective instincts that take over in an emergency.

 

Personally, I don't think I could shoulder the responsibility of taking my son in a pack on crevassed terrain, or anyplace that required roped travel. That being said, I don't have experience on Hood so I can't comment directly on it. Maybe a good starter hill would be Mt. St. Helens. No ropes, no crevasses and not nearly as steep. If you're interested in that, I'd go up there with you. Maybe with a snow camp in the worm flows. Something like Mother's day weekend, or the weekend before. You can PM me if you're interested.

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Maybe a good starter hill would be Mt. St. Helens. No ropes, no crevasses and not nearly as steep. If you're interested in that, I'd go up there with you. Maybe with a snow camp in the worm flows. Something like Mother's day weekend, or the weekend before. You can PM me if you're interested.

 

That sounds like fun. Those are the kind of mountains I want to do before attempting hood.

Sent ya a pm.

 

Also how do you change the settings so an email is sent when a reply is written?

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It is a very Courageous thought, and one i am sure your son will look back on with fond memories when he is older. Asides from what everybody has already said, your son being the main priority and proper fitness, the south side of Hood Is typically a strenuous hike up until the Hogs Back. The real issues come when you are approaching the Pearly Gates (or wherever the route happens to be that year), this is where people tend to get backed up, and rock/ice fall is an issue. One idea, is being the first group on the mountain (10pm start time..) and having another party member belay you, while anchored in, as you climb the pearly gates. I was there in early spring, and didnt summit due to many many other people waiting in line to go through the gates, so there can be traffic jams. Like Letsroll said, you should check out the UOOP, i am an active member with them, and there are always hikes going out. I know that personally i will be doing winter and spring trips through them, and it is a good way, relatively cheap, to get out and into the mountains. Also Spencers Butte is a good local place just to put in some miles while warring a pack. Best of luck, and hope to either see you on some OP trips, or hear that you made a successful climb of Hood.

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How about Brittney Spears as a partner and guide. This idea is child endangerment. Best case: He's 3.5 yoa--he will not remember anything other than the comments you direct toward a photo years later. Worst case: something happens and you have a fatal outcome. I treat children with disabilities every day. If you want quality time: fly a kite, backpack through old growth, go to the beach, swim, play lego's, read with him, etc...Who's to say he won't be kicking steps with some awesome prosthetic limbs in a decade--if that is HIS choice.

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Pretty clear you are a "newbie". Are you aware that people have actually died climbing the South Side route? Are you figuring that the odds are in your favor? A very Courageous thought.

The ascent from the Hogsback to the summit can be treacherous, depending on weather and snow conditions. Under the best conditions there is always the danger that another climber will fall, and knock you off. It is a very steep slide. With a kid on your back a beginner should not be confident that he could self arrest.

Your kid won't miss the experience.

Hold off on hauling your kid up a mountain until you have climbed at least five, and have some appreciation of the risk.

 

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BuilderBob has the best advice. A guiding service is going to be a safer bet then a climbing club as they could potentially cater to your circumstances better.

 

Give Timberline Mountain Guides a call. I have a buddy who works for them who has loads of experience and they definitely have a high standard of what it takes to guide for them. At the very least they could help you gain insight into this undertaking.

Edited by Robert Howell

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I wouldn't rule out the possibility of your son going on to do things that you wouldn't have thought possible...check out this guy who's summitted Hood, Rainier & Shasta without the use of his legs.

The same thought occured to me, Dan and dmuja, although this site is better.

 

Stick,

As a father myself (5 yoa male and 3 yoa female) and a climber of 20+ years, I have to question your motivations, as others have. I have summitted Hood a few dozen times, from several aspects, and in all kinds of weather. This is not someplace I would haul my kids, no matter how much they might think they want to go. Kids this age can't possibly fathom the depth of commitment, hazards, and objective danger that something like this will entail. And by your own admission, you have no experience in this environment. Spend some time getting A LOT of experience before you embark on this venture (not just one "scouting trip"), and consider that maybe a low-commitment outing would serve the same purpose. My vote is to take him backpacking or, if you must bag a peak, go do something way mellower. Good luck.

 

PS:

Whats Choss? sorry if its a stupid question

Choss is loose-as-shit rock that falls off practically under it's own weight and within scant seconds becomes unguided missiles that have you as their primary target. Hood is made entirely of this shit.

 

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As a father myself (5 yoa male and 3 yoa female) and a climber of 20+ years, I have to question your motivations....

 

I wouldn't question his motivation as I assume his motivation is to share a challenging experience with his son - an experience that at this point his son cannot do on his own. While his son may turn out to be a bad ass and knock these out on his own in the future, there is also the possibility that he will not. While I am not encouraging the climb, as I could not be sure of my self-arrest capabilities with a child on my back (or without), it will not get any safer in the future as the child weighs more.

 

That said, I would personally not take a child (or a dog) up any mountain.

 

I suppose that with this, or any other undertaking, one must compare the risks with the rewards. The reward is an accomplishment that the child may or may not remember. The risk is obvious. Given this, I would not do it at this point.

 

If you do this at all, I would recommend the 2009 date that you mention. This would allow time to fully analyze the undertaking, train, get some experience in lesser ventures, etc.

 

If at that point, Hood is still a goal, at least great pains have been taken to mitigate the risks to the extent possible.

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Stick,

As a father myself (5 yoa male and 3 yoa female) and a climber of 20+ years, I have to question your motivations, as others have. I have summitted Hood a few dozen times, from several aspects, and in all kinds of weather. This is not someplace I would haul my kids, no matter how much they might think they want to go.

 

Bingo. There has to 1000's of great things you can go do together which have less hazards. My son is 17 now and I never wanted him near some of the shit I get myself into. But that's me. Climbing has a big learning curve to get truely good at it, and you still have loose rocks here or there which might bonk you or your son.

 

Good luck with the lil fella.

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Mt. Hood is a serious undertaking with significant technical challenges, unpredictable weather, ever-changing route conditions and objective hazards (e.g. falling rocks). People die every year on this mountain. Just because you safely climb it once, doesn't mean it will be safe to climb again...route conditions and weather may make the next outing a totally different experience. This is where technical knowledge, experience and judgment help in mitigating risk.

 

IMO, your three year old doesn't care about Mt. Hood specifically. You will be able to accomplish your goal on a number of less risky summits.

 

Good luck.

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I appreciate your comments and concern.

To the ones who commented on the risks they take climbing and not wanting to put there kids into the situation, if its such a dangerous activity why would you risk leaving your kids to grow up without a father should you be killed climbing?

I understand that people die on hood every year but how many people dont die on hood every year? The numbers would be interesting.

I plan on climbing it myself even if I decide its not worth it to take him.

 

Tokyobob...thanks for the idea I never thought of bringing a kite and legos to the summit of hood. :ass:

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To the ones who commented on the risks they take climbing and not wanting to put there kids into the situation, if its such a dangerous activity why would you risk leaving your kids to grow up without a father should you be killed climbing?

 

What say does your 3 year old have in being taken into the 24/7 hazards of a glaciated volcano? It's all about what you want, isn't it? At issue is your violation of the child's right be protected from hazards, not exposed to them. You started this thread. It's not about other adult's approach to mountaineering risk, it's about the risk to your 3 year old.

 

You know nothing about climbing and only came onto this site hoping climbers would tell you it's OK to risk your son's life at an age when he is incapable of rationally accepting the risk.

 

The question you ask: in one instance a child grows up without a father. In the other instance the child does not grow up because his father killed him through negligence. See the difference now?

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if its such a dangerous activity why would you risk leaving your kids to grow up without a father should you be killed climbing?

 

There is a big difference. I have the skills, experience and judgment to mitigate those risks. Clearly, you do not. I also know that it would be 100x harder to keep me and a 3 year old safe in that environment compared to me alone. It increases the risk to both of us. An unplanned night on Mt. Hood with a broken leg might mean bad frostbite and suffering for me, but death for a 3 year old.

 

I don't want to crush your dream; i concur with most of the comments here...gain some experience on smaller peaks and work your way up, take a course, surround yourself with a few experienced climbers. Then you too will have the skills, experience and judgement to decide for yourself. I wish you luck. Please come back and post your progress and, if you eventually do it, a picture of your son playing with lego on the summit of Mt. Hood.

 

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There is a big difference. I have the skills, experience and judgment to mitigate those risks. Clearly, you do not.

 

I never said there wasnt a difference. I asked why you guys do it.

If its not possible than its not but we are certainly going to work toward it and see how it goes along the way.

I'm still going to climb it even if I dont take him.

 

 

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