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Wy' East Route on Hood


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Hey, I'm looking to put together a climb up Wy'East in late winter, early Spring. Just was interested in any feedback those that have climbed it might be able to offer. The ambiguity I'm running into off of the different sites I've seen on it are about the final couloir to the summit rim......seems like there are different variations as well as perspectives on angle, challenge, and gear required. Is a second tool required? Pickets, ice screws, or both? How does the route compare to Leuthold in regards to length, difficulty, and fun? Thanks in advance! :chebit:

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the avi danger's higher there than luetholds as it gets morning sun. more convulted to get to w/ the canyon in the way.


it's an easy route, but i always like having a second tool b/c its weighs hardly anythign and having one makes me feel like a rawk-star. doubt you'd have much use for ice-screws but having 1 couldn't hurt. picketts will work if you want them.

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Consider this...heavy snowfall year...maybe the route will be deep with snow still in early spring. The way I look at it is this....I only use pickets for crevasse travel...where as up high on a mountain in snow soft enough for pickets you could self arrest just fine. But if the snow is too hard for pickets, then you'd want two tools and and ice screw or two...however, the route should be moderately soft and the use of two tool keeps you balanced better than with one..so you're less likely to fall over backwards and have to self arrest...also, if you're roped up using pickets to prevent a "slip" but miscalculated the slope stability and it slid...well, the rope, pickets and your other partner could keep you under the snow by preventing you to swim on top of the snow...I never rope up on anything but vertical and glacier in avy terrain. The good thing about your chosen route is you need not worry about a team above you slipping and taking you out. As per say the Southside.

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Only one other idea...when I climbed Leuthold years ago...we simul climbed the whole thing a few feet apart (Left and Right of each) No rope...no gear for that matter. Just two tools and one fanny with beef jerky. However the Summit ridge on that side would have been nice to have a short rope to use the diving belay...I don't know if the other side has a nice ridge...? Nothing like walking a 2 foot wide jagged path with the 2,000 foot NF to the Left and the 500 foot Mazama gullies to your right...

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I want to climb it via the white river snow park from route 26. Its a long aproach but a great ski, snowboard, telly down. I think its about 8 miles round trip. I went half way up this january in styrofoam crunchy conditions so I was making really good time. From that parking lot I think the elevation gain is like 8000 or something. Once you get to 6000 feet theres a beautiful line right to the summit. It looks like Ice Axe and crampons. i cant Imagine finding a place to put an Ice screw but its always a good Idea to bring one.

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You legs will be totally Pwned, but you also avoid all chance of Crevasses going that way. Soloing from Timberline and crossing the glacier always disturbed me, but as I was up there a lot screwing around all summer, in PDX pre-planning mentally for it, I thought I knew where they were and could avoid them. Then you get up there at 2-3am or some godforsaken time and its dark and you don't have a clue...but get lucky anyway. I love that route. You can get pretty steep pretty fast but get back to the car in fairly shit weather anyway.


Doh! (the first time you solo it you are too stupid about the crevasses and do it anyway, thinking that it's pretty stupid as you are doing it as you are rembering the summer gaping maws that were somewhere right there but you do it anyway cause....cause you need to climb something and you're already there)


Doh! (2nd time cause you forgot about the fear the first time caused till you're staring at the abyss, then do it anyway thinking it's early enough and cold enough)


Doh - 3rd time you bring the dog and the girlfriend (later your wife of 29 years) sleep over at 7000 feet all warm and snuggly in your Gerry year-round tent, THEN you remember as you are walking away from your 2 loved ones still in the tent about the potential crevasses under the snow. Fortunately- the dog follows you and you bag the climb and head back to the warm sleeping bag because...'cause of the dog. Right. Doh!


Better to do it your way. Nice call.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ivan, the glacier is still very much there.


I descended Wy'east on Sun Feb 17. We came down around 11:00, with snow softening fast. (We went down fast, too!) All of the above comments on avy potential apply to this east facing climb. It's best to try this route in cold conditions, or be pretty much off it when the sun comes up, which means an extra early start. If coming from Timberline, go to top of the Palmer chair, traverse right to White River Canyon, then find a fairly flat spot to drop down to the glacier. This way you lose minimal elevation (@100').

The only 2 pitches of note to consider roping for are the last two. The first is a balancy traverse right up and over a rock step which is a no fall zone, then the last steep (50-55 degrees or so) pitch to the summit. Snow here can vary wildly, from crotch deep sugar to thick rime ice.


I's take an extra tool 1 picket per person and a light rope, in case you decide you want them.


Here are a few photos I posted to the Mazamas route description pages:


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Nice pics. I forgot how fun that route was.

There were some deep and frozen boot tracks when I did it and

it made all the difference. Without um, I would have had the rope

out for sure since I had a first timer along. As for the screw...hard to

believe you would use it. But hey, it's small, it makes a cool noise

when it "klanks" against other gear on your rack, and you paid 52 bucks

for it, so throw it in.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I agee with JohnGo... the lower portion of Wy'East can easily (and fairly-safely) be climbed without protection. That face, though steep in sections, has a safe runout.

The final pitches are more tricky. I was up there two years ago and bailed down a couloir to Devil's Kitchen. If you recall, that season there wasn't a lot of snow coverage. So we scoped out mixed climbing above the "step" and the traverse. Since we had a few less-experienced partners, we opted to not risk the thin snow.

With good coverage (like this year) I would consider climbing those last pitches solo.

Do keep in mind that the sun hits that face first thing.

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