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ptownclimber

Sunshine conditions and TJ road

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Anyone know what kind of shape Sunshine is in?

 

How about the road? ...I'm hearing conflicting stories as to how close you can get to the TH.

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According to the ranger station this morning, the gates are open, but the road is snow-bound past inspiration point.

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This is how far I made it in on Friday night when I was heading up to climb Cooper Spur.

Map Link

I had to clear about 25 trees to get this far in. You will need something with a little ground clearance as you need to climb over 1 tree early on that is about 12 inches. I pushed some small trees, branches and rocks up to it and drove over it in a stock Ford Explorer. Finally had to stop when I got to a tree that was to long and big and I couldn’t tow it out of the way. :( All I had was a tow strap. And I broke that so feel free to send cash. :fahq: By the way, a water knot worked just fine after that! I didn’t walk the whole road so I don’t know about any other stuff past that. But I had no problems with snow up to that point. I just walked up to the next corner and then used the GPS to head out cross country. Came out just before Tilly Jane found the trail from there and headed up. And yes, both gats are open.

Hope it helps.

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This is a very belated thank you to The Jerk for clearing the way up Cloud Cap Road. Because of your chainsaw-slinging,on 7/9 my buddy Chad and I were able to get all the way up to where the road T's and you can go either to Tilly Jane or Cloud Cap. We camped there for the night then up to Langille Crags the next day where we camped again ('cause we're slack) then climbed up the Sunshine Route the next day and descended the South Side. The clear road made the approach soooo much better. The Jerk, you rock. Thanks again!

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LOL Thanks Jimmy. As of last weekend the road is open all the way to Cloud Cap now. The Tilly Jane road was still blocked.

Great job on the Sunshine Route!

 

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Is the Sunshine route skiable from the summit?

 

unless you like hopping over bergschrunds and stuff like that, no.

 

BTW, I found that the snow, even when "soft" was very runneled out and had the beginnings of "large" sun cups, that made my decent shitty. Your mileage might vary.

 

Here is a pic from snowdome....

 

IMG_0116.jpg

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As of yesterday, the route still will go straight up past Horseshoe Rock as well as with an interesting traverse. We were a party of 4, 2 teams of 2, and one team did each option. There was another party in front of us which had turned around from the traverse as well as another after us which followed our tracks up.

 

We had to drop into the crevasse under Horseshoe Rock to cross it and move more out toward the upper Eliot. Once out there we dropped in, crossed it and climbed the uphill side face (~25'). We took ice tools and I was happy we did and used them as such. As soon as I say you need two tools on it someone will go get it with a single alpine axe. I would have done the traverse if we weren't geared for it.

 

Our route in red over Frikadeller's pic. For the party interested in skiing from the summit, wait til next year as there's virtually NO SNOW on the top of the mountain. It looked like a beach.

 

IMG_0116a.JPG

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looking for updated info on the sunshine route. did anyone climb it successfully this weekend? what is the rockfall like on the sunshine route, i know it is getting pretty bad elsewhere on the mountain, but how is it on this route?

our condolences go to the family of the climber who died this weekend. we will be praying for you!

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The post above yours was the route we took Sat morning, 7/26.

 

My advice is to bring two tools. There's a schrund which you'll need to cross and we did so via climbing in, across and up the uphill wall. It was similar to cragging on the Eliot, not a huge pitch but instead of dinner plating ice it was a mix of solid fern/plastic glacier ice. Tools stuck well and it was maybe 25' to top out.

 

If you're not comfortable with that, the traverse option worked as well, but it was a long way around and the ramp was small and likely smaller by now.

 

As a consideration, I would HIGHLY recommend descending the South Side. Even though our car was back at Cloud Cap, we decided to anyway, unaware of what was happening on Cooper Spur as we did. My heart goes out to the family. I try to climb with my dad at least once a year and this would be devastating. Once we made the first remotely committing move, I mentally accepted we'd be hitching a ride around the mountain to the car.

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by committing move, are you talking about the climb over the berg? what is the rockfall potential on this route? ive been on the eliott glacier a few times, we do an annual rescue practice up there, but i've never climbed the sunshine before. From all the pics, and beta i've gathered, there doesn't appear to be any significant rockfall areas. By that I mean it doesnt appear that there are long walls and cliffs of rock above the route.

im ok with climbing the berg, just dont want to get hit by a bus on the way!

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i read about it. they were decending cooper spur when it happened though. i know that is a high rockfall area, it has a couple thousand feet of steep, loose rock on it.

im curious as to the sunshine route.

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Godskid5, the only way you will know, is if you just drive up there, and hike the ridge, and look for your self.

 

Sorry, not trying to be mean, but it always seems like you are looking for beta, but you never have any beta to report back.

 

Sure conditions change rapidly. Thats the nature of the mountains. Do yourself a favor, and get your shit together, and go try the Sunshine route this weekend. Be prepared to climb a few schrunds. Be prepared to cross a few snow bridges. (My partner fell into a crevasse two weeks ago on the lower Elliot), and have a car shuttle set up, because decent down cooper spur is not good right now.

 

As a matter of fact, no alpine route is "in" right now.

 

Go kayaking instead.

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ha! i've done a lot of white water rafting, so i figured id try kayaking a few years ago. the guys on tv make it look so easy, and i raft alot, so how hard could it be right? i tried it, no class, no one with experience to show me. went on a pretty small river, the upper kalama during late spring, bout killed myself! found out just how different rafting and kayaking are!

My climbing partner is worried about doing hood right now due to all the rock, and im getting there with the doc who just got killed. the only thing i've climbed this late in the year are walk ups, like st helens and south sister.

your right though, one guy can say its super safe, but yet it can change, or i see it differently, so we'll just need to go and see.

its next weekend. and one more thing, why a shuttle, is decent back down sunshine not a good thing?

i will try to post more beta in future. you are right, i don't tend to post much!

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by committing move, are you talking about the climb over the berg? what is the rockfall potential on this route? ive been on the eliott glacier a few times, we do an annual rescue practice up there, but i've never climbed the sunshine before. From all the pics, and beta i've gathered, there doesn't appear to be any significant rockfall areas. By that I mean it doesnt appear that there are long walls and cliffs of rock above the route.

im ok with climbing the berg, just dont want to get hit by a bus on the way!

 

It doesn't take a bus to bring you down.

 

Look at the pic. Anywhere there is brown above you, there is a rockfall potential. Anywhere there is white above you there is ice- or snow cookie-fall potential.

 

FWIW, I considered the crossing of the lower developing schrund at Anderson Rock (the lower rock in the pic) as a mildly committing move. It was clearly reversable, though my preference was not to try it. The slope gradient starts to increase from there.

 

Our majorly committing move was crossing the Horseshoe Rock schrund. Yours may be different.

 

To get to weakness in its upper wall, we had to traverse slightly out to the Eliot. This was also a nearly vertical pitch of potentially variable snow, or at least of unknown quality. It held tools til the top, where it got soft and required some excavation to get good feet for the transition over the lip.

 

Regardless if there's white or brown above you, there is always some sort of noise echoing off the Eliot Headwall at this time of year. There was boot track which made a level traverse of the upper Eliot to the climber's left side which looked very stable and much more amenable to a crevasse-free path to the summit ridge. When we were about halfway between Anderson and Horseshoe Rocks I watched a big-screen TV rock roll right across this track. You can see how that affected our route.

 

The best thing would be to prepare yourself however you consider appropriate (both from a gear carried and a support- ie shuttle- standpoint) and head up as far as you feel comfortable. If you're skilled and comfortable crossing and possibly descending the Eliot, go at least that far. Snowdome was in good shape when we were on it but it can develop glide cracks as it melts.

 

By the time you get to the top of Snowdome you're likely to have a very good assessment of your ability and desire to continue up. You are fairly removed from rockfall hazards until the top of Snowdome so the objective hazards felt manageable.

 

My advice is pretty straightforward. If it's in your comfort zone, plan appropriately and give it a shot. Don't be afraid, ashamed, etc... to turn around for any reason. I've done it. This was my third or fourth time to the top of Snowdome. It's work to get there but my objective is to make the parking lot, not the summit.

 

I was also much happier to scrounge for a ride back to Cloud Cap and whatever variables that might bring than to descend the Spur. Our route was irreversably soft by the time we topped out and I had no intention of descending it.

 

Chris

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And for anyone wondering what the summit looks like right now, from KGW:

 

001-h-summit5w.jpg

 

This is Queen's Chair with the topout of Sunshine (left snowslope with crevasses), Sandy Gla HW (snow triangle in middle of pic), Yokum Ridge (heading out of the pic to the right) and Leutholds Couloir (entering from bottom right)

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Godskid5--

When I was on the Sunshine Route on 7/11 the main rockfall danger was (obviously) from Anderson and Horseshoe Rocks. We skirted to the right of Anderson Rock and had to cross a 10-20 foot wide bowling alley of rocks coming down from Horseshoe-- you can see this in the above photos as a brown line to the right of Anderson Rock. In my opinion it's too late to climb Sunshine this year, but that's just me-- it was my first time on the route. Also, after looking down the route, I would not want to descend it. The snow gets soft, the rock rain increases and the run-outs looked pretty bad to me. I was really happy to go down the South Side.

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These old eyes aren't what they used to be, but isn't the above pic from Cooper Spur?

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jimmy,

thanks man. really appreciate the info. were going to be doing some crevasse rescue practice on the Eliot next Sunday, our plan was to head up and camp on the snow dome, then get up early and climb Monday night. but with the way you described it, and from what i remember of all the rock coming off the summit last year we did this, i think we will call it a day and not climb. we'll go ahead and wait until things get a little snow covered and frozen over before attempting it.

 

thanks again!

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Check the thread/TR about the black spider route on hood. There was a post there that said the berg on Sunshine was fully open and not passable, they got to 10,000 feet and turned around. I just spent 4 days on the N. side of Hood. Came off last Friday the 25th. The roads to Cloud Cap and Tilly Jane are both open (thanks for the clearing Jerk). Its looking sparse out there. Lots of open crevasses, lots of rock fall. The elliot drainage is also not fun to cross down low. Good luck if you go. I wouldn't be overly optimistic about a summit on Sunshine this late in the season. The good news, I didn't see another soul except for my climbing partner for 4 days... a rare situation on Hood! Have fun though.

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These old eyes aren't what they used to be, but isn't the above pic from Cooper Spur?

 

Nope, but I can see why you might want to think so.

 

Pretty sure it's Queen's Chair as described (topout of Sunshine on left snowslope with crevasses, Sandy Gla HW, Yokum Ridge, and Leutholds Couloir from left to right). We were just there last weekend. The gendarme column above the Eliot is a definitive clue.

 

The berg *is* completely open but if you really want it, it'd be possible to negotiate (we did so by climbing into, across and up the other side). You will need to assess the objective hazards along the way and when you get there. Don't be afraid to try and fail, just make sure your priorities and decision making keep you safe.

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