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cameronius

Mt. Hood December Attempt.

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Hey everyone,

 

I'm heading to Portland in early December to attempt Mt. Hood via the South Route. I have winter experience in the NH White Mountains but this will be my first time to the Northwest and Mt. Hood and I'm hoping to make it a good one. I will be with a partner who also has winter experience. We're planning an alpine start to hit the top and get down before sunset (if possible).

 

A few questions for anyone who has done Hood in early December or has something to share:

 

1. Will the mountain be crowded or will I be completely alone and kicking out the snow in Dec?

2. Do I need to be roped on a South Route attempt? I've gotten mixed reviews from different climbers and while I'm not planning on it, let me know if this is a bad plan.

3. Aside from the normal preparations for a winter/alpine ascent, is there anything unusual or important to know about Hood or the Cascades in December? My understanding is that rockfall is less likely but storms have a greater chance of mucking things up.

 

Thanks everyone. I apologize if the questions seem naive, but better safe than sorry in my book.

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1. Will the mountain be crowded or will I be completely alone and kicking out the snow in Dec?

 

The standard route climbs through a ski resort. If you have good weather and conditions, I doubt you will be alone.

 

2. Do I need to be roped on a South Route attempt? I've gotten mixed reviews from different climbers and while I'm not planning on it, let me know if this is a bad plan.

 

I have never been roped while climbing or descending the South Side.

 

3. Aside from the normal preparations for a winter/alpine ascent, is there anything unusual or important to know about Hood or the Cascades in December? My understanding is that rockfall is less likely but storms have a greater chance of mucking things up.

 

Watch the weather, it will come from the South so you should see it coming. If the weather is starting to get bad, go home. Do not climb into a storm. Taking compass bearings or using a GPS to get yourself back down in a white out is a good idea.

 

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I'm no Hood expert, but I've been up on it in winter before. Check conditions before you're out here cause right now its pretty barren. 5 weeks of snow and freeze-thaw cycles might give you something to work with up there.

 

1. If its during the week, you'll be alone once you get above the resort. Plus, you probably won't see anyone on the slog up to the Hogsback.

 

2. The South Side is pretty devoid of crevasses, but there's a berg at the end of the Hogsback that might be covered with loose powdery snow in early Dec.

 

3. Like danielpatricksmith said, get some GPS or compass bearings for Timberline so if there's a storm you can get down fine. Don't just go downhill cause it'll cliff out after a long while.

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watch out for the weather!!! Don't go up if things don't look perfect. Winter storms can be very bad.

 

hood SS is high traffic route, if weather is good you will have others on route. Rope, you don't need.

 

 

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Thanks a lot for the advice. I really appreciate it. Just one final question if anyone is still checking this thread:

 

Going up through the Pearly Gates chute looks pretty steep and since I'm not planning to bring ropes is this reasonable to attempt with axe/crampons in the winter and if not, is there an alternative route to the summit plateau?

 

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It is steep, but not more than 50 degrees. Crampons and an ax will do just fine if you are confident in their use. The last pictures that I saw showed the gates as super barren. The rock up there is crap so personally I would not go that way unless its snow and ice (and skiable :tup: ) If you are looking at the summit from the Hogsback on the left is the Mazama chute. It is much more mellow of a chute than the gates are. If the gates are rock I wouldn't touch 'em, I also heard there were a few little cracks up towards the Mazama chute though... So be careful.

Here is a photo of me skiing it in June.

 

ThomasshredsHood.JPG

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There is an alternate to the Pearly Gates to climbers left.

 

Yup...we took that one last June. It seemed a little wider but steeper imo. Looks like a fun board or ski! Unless it's really icy like our conditions were then it takes a better skiier/boarder than I...

Edited by Braydon

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