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chris_heiser

Sunshine Route?

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Read "Oregon High" by Jeff Thomas

Its a grade II climb. Start at Tilly Jane Cameground, cross the eliot glacier, up the snow dome to cathedral ridge and up to the summit. As any route on Hood go earlier than later in the season to avoid rock fall, and a large schrund can be difficult to cross late in the season (the route is in the sun all day). 10 miles rt.hood-n.gif

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chris, its technically very easy - a few crevasses, a big bergschrund, a brief knife edge rigde to the summit, thats about it. A good time of year to do it would be June, July, something like that..

Alex

[ 02-25-2002: Message edited by: Alex ]

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Alex is correct. Since your responding in the Newbie section I'll give you one caution. If you decide to go in early season be roped up before you get to the first step up on the glacier. I was surprised by a hidden crevasse this winter just before the snow started dumping. Solo in the dark with a Tikka in a snowstorm is not recommended. I have yet to do this route but i hear its a fun one. Good Luck shocked.gif" border="0

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It is also long. Give yourself some time. And do yourself a favor by hauling some skis to the top of Snowdome! grin.gif" border="0

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if you've done the south side route you can think of the whole sunshine as the s. side route from the hogs back up. in late august it was dry glacier and easy routefinding and then we went up the far right of the elliott glacier headwall to the left of the real difficulties. this is a more interesting option. we had two tools and climbed unroped up some long 45-50* ice gullies with a few vertical steps of rotten water ice. i think it is more fun in late season (never done it earlier) since it is icy rather than snowy. i would do it again.

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Chris,

The above comments are accurate. It's a good moderate climb if you're ready to move beyond the south side route. Frankly, the diceiest part of the trip can be the descent of upper cooper spur in the afternoon mush. We ended up dodging football size rocks loosened by sun and also some dislodged by parties above us. I think if I went again I'd give some thought to a south side descent and arrange a pick up at timberline. Plus it's kinda cool to traverse the mountain.

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Be aware that the road to Tilly Jane Campground or Cloud Cap Inn is not open until later like June or July. Before then, you will start some 2-3k ' lower on the mountain making it more like a two day. Also, last July 3 the bridge over the Elliot glacier runoff creek (can't remember the name)was out but there was a place to jump rocks across (though in the dark we didn't find it till on the way down).

Last July 3 I found the snow dome (9k') riddled with crevasses and some were covered over with no depression other than a solitary 24" dia hole with some tracks leading to and from the spot.mmm...

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Oldclimber makes a good observation. Descent of upper Cooper Spur in mushy conditions (late morning/early afternoon in June/July) is to be avoided. Postholing where a slip will drop you down Pioneer's trail onto the upper Elliot G makes you wonder a bit that maybe a S. Side descent might be ok. Classic Sunshine route IMHO goes left of Horseshoe Rock (visible where route furthest in right of photo branches just below Cathedral Ridge in picture posted by Chris Heiser). A good start to the route is to access via ascent of the morraines west of the lower icefall.

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Is it possible to descend the Sunshine route instead of the South Side or Cooper Spur?

Craig

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quote:

Originally posted by CraigA:
Is it possible to descend the Sunshine route instead of the South Side or Cooper Spur?

Craig

yes.

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The ease of the Sunshine route depends on how early you go. Six years ago it was a cruise. It's gotten more and more difficult since 1996 when the glaciers on Hood (and elsewhere) have become more broken up. I ski Snow Dome every June and July. I "accidentally" found a crevasse on the Dome last early July - so go earlier than later. Two tools may be desirable later than June as the 'shrund above the "dome" and Coe Gl. can get ugly in July and August. Cross on the Elliot on the Timberline Trail and head up the west side of the Elliot on the moraine - should be good this year with the current snowpack. Descending via the route may be okay prior to early June (depending on precip this year); however, you may need to rappel a shrund on the descent, so you might want to leave the south side traverse option open. Good Luck. It's a nice route.

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