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[TR] Mt. Hood - Eliot ice cragging + Ski + Rehab 2/7/2010


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Trip: Mt. Hood - Eliot ice cragging + Ski + Rehab


Date: 2/7/2010


Trip Report:

My long-time friend (OlegV on here) has decided that the time finally came for him to try out his leg in front pointing on vertical ice. After all, the leg was a reconstruction masterpiece with all possible types of metal hardware put in it after he suffered major open fractures and all the works in a car-bike accident.


The plan was born to head up to the Eliot glacier seracs for some ice “cragging”. After having climbed the North Face of Hood through and through, Oleg was confident that getting to the upper Eliot from the closed gate at the Cloud Cap road is going to take a couple of hours. This is where he proved himself wrong. My slow ass does not run ultra marathons with 50 lb “training” packs and skis on the regular basis the way he does. But to make him feel better I did carry one like that while skinning up the approach.


On the approach to the Tilly Jane:




By 9 a.m. we reached the cabin where we had breakfast


Tilly Jane cabin in winter:





and then continued up to the Cooper Spur where I stashed my skis and we dropped down to the Eliot. Knee-deep postholing was in order.


North Face, Cooper Spur, Eliot and Oleg:



Upper Eliot seracs:




Ice on the CSs drop offs was not in but the serac field on the upper Eliot looked temptingly blue and this is where we headed to. The optical illusion of them being 30 min away ended in us approaching the base of the perfect avy-prone slope and then realizing that we are looking at another 800 vertical feet before we can even get to the first set of seracs. And sure enough, the avy-prone slope did have a recent avy debris trail right in the middle of it.


Being reluctant to dig the pit, we geared up for the crevasse rescue and traversed eastwards across the Eliot to the lower seracs. We rapped off the two screws down to the serac field that took some time to explore. The exploring however involved crossing snow bridges over the crevasses but luckily they were more solid than not.


Rapping down to the lower Eliot:



Lower Eliot Seracs:




The ice was dry and brittle like one I found in Hyalite canyon at -14F and needed a few whacks to get good sticks. Oh well, but it was better than nothing. We climbed a few lines of different angles and some overhanging blocks. Then I went up to clean the screws and downclimbed the other side of the serac where I fell into the crevasse.


In the meantime, Oleg found a sweet terrain park of ice features that we surely had to get on.


Ice features:






The sun was going down way too soon, so we bailed, headed up to the CS and skied down or not the approach back to the parking lot in the dark.


Overall, it was a good day to celebrate Oleg’s recovery.


NB: O/N bivy on the Eliot is recommended to enjoy an entire day of “cragging” rather than suffering a total 15 miles approach c-to-c.




Gear Notes:

15 screws (used 4), screamers, CR gear (used), 3 pickets (not used)


Approach Notes:


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