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[TR] Mt. Hood - N/NE face 6/27/2010

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Trip: Mt. Hood - N/NE face


Date: 6/27/2010


Trip Report:

I've had my eye on the north side of Hood for several springs now, and not meeting my goal to ski it becasue of the usual impediments to a successful steep skiing venture -- weather, doubt, conditions, etc... had started to wear on my stoke, but yesterday me and John Plotz climbed and skiied it in good form.

Cloud Cap road was still closed at the gate, so we started from the Tilly Jane TH in the early morning. As we were leaving, we bumped into a group of climbers returning from their climb. "we turned around at 2am on snowdome 'cause we were postholeing to our knees" was what they said. John and I had drivin too far to not at least go for a little hike and check conditions out for ourselves, but the "conditions update" was disheartening and cast a sad shadow of doubt over our mood on the approach, this however melted away with the bloom of sunrise, and an approach trail through recent burn and blossoming beargrass illuminated with changing tones of violet and pink light.

We met continuous snow just past the cloudcap trail junction, and before we knew it - we were charging up towrds the Cooper Spur on consolidated snow! The snow remained consolidated to varrying degrees on the moraine leading to the base of the Cooper Spur, there were some softer spots, but nothing like the conitions the retreating group had spoke of.

As the slope steepened, we traversed out to the right to gain the N/NE face, the angle and exposure increased, and we booted up generally finding softening snow over an icyish layer. After a short gully a small traverse brought us into the upper left gully proper, and we made the summit without encountering any rockfall or nastyness.

The summit was breezy and surpriseingly we saw only a couple other people. The lifts and ski trails were buzzing with buisiness to the south, volcanoes in idiylic spring conditions to the north, low wafting orographic clouds to the east, ahh what a day to be up there.

I was super stoked to be dropping a line that has haunted me for years - everything felt rigt. Ski conditions were pretty damn good, there was a bit of an underlying ice crust, and we had to be smart about sluff control, as the thin soft layer slid with ease -- quickly gaining power, size and speed. Bueatiful exposed turns on soft sunny snow through interesting terrain features led to the lower face, where we opened up a bit more and got some bigger faster turns -- soo good. Skiing past the bergshrund required care since there were numerous stacked and hidden cracks, then we ripped the glacier and were on the moraine smileing and admireing our line in no time. We could ski back to the "theater" near the campground.


My pictures really suck, but I think John got some good action shots.


the line



John Plotz - stoked!



Plotz shredding



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Thanks Dan for an outstanding descent!


Additional Porn:


The slog up the moraine.



The upper the face. Summit is just behind the cornice above.



Dan getting ready to carve up the upper Spur.



Committing to the N/NE Face.



Confident turns on inspiring snow.



Reflecting half way down on a real classic!



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