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ScaredSilly

[TR] Mt Hood - North Face Gully 7/3/2010

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Trip: Mt Hood - North Face Gully

 

Date: 7/3/2010

 

Trip Report:

Who would have thunk one could get on the north face gully on Mt Hood in July and have great conditions???

 

Wanting to avoid the south side masses and best of all learning that the road to Cloud Cap was open my partner Vince and I decided to go check out the north side of the hill. It had been over 15 years since I had driven up the road and seeing the aftermath of the fire was surprising as it was a hot one. When we arrived at Cloud Cap we were the first car there which was surprising for a Sat morning on a holiday weekend. I guess the road opening announcement had missed the masses. Soon another car pulled up with a solo climber heading to Cooper's Spur.

 

We did the usual moraine hike to gain the Elliot Galcier. We hiked to the base unroped as the cracks are well filled. At the bergshrund which was wide open we found a nice debris cone on the right side that made passing it a quite easy. Except that one had to enter the 3' deep runnel for about 10 feet. Though the runnel was quite deep there was very little rock debris just snow. Had anything come down while in the runnel it would have been instant rejection.

 

After the shrund we climbed up on firm nevé to the base of the first ice step which was still in very good shape. We quickly dispatched with it and started working our way up the main part of the gully staying to the left side. We simul climbed and placed a picket every rope length or so. After a bit we hit the second ice step which was quickly becoming rotten ice on the left side. Vince said the right was better but more exposed to sluffs coming down.

 

At the top of the slope one can go left or right around a rock buttress. We chose to go left and continued up. We found a nice spot and took a quick break before continuing up into the rocks. The last little bit was great fun we were right under the summit cornice. Though getting late in the day, now after noon the snow was still in great shape. As I climbed up I placed one last piece of pro - I clipped a runner to an old cable still tied to a block 30 feet below the summit. From there I kicked a few steps under the cornice and popped on to the summit.

 

We descended down the south side and muttered about the usual chaos - including the silly group of one crampon each. We walked back around via the Newton-Clark to the Spur making it back to the truck in just under 12 hours. No speed record in any sense but we were happy as Hood was our third Cascade peak that week and we figured that we had done over 23000 feet of up between Mount Rainier (Furher Finger) , Mount Adam (Pinnacle Headwall), and now Hood.

 

On the way down the hill I figured out that I now completed my 21th ascent of a route on a Cascade Volcano. Not bad considering that over half have come from after I moved out the PNW 25 years ago. Oh and I should add damn good for my partner Vince who is 63!!

 

Da north side:

Hood_Profile.jpg

 

The slope above the upper rock buttress:

Hood_UpperSlope.jpg

 

The slope leading up to the finial headwall:

Hood_FinialSlope.jpg

 

Coming around the summit cornice:

Hood_Summit.jpg

 

 

 

A few more images from my partner Vince:

 

Going up the first ice step:

CIMG7307.jpg

 

Based of the second ice step:

CIMG7323.jpg

 

The summit cornice looms:

CIMG7334.jpg

 

Gear Notes:

The usual - two tools, a couple of screws, two or three pickets.

 

Approach Notes:

Drive to Cloud Cap and hike from there.

Edited by ScaredSilly

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SS-

Here's your pics in their full glory. Nicely done; 3 Cascade highpoints in a week. :tup:

 

Hood_Profile.jpg

 

Hood_Summit.jpg

 

Hood_FinialSlope.jpg

 

Hood_UpperSlope.jpg

 

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Awesome stuff! You mentioned that you traversed the Newton-Clark to get back - did you get any sort of look at conditions on the Newton-Clark headwall? I'm going up to Hood this weekend with some friends and we were considering that as a possible ascent route.

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As I remember the head wall is fat as to the left of the spider was a big ole ribbon of snow coming down. Wy'east would be a cruise. The glacier does get pretty sloppy so start early - we were glad to be traversing it will a down hill slant.

 

 

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That's some great stuff! Congrats.

 

Man, given the heat, it makes you wonder if that stuff on the Spider will even want to be sticking to the wall above Newton-Clark. You guys might keep an open mind on it, and bail off to either side if you have the slightest concerns. We did get some significantly nice late snowfall above 6-7 thousand feet, but it's July now you know:-)

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Bill when we walked by the Spider I saw very little on it. I was kinda of hoping to see some bits to get an idea of the lines folks have been playing about on but no such luck.

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Did you happen to look at the Eliot HW?

Just curious in terms of the extrapolating these unbelievable conditions from the NF.

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The HW was in fine shape given the amount of snow. It was our second choice. With all of the snow it looked to be very straight forward.

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Did you happen to look at the Eliot HW?

Just curious in terms of the extrapolating these unbelievable conditions from the NF.

I was up on copper spur on 7-14 and turned around at 9500ft because I was tired and not inspired by the bottomless cream corn under a shallow, approx 4" crust, of breakable sugar and ice filo dough. Met this guy at 8400ft at 230am on his way up while I was heading down. He was going over the top and down to timberline lodge to pick up his bicycle and ride back to the north side to get his car: he said he was 59 y/o and does not do social climbing internet; but was very friendly. He said He had had trouble finding partners in the past and mostly solos. I far as I could tell by his headlight he had moved lightening fast up to where i met him. I checked on his progress as I headed back to camp at 5800 ft. The conditions may have slowed his progress because at 430 am it seemed like he still had 1000ft, or more, to go to the summit. I moved my camp to the base of the snow dome and headed up at 230 am the next day only to get shut down by fatigue and even worse surface conditions at about 9200ft- I just didn't have what it takes to go on: energy, confidence. I am no expert but the surface conditions and what was underneath it did not seem good for someone of my level, or lack of, recent experience.

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