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KirkW

Mt Hood

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I thought I'd cautiously appeal to the wisdom of the crowd in deciding whether do drive up to Hood from Eugene for a Sunday summit attempt with a possible ski descent. The weather looks quite nice on Sunday, but I'm deeply worried about the possibility of a big fat storm slab forming on the Old Chute during Friday's storm. It looks like that snow should be accompanied by strong winds out of the west, so I imagine the chute itself at least won't be wind loaded? Worse still, it will be warming up rapidly on Sunday, but I at least imagine that I can make the summit around dawn and avoid melt-triggered slides.

 

I feel like I'm competent enough to dig a pit and decide on my overall likelihood of killing myself up there but I'd rather only go all of the way up there if I felt like there was a decent chance of the entire route being safe to the summit, otherwise I'll look for a place to ski closer to home.

 

Finally, if I wanted to judge snow conditions on the old chute, does anyone know of a good place to dig a pit that is representative but not exposed? Is there a standard spot people look or not so much?

 

Thanks and any advice is appreciated including telling me I'm stupid if I deserve it.

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I think you're dialed in and good. Sunday does look good and I expect it to be somewhat busy up there. Would you consider climbing up and down in the PG and skiing from the hogsback? Still a good ski and minimal exposure there to avalanche concerns (mostly lee of crater rock).

 

Maritime storm snow generally settles pretty quickly.. seems like greater snow is falling right now through Thursday than Friday-Sat window.

 

Pit: top of hogsback (where it terminates, not where people chill) is not a bad place, assuming you're not digging into the covered bergschrund. I've done one there I believe.

 

 

If you'd like, I can tell you that you're stupid, but I don't believe it is warranted.

 

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Hey Buckshot,

 

I recently climbed the cliffs in mid-Feb. Plenty of snow coverage so I'd say it's doable in April if the weather doesn't become super warm. Just make sure to go on a cold day as we were pounded with ice fall all day when it was right above freezing. Fun route!

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I have a question about snowboarding down. I climbed hood last Saturday morning and realized how much walking down from the Palmer lift sucks. I'm not a great snowboarder but have the ability to board down from the lift but not all the way from crater rock. Is it safe to leave my board and boots at the top of the lift on my way up? I can't imagine someone would steal it.

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not to cajole you into doing something unsafe, but if you were to wait for the sun to soften things up (aka around noon) you would probably be able to board down from crater rock under 'spring' conditions (aka uniform corn snow...not early winter chickenheads or variable windpack and powder pockets, etc).

 

but you are correct it really sucks to walk down. Lots of people stash their board or skis above palmer. Thing is leave it well above the lift/cat track. If you leave it right there someone could easily take it and more likely the snowcat might plow it under while doing work. Just go about 100ft above to one of the first rime/rock outcroppings--generally find that a good place to stash.

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I'm sure I could board down from crater rock with soft snow. I was thinking about leaving it at the Palmer lift just so I don't have to haul snowboard boots up to crater rock. Does anyone have experience snowboarding in Nepal Evo's or would that be a bad idea?

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I was up there mid-winter last year on a real nice day and someone lifted an apparently pretty nice new snowboard right off of the hogsback while the owner was on the summit. It was apparently dug in pretty well and very unlikely it got dislodged and slid away...

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Does anyone have any current beta on Devil's Kitchen headwall? Thinking of going up next weekend.

 

Thanks!

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Alpenglow18-

 

I went up with two others on April 20th. First time up, so I don't have much to compare it to. The hogsback drops you off directly under the pearly gates. No sign of the bergschrund. We ascended and descended the left chute (as did all the other climbers). The snow was hard and made for good climbing; there were also some good kick steps. The chute gets a bit steeper and narrower about halfway up, but nothing too crazy. We had planned to descend via old chute but my partner couldn't get good traction so went back the way we came (I saw two skiiers descend via old chute, so we may just be gumbies). Having a second tool made the descent less terrifying, notwithstanding the chastising from an older man for downclimbing. We were the first to summit at 6ish. There was already some noticeable icefall on the left chute before the sun hit, but that was a very warm day. Good stuff.

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Lucas Norris - thanks for the info. Don't sweat downclimbing / using two tools. Whatever feels right for you.

 

Did you guys rope going up from the Hogsback? Were many others?

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Punched through this yesterday at about 8850', maybe 50m west of the convex between Palmer and White River glaciers...

 

IMG_2910_1_.JPG

 

lateral crack.. don't know how deep, but definitely deep and wide enough to swallow me up, if my hips/pack/one leg hadn't snagged me at the surface

 

After extracting myself, I noted the depression runs at least 50' upslope, with very faint cracks visible here and there. In a week, it'll probably visible enough to stay the fuck away from it, but if we get any more snow it'll cover up again

 

so stay the hell away from ye ol' White River. I didn't think I was anywhere near where cracks usually open up, or I wouldn't have been there.. solo.

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Glad you got hung up before you bought the farm!

 

I think we've chatted a bit about it on here and I know I've traded some posts with Water about it for sure but more and more this is why I rope up on the White River and the Reid these days as a default.

 

How the heck is that thing not buried deep right now?? I'm not picturing exactly where you were but I would have probably crossed solo without thinking too much about it, especially close to that big hogsback type of feature that starts up closer to triangle moraine.

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this could be from a rock-band that melted out when it was practically late may conditions back in mid/early april that then filled back in with wind deposition in sort of a snowbridge manner? Definitely not a crevasse in traditional sense, but sounds like it could mess someone up. Could be from warm water flowing underneath (WAG)?

 

I mean.. palmer isn't really a glacier anymore, it's a snowfield..correct? And white river glacier absolutely does not extend anywhere west of the ridge that terminates atop triangle moraine/SE base of crater rock. You'd have to go downhill to the east before encountering any glacier.

 

Check this image from last summer's melt-out. above palmer there isn't anything that could arguably be considered a glacier until you get east of the ridgeline or about equal with crater rock.

 

Screen-Shot-2015-09-24-at-1.49.28-PM.png

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Screen-Shot-2015-09-24-at-1_49_28-PM.png

 

Yellow line is my guestimation of my crack location

 

Whether it's pre-glacial snowpack sliding or actual glacial crack - either way, stay the hell away from it.

 

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Wow, I was imaging you off to the right on the actual glacier where you can see some knarly stuff in that photo! No way would I expect anything like that in the vicinity.

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this could be from a rock-band that melted out when it was practically late may conditions back in mid/early april that then filled back in with wind deposition in sort of a snowbridge manner? Definitely not a crevasse in traditional sense, but sounds like it could mess someone up. Could be from warm water flowing underneath (WAG)?

 

 

This sounds like the most plausible to me. Just above that yellow line is where there are a series of rock formations (moraine) that tend to become more exposed as the weather warms. I can't imagine this being anything else.

 

 

A little disconcerting in any case...

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How is the South Side route looking this year? I am taking a first timer up tomorrow night, and was hoping for a fairly mellow climb. I have not done it for 16 years and have heard the route has changed. Any information or expert advice would be much appreciated. This guy has a done few climbs on snow and a lot of rock, so this seems like a good climb to do next. Thanks, Robb

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How is the South Side route looking this year? I am taking a first timer up tomorrow night, and was hoping for a fairly mellow climb. I have not done it for 16 years and have heard the route has changed. Any information or expert advice would be much appreciated. This guy has a done few climbs on snow and a lot of rock, so this seems like a good climb to do next. Thanks, Robb

 

Most direct and easiest way to the top is the Pearly Gates at the moment. Of the two chutes around the central rock, the left chute is the easier, and that'll be obvious when you get there. The whole route, as of two weeks ago, is a maximum slope angle of 35*... easiest I've ever seen it.

 

Or you can take the right chute for a more legit climbing experience, and do varying 50-65* for 75' or so

 

Will probably be hard snow - has been warm, but it's gonna be cold for the next few days.

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