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KirkW

Mt Hood

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This was posted on NWAC this morning:

“Warning = Extreme or high avalanche danger occurring or expected to occur within 12 hours: …at or below 5000 feet in the Mt. Hood Area.”

Steep slushy snow is always a concern, but there is none below 5000’ on south side Hood if you follow the climbers’ route. I have seen people walk straight up Salmon River canyon (a terrain trap not on the climber’s trail) from the upper lot which is foolishness when avy danger exists, so that is the only area where someone might get in trouble attempting south side right now. If you are not comfortable/experienced assessing snow conditions then stay away from any steep areas when the snow is soft and slushy. It is true that as the season progresses the entire snowpack becomes more stable, but avalanches can still happen on steep snow when it's warm. One of the largest avalanches ever to occur in the PNW occurred on Mt. Adams in August on the west side in afternoon sun.

 

we run into a party of 15 tourists from Indiana who arrived at the summit at 2 pm. In tropical temps of 40F.

I don't think the poster was necessarily inferring that this party was a model for good decision making.

Edited by pcg

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That's the only place it occurs. Specific Hood forecast is no longer being updated for this season.

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Went up through the gates (left) last Saturday the 12th of May.

The shrund had a bridge in the middle so went straight up the Hogs Back then traversed over to the Pearly Gates. A couple other groups ahead were going the Old Chute route so wanted to avoid the fall line.

The traverse was hard pack/ice with very little steps for about 20 yards so I placed 3 pickets until we were under the Gates where the steps got bigger. I haven't seen the left/West Gate open (looking up) for several years due to ice but this year is nice with only about a 15ft section of blue ice, an axe and a tool is what the three of us used and were thankful to have something in both hands. I also placed two ice screws (had 3) but there were others that had a guide that climbed up first and belayed from above. The three of us simi climbed up through using a running belay.

Went back down the same way belaying my two climbers from above the ice patch down to a nice shelf that has an overhang you can protect under if desired.

There was no falling ice or rock at least up until we left the area around 9AM.

Pics can be had at two locations

 

https://picasaweb.google.com/100708915293213926786/MtHoodClimb

 

 

 

 

Cheers and headin back on June 2nd

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pcg: I don't mean to nit pick but... if it is only found on the legend..the legend is a static bit of information, no? or did they actually update that today? I realize NWAC stopped their official forecast in April. Sorry for confusion..

 

"This is such a special forecast for the period Friday through Monday, May 11-14, 2012, and will be updated as conditions warrant."

 

According to the legend below the special forecast doesn't meet warning or watch criteria. :crosseye: semantics?

 

Danger Scale Legend

5 = Extreme avalanche danger

4 = High avalanche danger

3 = Considerable avalanche danger

2 = Moderate avalanche danger

1 = Low avalanche danger

 

Warning = Extreme or high avalanche danger occurring or expected to occur within 12 hours: at or below 4000 feet in the Olympics and/or WA Cascades; at or below 5000 feet in the Mt. Hood Area.

 

Watch = Warning conditions expected within 12-48 hours.

 

Special Conditions = Unusual conditions meriting special attention that do not meet Watch or Warning criteria.

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Yes, you are correct. I went back and reread and the special warning was NOT updated this morning, but extends through this afternoon.

 

 

Edited by pcg

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I've been eager to climb Cathedral Ridge for some time now, and still haven't a real idea of when I'll get up there, or if I'll get make it up that way this year, but I did manage to scout out a bit of that region yesterday.

 

Road 1828 is snow free up until two miles from the Top Spur trail head. From there I parked and hiked my way up, although it will likely melt out completely in a few weeks. The trail itself is well buried initially, but if you ascend Bald Mnt. it is snow free from there down to the valley - however I am uncertain about the McNeil Point trail. Overall route finding is simple.

 

And as the pictures reveal the Sandy Berg is opening, an avalanche came off the upper Sandy along with one on the west side of Illumination, but nothing else major. I wanted to get up closer to the waterfalls, but alas time ran out. Anyone ever climb the gullies around the falls off to the right there?

 

topspur01.jpg

 

topspur02.jpg

 

topspur03.jpg

 

topspur04.jpg

 

topspur05.jpg

 

topspur06.jpg

 

topspur07.jpg

 

topspur08.jpg

 

topspur09.jpg

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Nice shot of the SGH. As of 19 May, the headwall is in great shape, firm nevé with some ice in around the pinch. The traverse over from Illumination Saddle is also in fine shape with only one minor crack to worry about - just as you descend onto the Sandy Glacier proper. The same can be said for Leuthod's Couloir, which we did the day before - nice firm nevé. All other cracks on both the Reid and Sandy Galciers can currently be avoided very easily.

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the 'schrund below the n face currently in skeery condition - the right side now overhanging slush w/ essentially nothign to stand on to try to traverse around...

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the 'schrund below the n face currently in skeery condition - the right side now overhanging slush w/ essentially nothign to stand on to try to traverse around...

I am still waiting on those pics from you :)

Oh, and thanks for catching my ass in there.

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I am still waiting on those pics from you :)

Oh, and thanks for catching my ass in there.

ask and ye shall receive...

hanging from a rope and a bit of elastic...

schrund1.jpg

bit of bullshit below

schrund2.jpg

what is above must come down

schrund3.jpg

Don't Fuck w/ the Man w/ No Eyes

schrund4.jpg

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That is some serious ornamentation going on here, looks much worse than I remember :)

Hands were more useful than the Nomics.

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Anybody know the status of the Cloud Cap road? Worth it or even able to drive partway up, or just start out with the TJT from the bottom to get to Sunshine?

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Still gated as of 5/28/12

 

Attached (hopefully) are photos from Sunshine and the Eliot. Bare ground almost all the way up to Tilly Jane. Snow from there to the moraine.

 

The bergschrund was quite filled in and very straightforward to cross just left of Horseshoe (Second photo).

 

2012-05_Hood_026.jpg2012-05_Hood_022.jpg

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What are the south route (old chute) conditions like at this point in the season? I'd been planning to climb it the last three weeks and have had to cancel all three trips. Should it still be good for, say, the next couple weeks? I've had climbers telling me they wouldn't do it from mid-June on, and others saying that even up through mid-July is fine, so I'm trying to find out what the current conditions are like. Thanks.

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What are the south route (old chute) conditions like at this point in the season? I'd been planning to climb it the last three weeks and have had to cancel all three trips. Should it still be good for, say, the next couple weeks? I've had climbers telling me they wouldn't do it from mid-June on, and others saying that even up through mid-July is fine, so I'm trying to find out what the current conditions are like. Thanks.

 

I think this year will be pretty similar to last year, given similar snowfall totals and late storms. People were climbing well into late summer, and I climbed it in the last week of August.. Rockfall hazard goes way up, but that doesn't necessarily mean the mountain is closed or anything. Just keep your head up. Right now, I'd imagine it's still pretty mid-springish up there.

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The late/heavier snowpack this spring is only as good as the temperature, and can actually be worse if it is warm due to snow instability. Regardless of pack, this time of year hood climbers should look for trends in the weather/temps. NOAA and other sources give current and predicted temps at different elevations. So, look for freezing levels to go below 8k or 9k for a day, and climb after that. Overnight lows help, but watching the daily temp highs is probably even more important because it's the "freeze/thaw" that really creates the most hazards from falling rocks.

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So, look for freezing levels to go below 8k or 9k for a day, and climb after that. Overnight lows help, but watching the daily temp highs is probably even more important because it's the "freeze/thaw" that really creates the most hazards from falling rocks.

 

The freezing level when I was up there yesterday was 14,000 ft. We turned back just below the hog's back. The temp there was 42F. It felt like the mountain was coming down, quite a bit of rock and ice fall all over the place.

Edited by KCM

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The freezing level when I was up there yesterday was 14,000 ft. ... It felt like the mountain was coming down

 

I too was eyeballing that via the mountain-forecast site and YET AGAIN had to bail on Cathedral Ridge due to poor timing and circumstances. Best to stay off the mountain on these days. Lame.

 

However, I did hike up a little ways yesterday and witnessed an amazing set of lenticulars over, next to and in the distances of Hood. Also ate wild Alaskan Caribou, drank a few IPA's and enjoyed a bit of Woodford Reserve while up there in celebration of the ol' 27.

 

hood-bday1.jpg

 

hood-bday2.jpg

 

hood-bday3.jpg

 

hood-bday4.jpg

 

A short time lapse of the storm is exporting now. I'll add it later.

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What's the Ol' 27?

 

'twas my day of birth.

 

... and here's that lenticular time lapse.

[video:vimeo]44328088

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nice timelapse. every 10 or 30 seconds or what for how long? on that canon ps setup of yours? very cool.

 

bahl'hornin! great IPA

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