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YocumRidge

[TR] HOOD - Cathedral Spire -"Ravine" (possible FA) 5/10/2012

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Trip: HOOD - Cathedral Spire -"Ravine" (possible FA)

 

Date: 5/10/2012

 

Trip Report:

WI3+, M4, grade II

 

Last week my kalifornikan friend Vitaliy Musiyenko, who drove for 11 hrs from San Francisco "to climb peaks in the PNW" with me, and I (Anastasia Blagoveshchenskaya) climbed "Ravine" on the western aspect of the Cathedral Spire on Mt. Hood. The line was originally spotted and pre-named by Wayne Wallace a couple of years ago, but remained unclimbed to our knowledge.

 

In the current conditions, we have rated it at WI3+, M4, grade II:

7201021406_e260c1b883_b.jpg

 

 

“Climbing peaks in the PNW” for Vitaliy got very quickly limited to just one - Mt. Hood, thanks to the convenient access and, for the time being, abundance of ice on the north side thereof. The plan was born to camp on the summit and make day trips for various routes.

 

 

We begun the slog to the summit at the unusual hour of Noon.

 

At the P-lot:

7184844720_373a2c7cd2_c.jpg

 

Yes, I do like my sleep in the morning if the "unusual hour of noon" is able to produce sunny skies, frigid temps in 20s F and hard snowpack. :grin:

 

 

 

Vitaliy (who never been on Hood before) was curious about the famous dog route:

7185580074_cf8560d8b5_c.jpg

 

 

At 5 p.m. , in increasing winds, we had arrived at the summit ridge and pitched in our tent between the rime feathers. At this point, it was really getting windy and I was badly dreaming of my Primaloft (as OlegV defines it, a “fish fur” :) ) pants.

 

At the camp:

7186107176_c892e2fdb6_c.jpg7186116282_1caff0aafc_c.jpg7185083290_0e2d709f93_c.jpg

 

 

 

When Oleg, Andy and I climbed the Eliot HW on 05/06/12, Ravine was looking very enticing, so I suggested to Vitaliy that we should go and check it out more closely. So, next morning we hiked down the Cathedral ridge to the Horseshoe rock and traversed the Eliot gl. above the shrund to the base of the Ravine.

 

At the base of the Ravine after the traverse:

7185707594_9f651e404f_b.jpg

 

Ravine (detail):

7185682070_3fecd822db_b.jpg

 

Vitaliy is heading up first 55 m pitch:

7185745548_d8c6c68440_b.jpg

 

Vitaliy at the crux:

7185805576_aff3c10c53_b.jpg

 

7185821108_23e938739b_b.jpg

 

 

 

Looking down at the shrund and our tracks above it:

7185919056_d995e5d2ac_b.jpg

 

Vitaliy coming up the second pitch to the saddle by the Cathedral Spire:

7185880056_8188c5a6c8_c.jpg

 

 

At this point we re-grouped and simul-climbed the North cleaver to the summit cornice arriving at 2 p.m. (after starting at the Horseshoe rock at 10

a.m.).

 

 

The summit cornice looms above:

7186002618_68d9ff4f48_c.jpg

 

Simuling final slopes:

7186057930_7e0574cff0_c.jpg

 

Vitaliy and the rack at the summit:

7186090288_72d42e1725_c.jpg

 

Stoked:

7185042046_5b5d0b74c1_b.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Gear Notes:

Used: 8 screws, 3 pickets, green C4, orange metolius mastercam, yellow alien, 60 m rope, 1 Nomic, 3 Cobras

 

Approach Notes:

Summit carryover

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My, but you are the busy one this spring Nastia.

 

The weekend sure turned out nice, didn't it?

 

Very nice work, happy for you.

 

d

 

Edited by dougd

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Congrats Nastia and Vitali!!! Well done. The textbook dogma that the north routes ofn Mt. Hood require long approaches is now officially broken! The North side can be climbed in a cragging style.

 

 

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North_face_exits.jpg

 

Let's discuss if the traverse to the right gulley of the NF is possible. Maybe we should install ladders or fixed ropes to climb over and rappel down the ridge?

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I think this route is in Oregon High, but maybe I remember incorrectly.

 

Your memory is correct, the route is listed in Oregon High, Route 7A: Stay close to the cleaver and gain the col behind Cathedral Spire, follow the last 500 feet of the North Face to the summit, FA Bohn, Maki, Combs 1958.

 

The ascent this week was done in much leaner conditions than previous ascents when I am sure there was much more snow in the gully. Looks like a fun couple of pitches before gaining the N. Face routes.

 

It is interesting to compare the summit cornice from two years ago versus this year:

 

 

CIMG7334.jpg

 

Above July 2010 lots of snow - below May 2012 much drier.

 

7186002618_68d9ff4f48_c.jpg

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THAT is the 7A variation of the Eliot HW, according to the Jeff Thomas depiction.

7204443532_f97e64272c_c.jpg

 

7205170604_27813837a6_h.jpg

 

"Route 7A: Stay close to the cleaver [while climbing the Eliot HW] and gain the col behind Cathedral Spire..."

 

The line we climbed was UP the Cleaver/Cathedral Spire and it cannot be seen from the vantage point shown in the Don Lowe photo. The details of the Combs et al. ascent in 1958 (published in "Letter to Author", Combs, 1985) would be however helpful to resolve this contradiction.

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I have no interest whatsoever in picking a fight but having struggled up the Eliot Glacier Headwall route many years ago from the bottom up--through the crevasses and over the yawning bergschrund and up the steep rock-scoured ice runnels and then, finally, the rock bands at the top--it seems somehow unearned to slip in from the side, zip up two pitches, and say you've climbed the same route. This seems like Eliot Glacier Headwall Lite.

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I have no interest whatsoever in picking a fight but having struggled up the Eliot Glacier Headwall route many years ago from the bottom up--through the crevasses and over the yawning bergschrund and up the steep rock-scoured ice runnels and then, finally, the rock bands at the top--it seems somehow unearned to slip in from the side, zip up two pitches, and say you've climbed the same route. This seems like Eliot Glacier Headwall Lite.

 

yeah, it doesn't "count" if you skip the snow slogging moderate slopes and just do the technical part. :rolleyes:

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7185805576_aff3c10c53_b.jpg

This is the stuff alpinists dream of. Nice work you guys/gals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by DPS

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"Route 7A: Stay close to the cleaver [while climbing the Eliot HW] and gain the col behind Cathedral Spire and follow the 500 feet of the north face"

 

The line we climbed was UP the Cleaver/Cathedral Spire and it cannot be seen from the vantage point shown in the Don Lowe photo. The details of the Combs et al. ascent in 1958 (published in "Letter to Author", Combs, 1985) would be however helpful to resolve this contradiction.

 

While it can not be seen in Jeff's book but what you climbed matches the description perfectly.

 

1. Gain the col behind Cathedral Spire - your pictures show you coming up right at the col.

 

2. Climb the last 500 feet or so of the N. Face route which dumps you right on the summit. Your summit picture that I compared to mine from 2010 is most certainly the North Face "direct" finish.

 

I say direct because where the North Face (Route 5) splits one can join Cooper Spur on the left or go right. However, above the split to go around the rock outcrop one can regain the ridge from either side and continue directly to the summit. Which what we did coming from the left and you did coming from the right.

 

So in my mind you climbed 7A albeit under lean conditions and was undoubtably different from the conditions in 1958 which would have probably been a very steep snow slope. I will also add that I think Jeff has the route (7a) drawn in a bit high.

 

In the photo shown below you topped out on the summit block which is rock out cropping on the left. In fact if you look carefully you can see the summit cornice.

 

The face to the right would have you top out approximately 50-100 meters to west of the summit. So that is something completely different and appears to me to be the top of the North Cleaver Route but seems like an odd finish as going directly to the summit like you did would make more sense.

 

7204443532_f97e64272c_c.jpg

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Thanks, Dan.

 

 

I was expecting a shit-storm on this one so I am going to respond to the psistrom's comment.

I have no interest whatsoever in picking a fight but having struggled up the Eliot Glacier Headwall route many years ago from the bottom up--through the crevasses and over the yawning bergschrund and up the steep rock-scoured ice runnels and then, finally, the rock bands at the top--it seems somehow unearned to slip in from the side, zip up two pitches, and say you've climbed the same route. This seems like Eliot Glacier Headwall Lite.

 

You are correct, that is NOT the Eliot Glacier Headwall route, "lite" or "heavy", whatever you call it, and I thought I made it clear enough to indicate in my TR. I guess not.

 

Re: the approach. Yes, we did "cheat" and slip in from the side of Cathedral ridge, because when I recently soloed the "heavy" approach, you are referring to, I thought it was not worth the time/interest to drag my friends up there. FYI, the "heavy" approach is also a famous ski destination in spring. So, should I now wait until September to make it even "heavier"?

 

 

 

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Never been on the Eliot but it doesn't look like "lite" anything to me. A fine line, well done!

 

At least you didn't bring 10 ice screws... then you'd really be in trouble.

 

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At least you didn't bring 10 ice screws... then you'd really be in trouble.

 

So true :). Well, we did use 8 screws and 2 pieces of rock pro on those two pitches. Crazy - what have we been thinking? :rolleyes:

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I have no interest whatsoever in picking a fight but having struggled up the Eliot Glacier Headwall route many years ago from the bottom up--through the crevasses and over the yawning bergschrund and up the steep rock-scoured ice runnels and then, finally, the rock bands at the top--it seems somehow unearned to slip in from the side, zip up two pitches, and say you've climbed the same route. This seems like Eliot Glacier Headwall Lite.

 

http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=411172

My first official acquaintance with Mt Hood began when I tried to climb the Sunshine and ended up on a snow part of the headwall. I actually turn around a hundred feet below the summit ridge because of ice (I had a single ice axe). Downclimbing that green line wasn’t fun – I actually nearly fell into lower crevasse. It also felt steeper and scarier than the last time we did it.

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"Route 7A: Stay close to the cleaver [while climbing the Eliot HW] and gain the col behind Cathedral Spire and follow the 500 feet of the north face"

 

The line we climbed was UP the Cleaver/Cathedral Spire and it cannot be seen from the vantage point shown in the Don Lowe photo. The details of the Combs et al. ascent in 1958 (published in "Letter to Author", Combs, 1985) would be however helpful to resolve this contradiction.

 

While it can not be seen in Jeff's book but what you climbed matches the description perfectly.

 

1. Gain the col behind Cathedral Spire - your pictures show you coming up right at the col.

 

2. Climb the last 500 feet or so of the N. Face route which dumps you right on the summit. Your summit picture that I compared to mine from 2010 is most certainly the North Face "direct" finish.

 

I say direct because where the North Face (Route 5) splits one can join Cooper Spur on the left or go right. However, above the split to go around the rock outcrop one can regain the ridge from either side and continue directly to the summit. Which what we did coming from the left and you did coming from the right.

 

So in my mind you climbed 7A albeit under lean conditions and was undoubtably different from the conditions in 1958 which would have probably been a very steep snow slope. I will also add that I think Jeff has the route (7a) drawn in a bit high.

 

In the photo shown below you topped out on the summit block which is rock out cropping on the left. In fact if you look carefully you can see the summit cornice.

 

The face to the right would have you top out approximately 50-100 meters to west of the summit. So that is something completely different and appears to me to be the top of the North Cleaver Route but seems like an odd finish as going directly to the summit like you did would make more sense.

 

 

 

That is the standard easterly variation of the Eliot HW which is also indicated as a "7A" in the Jeff's pic and which was 200 m west from the line we were on.

7204443532_f97e64272c_c.jpg

 

 

The "7A" route description given in Ore High, as based on the Combs et al. ascent in 1958, seems to refer to a different route all together which might or might not be the Ravine.

 

We were specifically interested in (and climbed) the obvious ice flow along the Cathedral spire followed by the exit at the col and then finished via whatever was the most straightforward way getting to the summit, i.e. continuing up the north cleaver for a while and taking the standard direct NF exit through the cornice.

 

 

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I see what your are saying. The route 7A drawing does not match the 7A description very well. Whereas your route match the description perfectly. Jeff does a very good of getting the description correct. As such, I would put more weight on it and venture to say that the way is is drawn is not correct as it is too high. Especially, as the last part of 7A goes into a rock buttress. Hopefully this photo montage will help.

 

What is overlaid in red I believe is not drawn correctly in Jeff's book for both route 7A and the top part of the North Face Gully and North Face Cleaver.

 

What is drawn in green is what I believe are the correct finishes the the North Face Gully and the North Face Cleaver. What is in yellow the left side finish which is what I have done.

 

Your line is drawn in blue (with dashes to show the hidden part). Notice that it parallels what Jeff drew for line 7A just a bit lower. Given the description of 7A I believe the route drawing is too high. It is also unfortunate that there is not any dot lines, like I used to to demarcate the hidden portions of the route.

 

hood.png

 

Now what would be interesting to know is how others have finished the North Face Gully when they have gone right. The natural line would be what I have drawn in green. Which is what you did. Continuing to traverse further right does not seem logical. I remember looking over that way and thinking that.

 

 

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I have no interest whatsoever in picking a fight but having struggled up the Eliot Glacier Headwall route many years ago from the bottom up--through the crevasses and over the yawning bergschrund and up the steep rock-scoured ice runnels and then, finally, the rock bands at the top--it seems somehow unearned to slip in from the side, zip up two pitches, and say you've climbed the same route. This seems like Eliot Glacier Headwall Lite.

 

I am sorry we do not match the bar for you. It was my first trip to climb in Oregon. The point of this trip was to explore Mt. Hood and do an unclimbed ice line (which was only a few pitches). I wanted to see the regular south side route, have views of I-Rock, both of us wanted to camp around the summit ridge (The views are amazing, and it made sense logistically because we wanted to do NF route day after Ravine. Due to high temperatures/avalanche danger, we decided to avoid a big risk and save it for another time).

Anastasia climbed this mountain over 20 times.

I completed Sierra Challenge in 2010 ( http://www.snwburd.com/bob/challenge/2010/ ), going 10/10 on Challenge peaks, and getting 7 bonus peaks. Over 10 continuous days I estimate my total elevation gained to be over 68,000-70,000ft. Not afraid of approaches. ; )

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ScaredSilly, Oregon High provides a photo of 7a and a dotted line, far from where we have climbed. I trust that more than a very broad description that could match A LOT of possible lines if it is looked at closely - 'Stay close to the cleaver and gain the col behind Cathedral Spire.'

 

To start our line we had to descend further down towards the actual spire. What we climbed was a LOT steeper than logical stuff on Eliot Headwall. I believe the line he refers to was just higher from us. It most likely follows the ice/snow up through buttresses and has a possibility to exit left towards NF gullies/direct exit, and a possibility to finish vie the exit which is shown in the picture. I was looking at that line of weakness on the approach wondering if it could be a good climb for our second day. But it seemed fairly straight forward and not that great (loose rock etc). With all the honesty I do not think anyone back than would choose our line. Tools were not invented yet. People did not climb vertical water ice. There was even a short overhanging bulge. A snow couloir would not form here IMO.

 

Whatever the case is I KNOW our line was not climbed as an ice climb in 1958. Anastasia got her lead on this line from the author of the guidebook that is in the works now. I think he would know a few things about climbed/unclimbed.

 

This thread is one of the reasons I climb every weekend, and post a TR only on occasion...

Edited by Vitaliy M.

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This thread is one of the reasons I climb every weekend, and post a TR only on occasion...

 

Sorry to hear that. Best to ignore couch jockey douchery and let the rest of the forum enjoy the stoke from such great climbs with great pics.

 

Ne poddavaysya mudakam!

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Sorry to hear that. Best to ignore coach jockey douchery and let the rest of the forum enjoy the stoke from such great climbs with great pics.

 

And this is why at times I still do. Sorry to overlook the positive comments.

 

As far as the route goes, I believe for fit parties it is under ten hour car to car day. Great idea if you want to climb some moderate but exciting water ice/mixed terrain. You can approach via regular south side or through the glacier bellow, your choice.

We had 8 screws. 2 were used in the anchor and 6 for the pitch (50M of ice). Personally, if I had a way to know how this pitch would be before actually doing it, I would bring couple of more screws, but that's just me. I used a Red (1) BD camalot, and Orange ultralight metolious cam as well (yellow metolious was used in one spot for our simul climb above). Belay was set up in the couloir (45-50 degree snow/neve coulor, a lot milder than it seemed from Sunshine) above from two pickets. Did not see any pin scars anywhere, or any opportunities to use pins- Rock is crap. Helmet is required.

I actually think this will be repeated, the climbing is great. The setting is awesome. Here in Sierra people would go through hell to climb a mixed pitch like this.

 

PS: If I would do it again I would also bring some rock shoes and climbed up the Cathedral spire up the obvious hand crack (5.9-5.10b judging by the look of it).

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