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[TR] Mt Hood - Leuthold Couloir - Solo 6/20/2012


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Trip: Mt Hood - Leuthold Couloir - Solo


Date: 6/20/2012


Trip Report:

I've been reading these forums for a while now but have never posted, so I thought i'd give it a go with a trip report.


I am outta college for the summer and finally free, so I was itching to get out and climb Leuthold's Couloir on the west side of Hood before the conditions got too bad on the route. After watching the weather and noticing nightly below freezing temps above 9000 ft and nice sunny weather on the 20th I thought it was the perfect time to go check it out!


Headed up to timberline and got about 1.5 hours of sleep in the car, then took off at about 12:30 am for illumination saddle. Reached the saddle shortly after 4 am, then huddled behind a rock to get out of the freezing wind until daylight.


Yocum Ridge:



Yocum & St Helens



Illumination Rock:


The descent onto the Reid glacier was straightforward but a little tricky with the hard/icy snow conditions. Once onto the Reid, I traversed across the glacier and ended up passing Leuthold's Couloir to check out another small couloir that dead ended into Yocum ridge (center of photo behind rock buttress).


Yocum Ridge



Reid Headwall



Shadow of Hood above Reid Glacier



Dead end couloir:



Downclimbing the dead end couloir



Finally on the right track, I began to climb Leuthold while a constant barrage of tiny ice and rock pellets flowed down all around me. I wanted to move quickly to get up through the hourglass and away from the rock/icefall danger! The couloir consisted of hard snow/ice. A second tool was probably not necessary but made the climb easier and more fun!


Starting Leuthold's Couloir:



Looking back at Illumination saddle:



Nearing the hourglass:



Entering the hourglass:



First rays of sun hitting Yocum ridge:



Looking down Leuthold's Couloir from above the hourglass:



Once at the top of the couloir, I took a nice break to hydrate, eat, put on sunscreen, and enjoy the views.




After the rest, I began the final bit of the ascent to the summit ridge.


Cool ice formations:



Summit ridge:



I was glad to have a second tool when traversing this bit of ridge, as one short section was pretty dicey!


Arrived on the summit shortly after 9 am to enjoy wonderful views up and down the cascade range. I had the summit all to myself, as most people climbing the south side route had already begun to descend.


Self Portrait on summit:



I headed over to the Old Chute to descend the south side route, where many parties were belaying each other down the chute. I squeaked on by and started the dreadful slog down to the car.


Downclimbing the Old Chute:



Looking south toward Crater Rock & the Hogsback:



It was a fun outing, and it was cool to finally check out the west side of Hood. A fun route!


Gear Notes:

Ice axe, Ice tool, crampons, helmet

Edited by BrandonU
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I was under the impression Leutholds was generally considered out of season by this point in the year due to junk falling off. Am I off base here?


I think that is a fairly accurate generalization, however, this is an unually cold, wet spring/summer so far.

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Nice work! How long from saddle to summit?


It took me just over 3 hours from the saddle to the summit with my break at the top of the couloir. :)


I do not mean anything negative by this, but I was under the impression Leutholds was generally considered out of season by this point in the year due to junk falling off. Am I off base here?


Well done btw!


I knew that Leutholds is usually considered out of season at that point, but I knew that there was still a decent amount of snow up there for that time of year. I really wanted to get on the route before it was out of season, so my initial plan was to just go up there and give it a look for myself! :) It looked pretty good, so I went for it! :)


Thanks everyone!

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