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maykov

[TR] Mt Hood - South Side 7/4/2012

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Trip: Mt Hood - South Side

 

Date: 7/4/2012

 

Trip Report:

Departed from a parking lot at Timberline at 1:30am.

 

Skinned up/walked to the middle of the Palmer Express ski lift and had to switch to crampons due to too much ice. At one point while we were walking on a ski run, a snow cat stopped behind us. We traversed to the snowcat track on the right. It seems like a designated walking route.

 

There is a snowcat track at the top of the groomed area. At this point, we continued walking straight up.

 

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A shadow from the mountain.

 

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Skiing area runs.

 

Got to the crater rock/devils kitchen area when it was completely light. From this point, you can see your options for the ascent. You can go up the snow ridge called Hogsback and then either turn left, continue straight up and up the couloir, Old Chute route. Or somehow go around the bergschrund and travers to the right and up the couloir called Pearly Gates. The former is the route recommended as the easiest one. But most people take the former route now.

 

We saw people were downclimbing very slowly, facing the wall. We've roped up on the top of hogsback, traverced it to the climber's left and climb up the wall and up the couloir. It was very icy. Some rolling ice which only increased the sun started coming out. Might've been very hard to self-arrest. Most people went unroped, some without ice axes.

 

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On the summit. Got there at 8:30.

 

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Up the couloir.

 

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Downclimbing towards the crater rock.

 

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A view towards hogsback, crater rock on the right. Fumerolas on the left and right of Hogsback.

 

Very icy descent from down below Crater rock to the point of being unskiable. It got better as the steepness decreased.

 

Edited by maykov

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I'm noticing the freezing point is well above 11k altitude for this weekend. Does that mean the snow will be slushy near hogsback/summit? Or will it still be firm? If it's slushy, will there be concerns of rockfall? Looks like there's ample amount of snow. Love to climb Hood but not sure how to handle the higher temps.

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I climbed Hood Friday night/Saturday morning (trip report coming once I'm done with the rest of my trip, which is looking like Rainier and Shasta). It was soft and a bit slushy at and above the Hogsback, but nothing too bad. The gully everyone used to exit the Old Chute onto the summit ridge got slushy but never felt unstable. Get up there early and get down early and it should be fine. There were small rocks and ice projectiles coming down while we were descending the Old Chute, fairly usual stuff, but no big slides or large boulders. Plenty of stuff was coming off Steel Cliffs (the DKHW would be suicidal right now) but nowhere close to the South Side climbing lines.

 

The worst part of the day was descending (on foot) from the top of the Palmer lift to the parking lot. It was like walking in a giant Slurpee.

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Be curious to find out how the couloir is when the snow is a bit slushy. If anyone has gone up in these temps before or have gone up recently to Hood, I'd love to know.

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