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BluePanda

Mt. Hood Climbing Conditions for December

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Does anyone know what climbing conditions are generally like on Hood in December? I have a month-long break from school from the 5th to Jan 5th and I was hoping to solo southside route. I'm not finding much info on winter climbs. Nor am I finding much about current conditions pertaining to the snow and ice pack up there. Thanks!

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On a good day in December the climbing is fantastic and perfect for soloing. On a bad day in December you die of exposure.

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In general there are two conditions - you and your loved ones worst nightmare cause your hopelessly lost in a storm. The other condition is your friends are pissed off cause you snuck in a climb in December and banged out a route. For everything else there is hot chocolate at bar in Timberline.

 

More to the point, if you have not been on the hill before and are not super knowledgeable with Cascade weather it is best not to be thinking about an ascent during the "winter" months.

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In winter, snow conditions are more meaningful to your safety. If you can't look at weather info, of which there is plenty, and decide whether or not it's a good day to be climbing, then you should wait for spring rather than let someone tell you.

 

The S side route seems to turn off folks' decision making brains. You must cross slopes of greater than 30 degrees to summit, and you have to do so over a terrain trap. If this means something to you, and you're comfortable managing such hazards, then just brush up on your whiteout navigation and go for it.

 

Climbing in winter is great because it actually feels like wilderness without so many people around. Also, you'll slog some more in softer snow, and it's a fair sight colder than it is in may. Best of luck. And maybe climb it with a friend the first time. Company is more fun when you're suffering.

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