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indiablo

[TR] Mt Hood - Pearly Gates 1/14/2013

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Trip: Mt Hood - Pearly Gates

 

Date: 1/14/2013

 

Trip Report:

Another trip report on the S. Side....but with nice weather coming up I figured someone is going to be looking.

Left the lodge at 0240 under starry skies and no wind! At the top of Palmer by 0500 and the wind was moderate, maybe 10 mph gusts. The snow above was mostly firm with some icy patches. Arrived at the Hogs Back with the upper Mt completely socked in. The bergshrund was open approx. 2ft at the HB but easily skirted 50ft to the left or right. The snow was pretty firm in the chute with occasional soft spots. I chose to stay right and climb through the Gates proper. Glad I had a second tool with me because the 10 ft rime step that has plagued this route was in full force. 3 or 4 easy swings and a few stems made short work of it. With visibility around 40 ft I took my time finding the summit. Not wanted to down climb the step, I followed tracks along the cornice and down the Old Chute. The snow here was pleasantly soft and ripe for heel plunging all the way back to the Hogs Back. Car to summit in 6 hrs with ample breaks.

 

Gear Notes:

2 ice axes

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I am a beginner at climbing, but want to learn as much as I can. I'd like to hook up sometime, but I don't know if you want to have a rookie along for your climbs. I am available Thursdays and Fridays.

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How difficult would it have been to manage the 10' "step" if you only had one ice ax? Would you have been able to manage it at all?

as a beginner, it'd probably be horrifying w/ 1 axe (maybe even 2 :) ) - just follow this old boy's descent route instead - the old chute is more exposed to crap crumbling off the summit cliffs, but it's broad and easy and there'll be a boot track no doubt

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Did you get to Timberline the night before? A couple weeks ago I tried to drive up after mid-night and found the access road impassable while plowing was in progress.

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Did you get to Timberline the night before? A couple weeks ago I tried to drive up after mid-night and found the access road impassable while plowing was in progress.

 

Havent been following the weather have you?

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Strange. I've never encountered that... But I guess it has to happen some time. We drove up early Monday morning...left Portland at just after midnight...

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Under current conditions it would be difficult for even an experienced climber to get through using only one axe. The corridor through the 'step' is narrow and does provide a sense of safety because you can stem your way up but without having four points of purchase on the ice it's not the safest way to approach an otherwise safe climb.... Unless you are up there to push yourself to the next level of your ability going around to ascend the old chute is the wise choice.

Just my opinion.

Send me a PM and we can talk more about climbing.

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