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YocumRidge

[TR] HOOD - North Face right gully - car to bar 2/2/2013

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Trip: HOOD - North Face right gully - car to bar

 

Date: 2/2/2013

 

Trip Report:

I love North Face on Hoodie. A legit winter route and my favorite at that when hit in right conditions. For the last few weeks I was crippled by a weird lung infection and as such was not able to get out climbing much. The last weekend the stars finally aligned with the high pressure conveniently settled in for at least 24 hr and although still coughing as a bad TB patient, I was feeling better.

 

My friend JR arrived from Seattle on Fri night after work and we headed to the Tilly Jane TH where we unsuccessfully tried to get some zzz. Not much luck there, we started up the trail at 3800' after midnight, looking forward to the usual 5000’ approach.

 

12.30 a.m. alpine start:

8442699199_b930136fc8_c.jpg

 

JR at the TJ A-frame:

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After the crampons were on at 6700’ at the always windy Cooper Spur, we dropped down on to the lower Eliot at the usual spot and hiked up to the shrund by the North face on nice alpine ice with some styrofoam thrown in.

 

North side of Hood in winter usually creates its own microclimate with the temps running 10-15F lower than on the south side at the same elevation. No exception was this time: morning inversion SE winds and single digits at 8800’. Originally from AK, the JR’s most substantial layer turned out to be a Patagonia Nano Puff Fish Fur 1. “It is the one and only I have on today” – hmmm, way light and fast for my taste, but I guess it is how they are bred up there in AK :grin: . Still in the dark, we spotted an ice block, dug in and I pulled a Fission SL out of my pack to make JR’s existence less miserable and hoping that may be he would get some sleep:

8442699427_ae7036005d_c.jpg

 

Waiting for the sun to rise:

8443800152_cfc67fda13_c.jpg

 

Cooper Spur at sunrise:

8443800192_7ca3dec46e_c.jpg

 

Eliot at sunrise:

8442722353_dc9a2c7a4c_c.jpg

 

 

We climbed the right gully in two blocks: I took the bottom part including the shrund, part of the North Cleaver, swinging traverse and through the first ice step; while JR got the second rock band/ice step and the summit pinnacle.

 

Approaching the shrund with the left and right ice steps above me:

8442943477_18e2f95239_b.jpg

 

The closer we got, the more life-threatening objects was hammering us from above as expected. For as long as it would not annihilate us. To make things better, the snow bridge that I successfully used 2 weeks ago - http://nobolts.blogspot.com/2013/01/mt-hood-north-face-right-gully-attempt.html - was no longer there. A constant reminder that this mountain is ever metamorphosing living being.

 

Feeling desperate, I downclimbed inside the shrund and traversed over trying to find something better than the overhanging paper thin snow failing at my weighted tools. With not many available options, I went all way to the North Cleaver and pulled through the half a pitch of rock and ice up there before dropping back down for the swinging traverse to the first ice step.

 

Disappearing in the shrund:

8442943613_cf15b84fe9_b.jpg

 

Traversing over the shrund:

8442943671_3276f14b31_b.jpg

 

The Cleaver bypass of the shrund:

8444046970_a592144bef_c.jpg

 

On the swinging traverse to the base of the first ice step:

8444046866_ee21c7a223_b.jpg

 

Starting up the first ice step:

8444066702_b0eb809d11_b.jpg

 

 

It is exactly when the real shit show had begun: the whole mountain was falling apart and the gully turned into one giant garbage chute. According to JR, the first ice step I “led” aka free soloed was all rotten ice for more than a rope length. I have no memories on this one - I climbed it blind. My crampons blew twice and I was nearly loosing it – not recommended. Emotionally traumatized and physically tortured, I was really hoping our life will improve as we gain elevation and may be just may be we will go home in the end :) .

 

Thank gawd JR came up alive and took the next simul block. Our lives and upward progress did improve as we reached the second rock band/ice step. Finally we were moving and making up for all the time lost down below.

 

JR en route to the second ice step:

8443862706_790ecac5ec_b.jpg

8443867502_2e2f61ab07_b.jpg

 

JR on the second ice step:

8442803629_d65c26824b_b.jpg

 

We barely could believe the hero plastic ice was awaiting above. Yep, it was that good. A thought crossed our minds to hang a TR and start running laps:

8442803967_c2c479bb0c_c.jpg

 

The obligatory shot of Cathedral Spire:

8442812027_984e0a7172_c.jpg

 

The summit pinnacle:

8442812173_68eb357c91_b.jpg

 

The summit cornice (better than expected):

8444073510_7d46965fc1_c.jpg

 

Topping out:

8444073542_3d97e7090b_c.jpg

 

JR on the lonely summit at 3 p.m. His first time on Hood:

8443946114_e6d84c2214_c.jpg

 

March Madness and I-rock.

"The best mixed climbing on the West coast. Period." - Wayne Wallace

8443946180_78d4a31822_c.jpg

 

Alpenglow descent to the T-lodge:

8443946250_07296f8b8a_c.jpg

 

 

The slog down was via the Old Chute where we bumped into a very nice rappelling party of 4 from Bozeman who gave us a ride back to our rig after we crawled out of a bar at the T-lodge next morning :) .

 

 

 

Gear Notes:

60 m rope, 5 screws, 2 pickets, 4 Cobras

 

Approach Notes:

Tilly Jane TH

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WOW - Excellent Climb, TR, and Photos! The upper ice step looks fantastic. Glad you survived the shooting gallery. Congrats Nastia :tup:

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Solo?

 

Arggh, I could not get off work on Fri anyway...

hardly! i was on the other side w/ this new old-boy, enjoying a rare friday-off...

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Reid was an absolute shooting gallery on the 3rd. I've never seen so much shit coming down. Absolute literal avalanches of ice flooding through the constrictions every 10-15 minutes. Just enough time to race through and get off to the side.

 

La Montagne was very sheddy this weekend. Great pics.. Glad you guys survived

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Thanks, Ben.

Yep, the icefall was unusually bad, especially for winter. JR is highly doubtful he will ever be back on Hood :).

How was Reid otherwise?

Any pics of Yocum? I hear it is a good route :).

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Thanks, Ben.

Yep, the icefall was unusually bad, especially for winter. JR is highly doubtful he will ever be back on Hood :).

How was Reid otherwise?

 

Sounds familiar... sans the missing lens and large thigh-bruise ;-)

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Good to see you getting out and about and recovering after the illness...

 

Those lung infections can be nasty.

 

d

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Thanks, Ben.

Yep, the icefall was unusually bad, especially for winter. JR is highly doubtful he will ever be back on Hood :).

How was Reid otherwise?

Any pics of Yocum? I hear it is a good route :).

 

Reid was in prime condition... firm snow to plastic ice all the way up.

 

Here's yer eye-candy...

 

photo_53.JPGphoto_3_5_.JPG

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Thanks, Ben.

 

Not much snow on the gendarmes and not much rime either, hmmm..

 

It looks pretty dry, but given the volume and quality of the ice all over the rest of the mountain, I have to wonder if maybe it isn't actually in about as good a condition as it can be... what if all that frozen water that IS up there is just straight up fat bomber ice??

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what if all that frozen water that IS up there is just straight up fat bomber ice??

Yeah, I wish that was the case. A recon needed. May be, Ivan :) ?

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