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[TR] Mt. Hood - Reid Headwall Follies 4/27/2013

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Trip: Mt. Hood - Reid Headwall Follies


Date: 4/27/2013


Trip Report:

So today I decided that a run up the Reid Headwall was in order. My partner had bailed because of the winds and other issues so I was solo. I had bivied at Illumination Saddle which was nicely sheltered from the winds that were ripping all night long. I left the saddle with a crack a dawn start of 8am. Once on the Reid the winds were blocked so the climbing was nice with firm snow. At least one if not two other parties had been on the route earlier so I found a few steps here and there.


The first chute was straight forward with a reasonable step across the runnel. From there I traversed up to the snow rib where I stowed my ski pole and got out my second tool. Moving up into the second chute* I caught up to another party that had left Illumination Saddle an hour before me. They seemed to be having their fun with dropped screws.


Mid way up the chute things cut loose for a good minute. It was a nice shower of grape sized ice pellets. After the clearing the last bit of the chute I continued pretty much straight up and found myself at an unexpected headwall. Hmm, seems I should have exited stage left. I quickly down climbed the slope and moved left and went up another little chute.


Okay well that was silly as now I was back at the headwall. Traversing left from up high just did not seem prudent as it was a rimmed up corner. I thought about down climbing again (nothing like running laps midway up a route) and looking for another left turn even lower down but then I noticed some steps out on the ridge line.


What the hell lets see where that leads. After traversing some steep runnels with a couple of less than secure plunged axe moves I was on the ridge. This ridge is just to the left of the West Crater Rim and consists of series of steep rimmed steps which eventually joins with the West Crater Rim at approximately 11k. The ridge line was moderate climbing on rime ice and via more runnels.


The finial fun was traversing the summit ridge as several times gusts about knocked me over. Going down the old chute was a blast as one could lean into the wind and plunge step down without worrying about falling. I was back at Illumination Saddle at 11am. So three hours round trip from the saddle.


Sorry no photos as the wind was ripping by the time I got past the snow rib so taking photos was really a not priority.


* I think it was at this "second" chute that left turn was missed for being on the true route. But as noted there are many variations.



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sweet, lots of folks enjoying the winds on Hood Saturday, didn't make for especially soft skiing conditions though.


Looks like my earlier inquiry into my watch has been successful, hallelujah.

Edited by Z-Man

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Hey! I was the one you talked to at the bottom of the second chute. Glad you had a good time, and ya with the barrage of stuff knocking that screw down the headwall I stopped chasing it. Upon arriving at the summit ridge the winds were rly ripping through, but we made a quick push to the summit. Going down was uneventful. It was both of ours first time on the route, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Hey, I was hoping you would post a trip report. We (second team in the second gully) saw you blitz past us after getting spindrifted and ice rained on for several minutes. I was glad to have had a few of your foot holds later up the route. I think you came to the same conclusion we did. That second chute was a wrong turn. We should have passed climbers left of that rock tower where you passed us. It was all straight headwall from there. At times we were climbing 75 degrees or more. Pretty scary stuff since we had limited pro and ran out almost every pitch. I agree, the windy decent was interesting. You know its blowing hard when trying to descend a 50 degree slope and get blown a few steps back up hill.


glad you had a great trip. . . we did too (?)


(I would load a few pictures, but I can't figure out how)

Edited by NWSummiteer

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