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[TR] Mt. Hood - Leuthold's Couloir 1/20/2014

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Trip: Mt. Hood - Leuthold's Couloir


Date: 1/20/2014


Trip Report:

If you ever want to get a trip to Mt. Hood off to an entertaining start, watch a high stakes football game at the Hangout in Gresham before heading up to the hill to bivy in the Timberline lot. We did, and it certainly was a much better diversion than expected. The locals take things seriously!




But I digress. Conditions on Mt. Hood right now are pretty ideal for climbing. For skiing, not so much. We left skis at the top of the Palmer (end of grooming) and were not sorry we did so. From there on up, we had a mixture of water ice, unbreakable crust, windboard, breakable crust, sastrugi, and loose snow. However all surface types were plenty fast travel without flotation. The downclimb onto the Reid was impressively icy (blue!), and we were glad for a whippet in addition to our axes. The choke on Leuthold's has a bit of rock showing, but it wasn't bad to work thru. As we were climbing up the couloir we had a bit of snow and ice fall, but it was quite mild by Hood standards. We left the lot about 0515 and were on top by 1130. The downclimb of the old chute was pretty icy as well and the whippet came in handy again for some face in descending. I think we got back to the car about 1345.


The weather overall was near perfect - light winds and barely freezing temps. I suspect that Hood will be in good shape all through this coming weekend. One downside I could see is that the steeper routes are very thin with limited rime and lots of rock. We were surprised at the lack of folks on a Federal Holiday, I think we only saw two soloists the whole day.


Perhaps they were busy watching replays of Sherman's rant?
























Gear Notes:

whippet, steel crampons, helmet, axe. Roped up for short walk across the Reid, though probably not totally necessary.


Approach Notes:

skis to the top of the Palmer. Crampons to the summit and back.

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Wow, nice report! Those are some fantastic pictures. I was up there with a buddy that same night/morning, although a few hours earlier, and went through the Pearly Gates. Agreed, conditions great for climbing; was one of nicest summits I've ever experienced.... here's a shot in the ice chute...



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Thats cool Jason, and I did not know that John Walker Lindh got released from custody, always thought he got the shaft, awesome that you and Tim got out with him.


Nice pictures too!

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Gitmo made him a man!


The locals at the Hangout were a bit wary, however.


Steve, we missed you out there! Looking forward to having you back in the alpine this summer!

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The Eliot HW looks *thin*. In January. Seriously? What a year:



We climbed it last June in full on winter conditions.


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Sorry guys, I tend to shoot for beauty, not beta. The Reid itself was pretty mellow looking, at least to get over to the Reid HW or Leuthold's. It isn't completely filled in yet, so if you are headed to Yocum or Sandy HW there might be shenanigans. I think the Reid HW will be in challenging shape, though doable, with bits of rock and ice. I don't have a photo of it (sorry!), but I think you can get an idea based on the conditions of Illumination and Crater rocks:







Also, a picture of the choke on Leuthold's will give you an idea of the rime extent on the Reid HW:



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