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w21irving

[TR] Mt Hood - Old Chute [Mazamas Chute] 1/26/2014

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Trip: Mt Hood - Old Chute [Mazamas Chute]

 

Date: 1/26/2014

 

Trip Report:

It's been a while since we've put one of these together, and first time for this site, but seeing that I've been using it heavily for my own decisions, I've decided to give back.

 

Went up on hood yesterday, with the plan and gear to go up the Pearly Gates.

 

Left the car around 1:30 in the morning, we had an inkling about a possibility of clouds rolling in around 9am, so, we wanted to be quick about it. Also, seeing that the temperatures have been fluctuating right at freezing all week long, we figured we'd want to get out of dodge before things start falling.

 

We brought some skis with us, in hopes to go down a bit of hood at the end of the climb. We found that they were too cumbersome and weighed us down; so we ditched them right at the top of Palmer; Good decision since everything was basically an ice field from there on up. Crampons for sure on.

 

Ran into some friends at the Devils Kitchen, Both teams were focused on doing the pearly gates [separate coincidental agendas], but after review, everyone agreed that there simply wasn't enough snow to go into the gates and to adequately protect. Sorry I didn't take any photos, but the left approach looked like a scree gully with most likely a very bare and very tall rock step, and the right pearly gate was very thin snow and a LARGE step that looked also thin.

 

Instead, we had the full platoon-attack on the Old Chute. 

 

hogsback5.jpg

 

However, it was pretty icy and definitely required us to be on all-fours with a second tool on the way up. Also, after receiving beta from previous climbers, we realized that the catwalk was going to be a little tight, barely a foot wide, and mostly rock, sorry no pix...

 

Well, no biggie, since we're all using second tools anyway, we figured we'd hit the Mazamas chute [at least, that's what I think it's called] just to the right of the old chute. Conditions looked solid and displayed no signs of ice/rock fall while I was heading up.

 

mazamas_chute.jpg

 

mazamas_chute_up.jpg

 

At that point, one by one, the team made their way up through the chute, summit-ed together around 9am, sunbathed in the beautiful sun with perfect weather, and there was much rejoicing.....until we realized that we had to go back down the way we came...

 

Had to downclimbing on the tools all the way back to the hogsback, too icy to even consider plunging. And even with waiting on top for the sun to heat things up, it was still simply just to icy. It was a pain, taking a lot of time and concentration. Be wary of the movements you do to ensure you don't slip.

 

As far as stability, the only icefall we suffered was from the jerk spraying ice down on everybody else with his kicks into the ice[namely: me :D], but there was one solid 100lb rock that went wizzing past my buddy; beyond that, stable.

 

Once we got back to the hogsback, we hung out, stripped down all our layers since it was soooo nice outside, and got back to the cars with no incident. [Well, I might have managed to ski into a boulder at timberline on the way down from Palmer, but I merely bounced off with just a strawberry boo-boo on my knee]

 

Skyway for celebratory dinner or lunch or whatever meal it was, and headed home. Alls well that ends well.

 

Trip took just under 12 hours, prolonging my last run by an additional 3 hours :/

But we can probably attribute that time lost to the following:

-Ski gear that we carried up; lesson learned: If you're not skinning, or have uber-light-weight gear it's not worth it.

-Two tools to climb the old chute takes time

-Two tools to downclimb the old chute takes A LOT of time.

 

Gear Notes:

Used: two tools, crampons;

 

Had: ropes, harnesses, pickets, and screws for Pearly, but didn't end up using any of it.

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sweeet day - crampons on hardly out of hte parkign lot - first time i climbed der mighty hoodwand in my summer fruit-boots :)

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Also, forgot to mention, while up on top, I took a look at Cooper Spur, and realized that it might actually be the safer/easier climb in these conditions. The snowpack looked very consolidated and had perfect coverage of snow all the way down from what I could tell. I believe the only issue is that the road up to Tilly Jane is closed, but have not verified it.

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Thanks for the report! Yup, I was up there last Monday (MLK Day) and went through the gates.....was really sketchy imo; we didn't have any protection (in hindsight a real blunder...); thought about down-climbing out of there, but realized it was safer to get on through it to the top at that point.

 

And yeah I was thinking the same thing looking at Cooper Spur....looks to be in really nice shape.

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I believe the only issue is that the road up to Tilly Jane is closed, but have not verified it.

the road to cloud cap is closed from late fall to late june/early july - the hike up the tilly jane trail from down low doesn't take too long in good conditions though (say 3 hours or so) and it's a real nice weekend to hike up to the stone shelter or higher up the cooper spur, camp, then summit n' walk-off the following day

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road to cloud cap is closed from late fall to late june/early july

 

Ohhhh right! What I was addressing was that the road was closed to clean-up the debris from the Gnarl Ridge fire at the start of July 2013, and subsequently didn't realize it must've just ran right into the winter-closure time frame.

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