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[TR] Mt Hood - Leuthold 6/1/2014

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Trip: Mt Hood - Leuthold


Date: 6/1/2014


Trip Report:

9 PM @ T-line and trying catch some sleep in back of the good old F150. Doing everything I can not to think about the one and a half hours of sleep I have before me. That coupled with the last 6 months of a solid beer diet and a general overall indulgence; basically forgetting about anything and everything that would help me prepare for climbing another mountain. F*&$, am I about to do this again?!


To my surprise the alarm hit pretty easy. Midnight moonlight start, oh yeah, “this isn't going to be so bad.” The dreaded slog up the Palmer was almost nice. Yeah, I said it, "nice".

Remembering what it was like to be heading up that first peak, put back in the place where you fell in love with climbing.


It hits me every year. The little things like remembering the silencing effect of the snow or in this case the steady meteor shower over the mountain. A good omen.


My buddy Dylan and I hit Illumination saddle around 2:30 slightly annoyed to see the south-siders who started with us much higher up on the mountain.


Alrighty, “time to give it another go.” Snap a pic and rope up, trying not to focus on the last two failed attempts on the Leuthold.


The drop down from the saddle and crossing the Reid Glacier was pretty straight forward. The snow God was with us today. The crevasses were open and for the most part easy to navigate. We both laughed at the memory of Dylan falling through up to his arms last year. I don’t know why but they always bring out the little kid in you. You just have to take a peak.


We kept left across the Reid and got to about 9600’ where we decided to start placing pro. The hour glass began raining down the light snow particles – the type that sounds like a rain stick. We took a quick break while my buddy adjusted his gear. As I started to slip into a Zen state looking out on Illumination rock, it started, the flow from the hour glass. Hit by a tennis ball sized ice chunk right in the back of the neck. F##%* #*# *#!!! I can’t believe that just happened. I mean, anywhere but the neck.


Alright, time to get up this mountain! We quickly set pickets up to the hour glass. The snow was pretty firm so I was glad I brought a hammer – no need for screws. Everything stayed pretty light through the hour glass and above. And for whatever damn reason, the biggest thing that peeled off the upper slopes that day, hit me in the damn neck.


Around 10500’ we both started to see what we saw back at the pickup. 6 months of sitting on your ass in a season where the # of stouts in a week > the # of miles ran in a week. Thinking “I could be sleeping right now! What the hell did I want to do this for?” Counting every 50 steps before allowing myself a little pause, we finally hit the summit ridge. What a site.


Perfect timing with a good group of fellow climbers standing on the summit. It was the calmest day I had ever experienced on a climb so we decided to take our time.


Descended via the Old Chute and back to the truck by 10. The snow stayed surprisingly firm until beyond Silcox. The SS slog was well worth it to have gotten off the beaten path for a bit. Just a good day to be back in the mountains.



Gear Notes:

4 screws, picketts, alpine rope,


Approach Notes:

An intense drive to Timberline

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You need to work yer beer drinking skills more ... last time we did Joe's route we left the saddle at 10am cause my partner admitted half up the the Palmer he was hung over. I made him do Sandy the next day.

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