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20 year dream in the making


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New here, been in Oregon my whole life and started thinking about climbing mountains as a small child of probably 7. Seeing Jefferson in the mornings my whole life and a few Hollywood movies really did something to me at that age. Also I thought that ice axes were really cool looking and whatever you did with one I wanted to be a part of. Years passed and I took up mountain biking, backpacking, and snowboarding. These all kept me in the hills and mountains. Backpacking parts of the pct in northern Washington in high school really made me once again want to see for myself what was at the top of the mountains. Then college happened and my interests quickly changed to beer and girls (in that order). Got out of school, got a job, met my wife, got a different job (career) and have recently taken that 20 year pull towards the mountains seriously and have started training to climb Mt. Hood in early June. I am currently doing a 2.5-3 mile walk 3 times a week. A 5 or 9 mile pack walk once a week. And every other weekend doing the north ridge trail on Mary's peak. In the coming months I also plan on doing the Elk Mountain-Kings Mountain loop hike and Mount Defiance. I will be asking questions regarding gear, and possibly needing buddy's to hike or climb with. I look forward to being here and getting ready.

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Sounds like you are doing it in the right order. Get fit on the smaller hills and you will be ready for the big hills. When I first moved to Oregon I spent several weekends hiking up and down Elk and King mountain. I got to the point of planning hikes during snow and wind storms to get a feel for the elements. You will cruise the SS of Hood if you keep it up.

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  • 4 months later...

Well Saturday 5-9-15 I made it to the summit. I left work at about 11:00pm in Clackamas. Made it to the mountain and was on my way by 1:00am. Was only going to try to make it to the hogsback as I had been doing training hikes on the mountain with the only intention of getting higher each time without getting to a dangerous place as I was going solo. I felt surprisingly good at the hogsback, the weather was wonderful so I just went for it. The old chute was clogged with people going both ways, so I decided to try the pearly gates. There was only one group of 2 people at the bergschrund as I started up. I kept that distance till they disappeared. There were fairly solid steps stomped in and the going was good except for a spot about 10-15 feet in length that was of a harder ice and required swinging my ice axe to get good purchase between steps. At 9:58 am I sat on the summit and took a breather for a few minutes. Sent a text and photo to my wife who was both happy for me making it and kinda pissed that I was solo. Understandable that it isn't the safest thing in the world but I never felt out of my comfort zone as far as calculated risk goes. Did lots of glissades on the way down the more safe and controlable slopes and was back at my car just before noon. Drank a Monster and ate what was quickly turning into a borderline turned sandwich in the sun inside my car and started the drive home to Salem. look forward to many more summits and more importantly cold beer and a soft bed at home.


Edited by skimbleshanks
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