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[TR] Mt Hood - Reid HW 11/29/2015

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Trip: Mt Hood - Reid HW


Date: 11/29/2015


Trip Report:

APE and I climbed the right variation of Reid last Sunday. Conditions were suboptimal, especially at higher elevation. I would highly recommend staring earlier and climbing the entire route at night. The whole thing is a shooting gallery. We got to the IR around 7am, downclimbed to the glacier (good conditions) and started climbing the route in about an hour.


The first pitch was stellar - WI2 with some snow powder and good ice screw placement. From a belay point, things got more interesting. Lots of ice debris were coming down right at us through a narrow constriction of the main gulley. Alex made a right call by climbing to the right and over a steep shoulder avoiding falling ice (WI2-3, no pro). Once on the top of the second pitch, we encountered an enormous ice avalanche just 100 feet to the left of us. The entire tower collapsed sending down blocks of ice and snow. Alex made a right decision saving life.


From that point on route conditions worsened significantly and climbing became very slow and delicate. We encountered lot of icy crust with snow powder underneath. The top layer was very unstable and usually was detaching as we kicked steps. Most of ice was barely protectable and unconsolidated.


We got to the base of ice towers late, wondering if something big is going to fall on our heads. Alex tried to lead straight through the ice, but it was so dangerous and unstable that he had to downclimb back to our questionable belay. I suggested to traverse left just below ice towers (70-80 degree ice and snow).


The traverse of angels was a memorable one. It involves a series of downclimbs , short traverses and climbing through some funky ice gullies. The pitch placed me right below the exit spot. I am glad nothing big came down on our heads because of a direct sun we were in.


I am not going to mention time because it was getting dark... We were lucky to find a direct downclimb to the other side. There is an obvious line that goes straight down to the base.


APE is gearing up:



Shooting gallery (exit point for ice avalanche 10 min later after we passed this point):



Avoiding the main gulley by climbing the right shoulder:



Terrible Traverse:



Looking down:





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Oleg's traverse pitch (photo: "terrible traverse") probably had more forms of ice and snow than I'd ever seen in a single rope length.

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Alex is a great partner - calm and confident, leading and following any type of terrains.

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happy to see you didn't get the chop, tovarisch - saw your ride in the timberline lot after we got back late in the darkness and didn't much fancy the idea of you still slugging it out way up the hill :)

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