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catstack

[TR] Mt. Hood - Leuthold Couloir 4/16/2016

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Trip: Mt. Hood - Leuthold Couloir

 

Date: 4/16/2016

 

Trip Report:

I made my way up to palmer in some decently firm snow. At this point I started to cut over towards Illumination Saddle. Here I started to hit some softer snow. I made it to the saddle and popped on over. The Reid Glacier was looking pretty chill, the only opening that I could see was the bergschrund. I was doing a good bit of snow swimming the whole way across the Reid, slowed me down big time.

 

Eventually I made it to the couloir and was relived the snow was more firm. The hourglass section was really mellow. The sun was starting to come up at this point. There really wasn't much ice fall while I was going though.

 

I kept going up till I made it to the Queen's Chair. I hung out here for a bit to take in the views. Then I kept moving up till I got to the summit ridge. I then down climbed the mazama chute (I think?).

 

I really need to learn to ski...

 

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Gear Notes:

pretty standard

 

Approach Notes:

I tried to keep as much elevation as I could on the Reid.

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The top pic is awesome!!

 

We followed you up and your TR is spot on. The route was super mellow, the hourglass could hardly be called ice and we didn't have any rock or ice fall.

 

In the past we have traversed lower on the Reid and run straight up the couloir from a lower point, rather than traversing in so high. Given the fresh snow I think you took the best approach for the conditions.

 

If you downclimbed a chute with no tracks in it then it was the Mazama chute. By the time we got over there there was only 1 set of tacks in it - the main bootpack was in the old chute.

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nice. we were hitting this a week ago when someone in our party of 3 had a....umm..mishap, shall we say, causing us to have to scrap our plans and head back. very disappointing as it was in such wonderful shape.

 

Anyways thanks for the TR. diepj did you rope for the reid? So I fight this one continually.. around early april, snowpack at maximum, if avoid berg and stay high or just at the upper terminus, i feel crevasse risk is almost nothing, esp if skis on. and once onto reid or leuth no need for rope. If it's early december, I'm roping up. Just seems crazy to bring full glacier accouterments for 1/4 mile of traversing.

 

Anyways, great pics and i'll second on the first-what are you shooting with there? phone? point-and-shoot? dslr?

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Great photos...especially the night ones! Any chance you could email me a copy of the 6th picture? The one of my partner and I starting up toward the Reid Headwall. Thanks for the boot track across the Reid Glacier!

 

Marlin

westbnsf@gmail.com

 

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Water,

 

Our approach has evolved in time. Used to solo on the Reid (and White River) and not really think about it. Took a look at it one time and saw how cracked up it was underneath and started roping up. Last year (2015) was lean and we actually dropped a guy through what was probably a sub-bergschrund (not the main top one) heading up to the main Reid line (Mid Feb I think). He disappeared, right up to the brim of his helmet (Rope caught him). Honestly we kind of knew it was a bridge, but there wasn't another easy way. This happened probably higher than where you would have dropped skis. I also crossed the Reid in late Jan (again, 2015) heading for Sandy and there were tons of cracks we had to navigate.

 

Right now you can't see any of this stuff like you could last year and the chances are really good that its buried deep. I wouldn't say a person was crazy right now if they solo'd it. Its hard to know when to cut it off though. Also we had just had a decent dump of snow at the top was pretty soft and post-holey. Its hard to know in that situation if something is just drifted over, especially at the bergys which tend to stay more open it seems. I like soloing better when there is a nice hard crust on top.

 

I wouldn't say at this time of year there is a right or wrong answer. We rope up because as much as anything else its just what we do. We're not on skis so it really isn't that much of a hassle. And we're carrying rope anyway.

 

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pioneerian - thanks! The lens is a Nikon 20m 1.8. The night shots had the following setting: ISO 1600, f1.8, and a 30 second exposure

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