Post subject: Belated TR: Solo Mt. Hood Summit May 10`th 2011
Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:27 am
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2007 9:45 am Posts: 87 Location: Vancouver, Wa.
I rode Palmer and Mile for a few hours until the snow began to get sticky. At this point, I went to the truck and grabbed the split and my gear. After filling out my back country permit, I headed up Mile and Palmer around 1:30 PM. Split the board and put the skins on and up I went. I made it up to Crater Rock in about 2 hours. From here the gentle (relatively) pitch dramatically increases to 50 degrees plus so I wanted to try the Voile crampons and attached them in fixed mode (fixed to the board rather than to the binding in free mode) I was impressed at what these things do. Normally, side hilling on a really steep pitch with a split (or skis) is a challenge. With these things, I traversed across a 50 degree pitch coming off of Crater Rock to the Hogsback with ease.
Followed a couple of climbers up the Hogsback to the Bergshrund Crevasses which is beginning to open. This is where I really began to feel the altitude as I was passing the 10,000 foot level so my progress up this steep pitch slowed to a crawl. The Pearly Gates route remains blocked by about a 20 foot wall of rime ice so everyone is using the West Crater Rime Route which I think is actually easier. From the Bergshrund, you gain just over 1,000 feet in about a half mile. The pitch is a consistent 45-55 degree pitch with a narrow chute at the top that increases to over 60 for a few hundred feet and is pretty spooky. I am not a huge fan of heights and I was definitely a little spooked up here.
As you climb up out of this chute facing north you suddenly have an unlimited view north. The ridge line here is very narrow with a gut churning drop on the north face of Mt. Hood. Other than this exposure, it is an easy boot track to the east for about 100 yards to the official summit at 11,256 feet. Fortunately, there is a nice wide area and room to sit down as well as wander around to look over the different edges. The drop on the north face down onto the Elliot Glacier is damn scary.
The temperature was still brutally cold with the wind, but not as bad as yesterday. I hung out on top for about an hour and drank the PBR tall boy I packed up, I don`t think a PBR ever tasted so good! Sent a few pics to friends and posted that quick post. The snow was in good enough condition that I strapped the board on at the summit and rode all the way off of the top of Mt. Hood to the parking lot 5,000 vertical feet and 4 miles below. The ride back down was off the hook. The chute was now shaded and icy and I not even remotely ashamed to say I did a little falling leaf action for a couple of hundred feet here until in opened up in the sun. From that point on, the entire ride down was incredible with soft corn snow. The final drop off of West Crater Rim is intense and is about a 60 degree pitch. What is spooky about it is the roll off. You cannot see the bottom as you drop in and is a bit of a blind leap of faith. It had slid earlier from the heating of the day and was in good shape again. Rode over to Illumination Saddle and peeked into the Reid Glacier before making my final steep drop onto the Zig Zag Glacier and back to Timberline. Got the the truck just as the last sunlight was on the top of the mountain.
Approaching Crater Rock at the head of the White River Glacier:
Illumination Rock viewed from the base of Crater Rock:
Devil`s Kitchen volcanic vent:
Headed up the Hogsback:
View south of Mt. Jefferson, Crater Rock, Hogsback and Timberline far below:
Climbing West Crater Wall:
The last 300 feet up the chute:
The Summit of Mt. Hood:
View from the Summit looking north with Mt. St. Helen`s, Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams.
The 1,000 foot drop off of the north face of Mt. Hood`s summit:
Looking down the north face to the Elliot Glacier:
Approaching the official summit:
Voile Mojo split on the summit of Mt. Hood:
Looking down on Heather Canyon from the summit:
Looking down on Mt. Hood Meadows from the summit:
Looking down on Timberline Lodge from the summit:
Looking north from Summit:
View south of Mt. Jefferson, Timberline and Ski Bowl:
Columbia River and Portland:
View south dropping into the chute:
Entering the chute now that it was all nice and frozen in the shade:
Looking back up West Crater Wall and the chute:
Riding the ridge that makes up the West Crater Wall:
A peek over the edge into the Reid Glacier Couliars:
Approaching the drop in to the final pitch down onto the Zig Zag Glacier:
yo man! i was up there climbing with you! im the blonde dude who summited with the split just before you, and rode the old chute and west crater rim. that was a good day. you were skinning up the boot pack you crazy!