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Mountaineering: Mount Hood, Oregon

Join us in climbing Mt. Hood, Oregon.  Mount Hood (11,239 ft.), Oregon’s highest peak, forms a prominent backdrop for Portland and most of Northern Oregon and Southern Washington. Located 50 miles east of Portland, Mt. Hood rises nearly seven thousand feet higher than any other peak within 70 miles. Due to its prominence, proximity to an urban center and the well maintained road that runs high onto its south side, Mt. Hood is a popular destination for climbers.

On this trip, we will ascend the easiest route up the mountain from Timberline Lodge and up through the Pearly Gates to the summit.  The climb is generally done in one day with an early morning "alpine start."   An ice ax, crampons, boots and helmet are required equipment.  It is possible to rent this gear.   Primarily, this climb will be a practice climb for our late June ascent of Mt. Rainier.

Mt. Hood's elevation is far less than Mt. Rainier at 14,410 but like Rainier it is glaciated.  Each year about 10,000 people attempt this climb.  From Timberline Lodge, we initially ascend a ski slope.  From there, we head towards Crater Rock, the Hogs Back and through the Pearly Gates to the summit.


The current plan is to arrive at Timberline Lodge before the ski lifts close (by 2:00 pm) and take the lift to 8,540 feet.  We will continue a short distance up the mountain and make a snow camp, preferably at the saddle of Illumination Rock at 9,500 feet.  If you are interested in skiing down, it is possible to do so from near our camp.  We could leave skis there for the descent.  We will start around 2 am for the summit and reach the top as the sun comes up.  We will carry a rope as a safety for a short steep pitch.  There is one notable crevasse on the route, called a bergschrund that we will navigate around.   The bergschrund, some sulpher vents and avalanche dangers are the biggest things we need to consider for this ascent.  If the avalanche danger is high during our trip, we might postpone our ascent to another time.

This is a great trip for your first mountaineering trip.  We will teach you to use your ice ax for self arrests and the use of crampons.  If you are attending the Mt Rainier trip, this is a great trip to figure out what gear you will need and you will be fully trained for the June climb.  


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  • Marie-Noelle

    Great pictures. Thanks for posting.

    May 12, 2014

  • Don

    I am very impressed with you all for doing this trip. I heard from Josh that you experienced a "white out" which I can see in the pictures. BTW, thanks for posting them for us to enjoy. I snow camp but you certainly went to the next level (or three). I would have probably dug a trench to sleep in up there, but then again I wasn't there. Maybe some day? Thanks David for posting more adventures for the Wanderers to enjoy. It's all good!

    May 10, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Some were interested in the temperature/wind data from our night...
    There is a weather station at the top of the Magic Mile lift and the data can be found here:
    http://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=MTIM70#history/s[masked]/e[masked]/mcustom
    Where we were camped about 1500' higher, one might expect 5 degrees colder (see here)
    http://www.onthesnow.com/news/a/15157/ask-a-weatherman--how-does-elevation-affect-temperature-

    Bottom line for 8500ft:
    At 8pm, temp was 36, winds 27 gusting to 47.
    At 5am it was 23 deg, winds 35 gusting to 47.
    Lovely weather for camping!

    May 5, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I found Brian's biner, Angela's balaclava and David's tent is almost dry.

    May 4, 2014

    • David E.

      Most of the ice has melted off the rest of the gear too.

      May 4, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      And I just finished the last of my melt water.

      May 4, 2014

  • David E.

    A fantastic mountain.

    May 4, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Um, we're going to the lodge that the shining was filmed at? I think I'll stay outside.

    May 1, 2014

  • David E.

    I've sent everyone whose phone numbers I have a text about this weekends climb. The forecast calls for a large snowstorm to hit Mt Hood on Sunday, the day we plan to summit. Please get back to me asap if you can leave earlier so that we can summit on Saturday. Can we leave Thursday night or Friday at noon or before? Other mountains need to be considered too. Perhaps a snow camp at Shasta where we practice our techniques or how about climbing the Half Dome without the cables? Actually, we would tie prussik knots around the cables for our safety.

    April 29, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      So Fri nite/sat am looks clear but very windy on the mountain! Better pack those earplugs. Perhaps there will be fewer people bottling up the chutes.

      April 30, 2014

    • David E.

      Ear plugs, shovels and pickets. With the southwesterly flow, the wind will be coming right up our route. The tents will have to be tied down well. We might have to pack the tents up before heading for the summit so they don't get blown away. Or we can dig holes to set the tents up in. In addition, it looks like night time temps are going to be COLD. Mid 20s to mid teens F. I've decided to bring a warmer bag and jacket. If you can find a shovel for backcountry use, bring it. We will try to dig our tents in so they are out of the wind.

      April 30, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I can drive my minivan. It'll seat 4 comfortably. Not sure if we have 7 or 9 people driving at this point. Angela volunteered to ride with me. I can take one or two more people. I'm up in Cloverdale, on the way if you take the 20 over to the 5. About the same for mileage and time as the other routes. I can park a car in front of my house and they'll be a bit safer then at Molsberry Market. If one or two people want to volunteer we can finish coordinating between us. If you all want to drive the 20 to the 5 you can caravan here, leave a car, and we'll head out.

    April 30, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I work tomorrow, so I won't be taking off until 9 pm Thurs night from San Rafael. If anyone wants to leave that late, I'm fine with carpooling. But I am planning to stay in Portland Sat night to visit a friend and drive back Sun.

      April 30, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Aaron, I'm up for the carpool. Do you want to leave at 6pm also? You can txt me at[masked]

      April 30, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    What time are we meeting at the Timberline Lodge on Friday David?

    April 30, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Have fun everyone!

    April 28, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'll try to remember that when David is waking us up at 2am :-)

      April 28, 2014

  • Max

    Just booked my flight and car for Portland and will meet you at the Timberline Lodge .

    April 21, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Due to a change in my work schedule, I need to change my plans, I'm bummed I'm going to miss this cool trip.

    April 15, 2014

    • David E.

      Steve, can you go on the new dates? May 2-5?

      April 18, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks for asking, but my fun will be confined to the weekends as I can't get any time off.

      April 20, 2014

  • Marcia B

    Sounds very cool but have to work weekends now.

    April 10, 2014

8 went

  • David E. +1
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  • A former member
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