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Mt Hood in July

14ers in California and Washington state or any other peak in the USA
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Posts: 2056
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 8:30 pm
Location: Bellingham, Washington

Re: Mt Hood in July

Postby Aubrey » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:03 am

Sounds like we just missed some of you on Hood.

We got really lucky -- weather/avy-wise -- and made it up Hood (6/11) and Shasta (6/14) last week. Major storms rolled across Hood just days before we climbed it ... and Shasta saw 115 mph winds just days before we climbed it.

So saddened to hear about Mark Cartier's accident, just days after we were there (and on the same route).

I will try to post some trip reports soon ... too much to try and explain in this forum.

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Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:04 pm
Location: Battle Ground, WA

Re: Mt Hood in July

Postby lazy climber » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:08 pm

It has been a rough week or so on Hood, an experienced climber( worked for Timberline Guide Service) slipped and died on the standard route about 1 week and a half ago, a week later a group was up spreading his ashes when another guy fell in the same spot. From what I heard he got off the plane from the midwest somewhere, headed up the hill with spikes, trekking poles and a bicycle helmet. He did survive the fall, the group on the hill for the Memeorial included a bunch of the SAR guys so they were able to get to him in a short time, I heard it took 7 hours to get him all the way down the hill, he was a lucky guy.

I guess the moral of the story is to be careful, we are still getting weather on the hill, climbing conditions are not the best and will get worse as the season progresses. We do not count summer being here till after the 4th of July and even then you never know what kind of weather you wil get. As far as I am concerned climbing on Hood after the first week or so of June in not worth the trouble, it gets crowded, the routes are all rutted out, things start falling off the hill more, the ridge routes are all melted out for the most part, it is just not worth the trouble. It is usually not bad skining/skiing through the middle of July sometimes.

The last time I climbed on Hood was the end of May, the bergschrund was open and required a traverse either east or west to get around it, the Pearly Gates were rutted out with some hard water ice in it, I came down a side chute onto the Mazamas Chute ( which was the "standard" route this year and where the latest two accidents happened) both were tracked up a lot and if you fell would result in a bad slide/fall.

For those of you climbing Hood from now til the end of the summer, watch the weather (which should be getting better as we go along), if you are climbing unroped, pay attention to your foot work. If you are climbing in a rope team, use running belays or static anchors. I do not care how good you are, if you come loose on the upper slopes you will not be able to self arrest or will your buddies be able to stop you. The joke about climbing roped up on Hood is that you can at least die with your friends. I see lots of rope teams going up the hill but very seldom see any one doing it correctly.


As an option, the TH's in the North Cascades should be accesable in the next few weeks.

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Re: Mt Hood in July

Postby spiderman » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:20 am

I am heading back to Hood on Thursday and hoping that the conditions are better than when I last tried in mid-June... anybody with fresh beta?

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Re: Mt Hood in July

Postby Shasta Locales » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:35 am

spiderman wrote:I am heading back to Hood on Thursday and hoping that the conditions are better than when I last tried in mid-June... anybody with fresh beta?


We were there yesterday. The freeze/thaw level was 14,000' - that's something I wish we'd have paid more attention to.

It was a giant pile of slush. We got to the Hogsback at 6am, and everyone - even the guided groups - were turning around.

So, I'd say bad conditions unless you get a solid freeze around 10,000' or so.

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Re: Mt Hood in July

Postby Adventurgal » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:42 am

How quickly conditions change.

We summitted Hood last weekend under beautiful sunny skies with no winds. Took us 5 hours to summit and hiked up and down thru the Old Chute, and back to Timberline in 3 hrs. It was so enjoyable we took long breaks on the descent including 30 minutes at the Hogback.
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Enjoying a break at the Hogback
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Re: Mt Hood in July

Postby spiderman » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:29 am

Thanks for the replies! The current forecast looks like early Friday morning will have good conditions. We are keeping my fingers crossed that everything works out well since this will be our fourth attempt. Too much avalanche danger the previous three tries. It has been so hard to get our 49th state HP :evil:

Quick question: any recommendations of an outdoor's store between the Portland airport and Timberline Lodge to pick up a couple butane fuel canisters for a stove?

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