Peak(s):  Mt. Hood - 11,249 feet
Date Posted:  06/27/2011
Modified:  07/12/2011
Date Climbed:   06/23/2011
Author:  Theodore
 Mt. Hood - Standard Route  

On Thursday 6/23 I climbed Mt. Hood in OR with one really good friend (Taylor), one new friend (Ryan) and an awesome guide (Tico) that made sure he did what he could to keep us from screwing up. I've done a fair amount of climbs in CO, Taylor has summited Hood 4 times before this climb and this was Ryan's first time on a snow climb. All types of experience....

Here's a great video of the Reach the Summit crew that headed up the same day we did. Taylor is on the board of the Lung Association up there and they put the climb on as a fund raiser. I make a few cameos in it, I'm the climber in the back in the still shot on the video page. The views are stunning!

View of the summit from Timberline's upper level (3rd story and about 5 feet over the snow).

This was my first time on a glacier, or on consistent steep snow, so Tico was good piece of mind to have around. Ryan and I did a few hour skill review lower on the mountain on Wednesday morning, going over crampon technique, ice axe usage, basic anchor building, roped travel, stuff like that.

Here's us heading back to Timberline Lodge. Tico on the left, Ryan in the middle and me on the right.

We grabbed some lunch, the headed back to the cabin to rest up for the climb. Hood is a bit different when it comes to timing... the steepest part of the climb is just below the summit and a TON of rime ice comes falling down all night. Once the sun hits it, it only gets worse, so the M.O. is to start up around midnight, and summit as close to sunrise as possible. We woke up at 10pm threw our gear together and drove up to Timberline.

Ready to get goin... Taylor and I at the climbers hut at Timberline


We ended up taking a snow-cat up to the top of the ski resort. This didn't gain us a lot of altitude, but saved us from a boring slog up a green to blue ski slope. When we started out, we were solidly in the marine layer. Dense clouds, some rain and visibility of about 50-75 feet. Thankfully during the 20 minute ride we emerged just above the layer and had a sky full of stars above out heads. Unfortunately, cameras don't pick that up real well, so no pics of that.

I don't have many good pics of the climb up since it was dark and the moon hadn't even made it over the summit ridge yet. We made it up and over the Hogsback and then down into the crater. This area STINKS. Sulfer vents are all over the place and it can really take your breath away at times. We stopped right below the headwall at an area called the hot rocks. Roped up, ditched our poles and out came the ice axes.


We hiked up a short section of bare volcanic dirt/rock and onto the 700ft tall head wall. Things got a bit steeper here ~40 degrees, so we didn't have a whole lot of picture opportunities. We got to the top of the old chute area and Tico had a surprise for us. A fun direct finish that went up a steep couloir that was about 55 degrees with one short 10 foot section that was about 65-70 degrees.

Tico leading the steep pitch.


Ryan, Taylor and I in the couloir waiting for our turns:

In short order we topped out on the summit ridge and made our way over to the summit.

Myself and Taylor on chilly summit... 45mph winds and 15 degrees... made for a windchill of ~10F. My face and nose were getting COLD. Fingers didn't want to be out of gloves for very long either!

Tico and Ryan:


We summited just after 5 am, just in time to watch the sun rise on the horizon. With a layer of clouds below us, the summits of the high peaks around us stood like islands. Looking back down the summit ridge:

We didn't have much time on top due to the wind, so we headed down after about 10 or 15 minutes. Taylor gave me some of my father's ashes that I let into the wind on the summit. We had been trying for a good summit for years now, it just took 12 years to work out. Not unlike Lebowski, a good portion ended up right back in my face.... Hi dad. The hike down the headwall took a fair amount of concentration since a fall would have been bad. This is the area that this mountain tends to kill.

We made it down to the Hogsback, stowed the axes, out came the poles and started the slog back down. Here's the last pic that's worthwhile... looking down at the clouds from the Hogsback.


The slope stayed relatively firm until we got to the top of the ski area, then it turned into more and more annoying slush the further down we got.

We ended up making it back down to Timberline around 8am... Start of most people's day and it felt like 6pm for us. Weird sensation.

I should have a few better pics come along shortly, I'll try to get those posted if anyone has any interest. I also have a few short vids, I just need to figure out how to steal them from fb.

Some of the nicer pics are starting to trickle in... These were taken by a guy named John Waller. He has a company called Uncage the Soul Productions. His photog skills are incredible. The guy was running circles around everyone with a 60lb pack on setting up his shots. I'll try to get these in some sort of order. Some of these are our group, some aren't, but they are worth including. Different group, same day.

Snowcat and stars

Area of our first rest

Milky Way

Illumination Rock

View up the Hogsback

Tico taking a pic of us

Our group on the summit ridge

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Nice TR...
06/28/2011 07:47
I'm heading to Oregon this week for my dad's wedding and I'm trying to decide if I should bring stuff for a quick attempt... Your trip report might have just convinced me to throw the axe in with the luggage, conditions sure look nice.


Do it!
06/28/2011 11:54
I had a great time, it's a fun route! If you don't want to schlep your gear up there, TMG has a pretty decent selection of rental stuff, but I'm not 100% sure they rent to non clients.

Brian C

06/28/2011 17:31
Very cool. Glad you had a good experience and that your Dad made the trip with you. We summited on the 10th and it's amazing how much the snow has rutted out since then! We also took that chute variation and thought it was fun. Snowcat didn't gain much elevation? I thought they took you halfway up the mountain. Congrats!


06/28/2011 22:00
Not sure if it was half, but regardless, it's the boring part, that is for sure! In the first pic, they dropped us off right next to the top exposed ground of the 'ridge' that rises out of the trees on the right; just left of the shadows.


Congrats Ted
07/01/2011 22:29
Good to see you on top in full mountaineering gear brother! Way to go!

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