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Mesahchie Mark
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Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 693 | TRs | Pics
Location: Island of Sodor
Mesahchie Mark
Really Useful Engine
PostSun Jan 08, 2017 11:22 pm 
Note:  This is NOT a current trip report!  Here, in the middle of winter, I thought it would be fun to add some notable adventures that did not already have TRs to the site.  Enjoy!

Mt Hood 7/13/02:  South Side/Hogsback/Pearly Gates Route

Two weeks prior to this trip, I was on Mt Rainier, getting turned around by the RMI guides at 11.5k because of too much fresh snow.  I was very disappointed to not summit, but something very important happened on that trip that is with me to this day:  A sense of belonging on the mountain.  I wanted more, and I did not want to depend on guide services.  I wanted to own the experience.

At the time, Mt Hood was already on my radar.  I had skied at the resorts there many times, and had made a half-assed solo attempt in 2001, armed only with determination and an ice axe.  Late season conditions and falling rocks turned me back then.  More recently, the mountain had been in the national news (5/30/02 accident and helicopter crash), which added some trepidation to the event.

Slightly wiser and better equipped than I had been the year before, I joined up with a coworker, Dan, to make another try on Hood. We left work on Friday evening, headed over I-90 and down I-82 to avoid I-5 traffic.  The plan was to get to Timberline and start climbing by midnight.  The idea was to ascend when conditions were coolest to avoid rockfall hazards.

The weather was good, clear and warm, even at 6000 ft.  I remember smelling smoke from a forest fire somewhere to the south of the mountain.  En route, we joined up with two other climbers, Matt and Rob, who flew up from Phoenix to climb.  We were all concerned with the bergschrund.

Navigation slowed as we cleared the ski area.  The mountain certainly looked and felt different than it had in 2001.  Slowly but surely, we approached the bergschrund.  There was a sketchy section where it was possible to walk-over the 'schrund and we protected it as best we could, being roped together.  Once the 'schrund was below us, I remember the snow being steep and soft, and a crampon came off at one point.

The 'Schrund
The 'Schrund
Climber at the 'Schrund
Climber at the 'Schrund
More Climbers at the 'Schrund
More Climbers at the 'Schrund

The sun had already risen by the time we reached the summit.  Sunrise that day was 5:34 AM; I estimate we were on top by 6:30 AM.  It seems views to the north were obscured, better to the south.  It was gratifying to reach the summit, but we were also cold and tired by then, so we didn't stay for long.  Some pictures were taken (early days of digital cameras!) and then it was time to go.  The descent was much quicker - I think we were back to Timberline by 11 AM.

Dan and Mark on the summit
Dan and Mark on the summit
Matt and Rob aka Team Phoenix
Matt and Rob aka Team Phoenix
Dan
Dan
Me with my old axe aka "The Sentinel"
Me with my old axe aka "The Sentinel"
Looking down on Timberline
Looking down on Timberline
View of the summit area
View of the summit area

And we were exhausted!  We had been up all night.  We tried napping for an hour or so before deciding to head home.  This would be one of my first (of many) experiences with the struggle to stay awake on the way home after an adventure.  Happily, we did make it back in one piece.

Closing thoughts:  Looking at the pics, I see I was wearing my goretex bicycle wear, and Dan is obviously wearing a ski jacket!  My gear is better these days.  We must not have brought harnesses, as the ropes are tied around our waists - don't think that is in Freedom of the Hills. clown.gif
I now find it funny, in light of my pursuit of the Bulger list, that my first big mountain success would be in another state!

--------------
Cheers,

Mesahchie Mark
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Just_Some_Hiker
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Joined: 02 Jan 2013
Posts: 691 | TRs | Pics
Location: Snoqualmie, WA
Just_Some_Hiker
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PostMon Jan 09, 2017 1:50 am 
Hood is a good winter climb. The crowds are smaller or nonexistent, and you don't need to deal with the bergschrund.

Last year I was doing some late spring skiing on Hood, and I was almost at the Hogsback so I figured that I may as well go grab the summit. When I got up there, I saw a conga line running from the bottom of the Hogsback up to the summit. It was insane. Needless to say, I nope'd right outta there.

Here's a pic from a couple weeks ago. The rime ice formations were really beautiful.


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