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Ascent of Mount Hood on 2004-11-27

Climber: Edward Earl

Date:Saturday, November 27, 2004
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Hood
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:2730 ft / 832 m

Ascent Trip Report

Mount Hood lies in the Hood Mountain Regional Park (HMRP). Although the maps suggest it is accessible from the SW via Pythian Road, this approach crosses private property. It is necessary instead to use Los Alamos Road, which approaches from the NW starting at CA-12 near Santa Rosa. A 10 mile round trip hike on signed public trails of the park with 2300' total gain begins at a parking lot at the end of this road. I am unsure of the exact starting elevation but I believe it is about 1200'.

The hike begins with a decent of about 400' in 0.8 mile. Then it fords a sizeable creek just past a picnic area. The ford is knee-deep and there is no substitute or alternative to getting your feet soaked. From there the trail (actually a roadbed) climbs 600' to an outhouse. Here there are two choices: continue on the road, or take a so-called "summit trail" to the left. Either way, the two routes rejoin near the well-named Pygmy Forest at 2200'. From here there are also two choices: take the road or the trail to the summit.

The summit area consists of a clearing surrounded by brush and small trees. The highest natural ground is a 4' rock outcrop hidden in brush on the S side of the clearing. I was not able to locate the 2730' BM on the summit despite considerable search effort. Through a gap in the bushes to the east I was able to get a view of Bald Mountain, which is well-named. It is clear from this level and perpendicular view that the bare summit of Bald is higher than the top of the brush on North Bald, and since the surface of North Bald must be lower still, Bald is unquestionably higher than North Bald. Furthermore, the radius of curvature of the two summits is the same, and the highest contour loop on Bald is larger than that on North Bald. Thus, in order for North Bald to be higher, it would have to be sharper, which is clearly not the case. Therefore I can rule out North Bald as a contender for the prominence of the Hood/Bald group.

From the summit of Mount Hood, one can continue 0.4 mile south to Gunsight Rock, an impressive landmark as seen from the valley below. A side trip to this rock outcrop is well worth it.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2630 ft / 801 m
    Extra Gain:500 ft / 152 m
    Distance:9.8 mi / 15.8 km
    Trailhead:Mt Hood Regional Park  1100 ft / 335 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Stream Ford
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:3 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:2 Hours 30 Minutes



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