Ascent of Mount Hood on 2019-02-19

Climber: Miles Smith

Date:Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Peak:Mount Hood
    Elevation:8700 ft / 2651 m

Ascent Trip Report

Departed from parking at approx 4AM. Weather was very windy but clear until sunrise, where conditions progressively worsened. By the time we reached our high point 400' past the abandoned ski lift at 7AM, winds were extremely strong and blew enough ice/snow into the air to cause a complete whiteout. We dug a snow cave close to the lift to layer up and escape exposure in hopes of waiting out the poor weather, but winds and temperature became harsher instead. At this point it was difficult to see 5' in front of myself when winds were gusting. After some unrefreshing sandwiches (which immediately became covered in a layer of snow upon unwrapping), we considered our situation: with the extremely poor visibility and amount of time wasted we decided to err on the side of safety and return to our car, which was a challenge itself. Skiing down was nearly impossible in the whiteout with no sense of direction or balance, with both of us (experienced snowboarder/skiier) eating snow several times. By the time that we descended past the worst of the weather, both of our goggles (and all of our gear) had developed a significant layer of ice. Unfortunately, the weather got the best of us and we had to leave empty-handed with no summit and a disappointing ski down.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Headlamp, Skis, Ski Poles

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