Ascent of Mount Hood on 2014-06-08

Climber: James Barlow

Others in Party:Tim Brown
Date:Sunday, June 8, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Hood
    Elevation:11239 ft / 3425 m

Ascent Trip Report

We did a less standard route for more enjoyment, technical challenge, and crowd avoidance. Cooper Spur was in perfect shape for the climb and is probably one of the finest snow/ice climbs I have done to date. We did cheat however thanks to the chairlift...

We met on Saturday morning at Timberline Lodge and after gear futzing, we were off up the chairlift to the very top. The weather was incredible: slight breeze, sun, and warm - doesn't get better than this in the northwest! At the end of the cat track we roped up for our descent of the White River Glacier. I took lead around a few crevasses and we were able to ditch the rope as we hit our low point and climbed a nice snow finger to 8,400 ft. We took a lunch break somewhere around here before heading to our camp spot at the base of the steeper portion of the Cooper Spur. The Newton Glacier has seen 2 recent large wet slides. The route looked pretty straightforward from camp.

Just as we were setting the tent up, the wind picked up considerably, from zero wind to probably 20-25 mph. We had no difficulties with the tent, but as dinner drew closer, we started to run into stove issues. We had taken my stove since it had recently worked quite well in Alaska. This turned out to be a mistake as we did not test it in the parking lot. It seemed that the stove was having a hard time staying lit, which we assumed was from the wind. After blowing through over 3/4 of our fuel melting 3 liters of water, we realized that the stove was leaking fuel from the pump and not maintaining pressure, hence it was going out. Additionally, the fuel had been leaking into the snow underneath the stove. Naturally as we had issues with the stove and excavated a bigger hole, we had used our excavated snow to fill the water pot. The water tasted a bit off. We then wondered about the ill effects of ingesting white gas... We did this while enjoying the next day's lunch in place of our uncooked pasta dinner as our stove was dead and we were out of fuel (or it was in our nalgene bottles).

We were up at 3:30 am and the wind had died down considerably. We ate breakfast, packed, pulled the tent down, and were on our way around 4:30. 2 skiers arrived at our campsite as we started up, so we climbed parallel to each other to avoid rock fall on either party. We ended up setting anchors for two and a half pitches of the steepest snow/ice, probably 55 degrees or so. It went much better than I expected. We topped out just before 7:00 am. A number of folks were starting to stream on to the summit from the main route and some were descending. We hung out for about 20 minutes taking photos and re-setting for the down climb.

We took the old chute as that is where all the south side teams had ascended from. We bypassed a Mazamas group that was using a fixed line to descend with prussiks and poorly placed (vertical) pickets instead of T trenches. We laughed at their: 1) need for a fixed line down the well worn staircase of steps that was the old chute and 2) poorly placed protection that would have offered no actual stopping power. Whatever...

On the descent, we made sure to stay above a group of 4 climbers that were tied in as a long rope team. Apparently, they thought there were crevasses between the Hogsback and old chute??? They would have been one hell of a hazard if they fell and clotheslined a string of other climbers. With the exception of the two above-mentioned poorly applied techniques by teams, the rest of the teams on the mountain seemed to have their stuff together. We reached the skis and boots that we had hidden in the rocks above the top chairlift in short order and proceeded to rip down the groomers back to the car in just a few short minutes.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4119 ft / 1255 m
    Total Elevation Loss:400 ft / 121 m
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4119 ft / 1255 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 3719 ft / 1133 m; Extra: 400 ft / 121m
    Loss on way in:400 ft / 121 m
    Route:Cooper Spur
    Start Trailhead:7520 ft / 2292 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by James Barlow
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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