Ascent of Mount Hood on 2012-09-22

Climber: Joshua Danos

Date:Saturday, September 22, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Hood
    Elevation:11239 ft / 3425 m

Ascent Trip Report

Without intentions of summiting we decided to attempt Hood. Waking up at 1:00 am, we noticed headlamps far up on the mountain. After making a quick breakfast and donning our equipment, my wife and I began climbing. We followed the lift line from the parking lot at Timberline. Eventually we skirted to our right and ascended via the white river glacier. Being a low snow year crevasses were widely opened and we forwent ropes. Eventually we hit the Devil's Kitchen and found the bergshrund had melted enough that we couldn't ascend the more recommended (at the time) route of the Hogsback through the Pearly Gates so we skirted left to the South Side Old Chute variation. The headlamps that we saw earlier were climbers who were now at the top of the Old Chute variation and as I crossed a shallow crevasse to begin ascending, the climbers ahead knocked off loose rock that came whipping down. I can't say for sure how large the rocks were, but they made a buzzing sound through the air as they whirled past. Once I saw the rocks coming, I was able to get clear and cross the crevasse again. The rocks were at least as large as my head and would have resulted in serious consequence if either one of us would have been hit.

Since it was so late in the season and the snow year was light, we found ourselves kicking our crampons into ice that was as blue as the sea. It generally took many kicks and the ice was extremely dense. What we didn't consider was the potential difficulty of descending this same route. Eventually we topped out on the ridge and talked to the other climbers. They said that they were planning on climbing Adams or St. Helen's, can't recall which, but due to forest fire that closed the climb down, they chose to come to Hood and climb. I wasn't sure if we were actually close to the summit or not, but I noticed rocks scars from crampons heading to the left so I climbed a short bit to look. In the distance I noticed the true summit and went back to report to the other climbers and Kyla. The ascent up the old chute had rattled the others, (not Kyla) and they were adamant on turning back. Kyla and I continued and after a traverse we both made our way to the summit.

Descending was quite difficult and we found ourselves stuck a few times. At one section we found old heavy rope that was frozen into the ice. We used it to descend over some steep sections hand over hand until we were on more level terrain. We descended the same route we ascended and were surprised to realize we had actually accomplished the climb.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear

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