Ascent of Mount Hood on 2017-06-04

Climber: Sandeep Kumar

Others in Party:Karthik Krish -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Date:Sunday, June 4, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Hood
    Elevation:11239 ft / 3425 m

Ascent Trip Report

Mt. Hood via Leuthold Couloir route. We started from trail head on Jun 3rd 1.30 PM. Slogged up till Illumination Saddle with 40 pounds weight. Dug a snow cave. My first and probably last time. It took us 3-4 hours to make a 4-person cave. Extremely tiring and not something I would want to do after a 5 hour slog. The terrain was well-suited for the cave though. Nice sloping snow with huge amount of snow. We slept around 11 pm I think.

Woke up at 3.30 am on June 4th. Geared up and left at 5am. We roped up at the camp because the first objective was to drop down to Reid Glacier and traverse a bit past the Reid Headwall, to get to the bottom of Leuthold Couloir. We dropped around 120 feet or so, crossed 2-3 crevasses using snow bridges. At least one crevasse was about 6 feet wide. Once at the base, we started climbing up the couloir (and unroped somewhere in the process becase there were no crevassed glaciers now). There were 3 options that looked like Hour Glass to us. The leftmost one is the correct one. We saw 6-10 feet deep runnels in the couloir. We crossed two of them. The runnel was less deep in the hour glass section. Minute snow and ice debris flew through the runnel, almost like a river. There was also ice chunks falling off, and once in a while rock as well.

Uptil the hour glass section, we enjoyed pre-existing solid foot steps. After the hour glass, there were none, and the climb was just brutal on the calves. Ice tools helped a lot. The summit ridge looked so close, but it took forever. Once on the summit ridge, we chose a path that went slightly down on the north side (because it looked nicer), and quickly realized it was the wrong one. We came back up to the ridge, and followed the obvious but steep ridge line. After another 500 feet of brutal steep climb, the ridge becomes less steep, almost flat, but quite thin at spots. We summitted at 9.40am. Took few pics and headed down via Old Chute route.

Old Chute is steep to descend. At some points I missed my regular ice axes. (I had decided to bring two ice tools and no ice axe for this trip.). Descent down was fast. One of our party members plunged through a very thin, but deep crevasse below the chute, above the fumaroles. He was able to recover from the plunge and just walk past. There were few more crevasses we saw and I wonder why no one (including us) ropes up on the standard route on Hood?

We were back at camp around 11.30am. We packed, and headed down to trail head around 12.30PM. The slog back was not enjoyable to me at all. It's never ending. Reached car at 3.30 PM.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Me reaching the top of Leuthod Couloir (2017-06-04). Photo by Sandeep Kumar.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5479 ft / 1669 m
    Total Elevation Loss:120 ft / 36 m
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:5479 ft / 1669 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 5359 ft / 1633 m; Extra: 120 ft / 36m
    Loss on way in:120 ft / 36 m
    Route:Leuthold Couloir
    Start Trailhead:5880 ft / 1792 m
    Time:10 Hours 10 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Route:Old Chute
    Time:5 Hours 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Sandeep Kumar
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
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.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

Other Photos

Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Me at the summit of Mt. Hood (2017-06-04). Photo by Sandeep Kumar.
Click here for larger-size photo.

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