Summit of Mt. Hood

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

I set off alone on Friday night toward Mt. Hood. Sam and I were hoping to climb on Thursday, but the weather did not cooperate. This was my first attempt to climb the mountain since June 2008.

The ascent

Timberline parking lot was filled with people – a strange sight in the middle of the night. By 12:15am, I had signed in and packed up. There were already at least 50 people ahead of me. Most were already geared up with ice axes, parkas, and helmets. I was in a t-shirt, but managed to stay warm by keeping up a brisk pace. Over the next few hours, I would pass most of the climbers ahead of me.

Want to know what climbing hood looks like? It looks dark. The moon had already set and the stars were mostly veiled by slightly cloudy skies.

It was still dark when I reached Crater rock, but the stars had finally come out. Crampons, axes, and my helmet finally came out for the final climb. This year, the hogsback is more of mound than a spine – and luckily, the path winds easily around the crevasse. From there, a steep climb led up between the cliffs known as the pearly gates. I was very glad to have two axes at this point.

The summit

I reached the top just before sunrise at 5am. There were only about a dozen people up top and the scene was eerily calm. The wind that had continued throughout the climb suddenly stopped and the viability was incredible. I could easily see, Helens, Rainer, Adams, Jefferson, the 3 Sisters – and Portland.

The decent

After only a short stay, I took off back down the mountain – I wanted to get ahead of the crowd, and that was a good choice. There were dozens of people on their way up. Luckily, I managed to get through the steep pearly gates before hitting the crowd. Once again, I was happy to be using 2 axes. Both were needed to down climb the shoot safely.

Some more photos

One Response to “Summit of Mt. Hood”

  1. gabriel nagmay (dot com) | Archive » ‘Summit’ of Mt. Saint Helens Says:

    […] week, I climbed Mt. Hood. Today, we went up Mt. Saint […]

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