Mt. Hood - Need for a Guide?

1:56 p.m. on March 9, 2004 (EST)

I'm planning to do a Mt Hood Trip in May via the traditional route (Hogsback/Timberline lodge). Considering that I have a reasonable amount of experience, do most people need a guide on this route? I have not been on Mt. Hood before and only know the route through research.
Thanks for your input,

3:32 p.m. on March 9, 2004 (EST)
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.... Considering that I have a reasonable amount of experience, do most people need a guide on this route?

What do you mean by "a reasonable amount of experience"? I suspect this is a case of "if you have to ask", then you need a guide, or at least people in your party with more experience in the specific areas. What is your experience on glaciers, using crampons and ice ax, roped climbing, etc., namely the specific skills and experience needed to climb the route? If you have done, say, Rainier via the Emmons, or Baker, or other peaks involving glaciers and climbing a steep ice slope, then possibly ok. But if your glacier experience is limited to, say, Mt Adams, you will need something more, possibly a guide. How many in your party, and how many have experience?

Hood is not all that hard by the route you mentioned, but remember that a number of people were killed there only a short while ago, and the helicopter sent to aid them crashed.

8:49 p.m. on March 20, 2004 (EST)

a.k.a. Karl

One can avoid most if not all the danger on Mt Hood South side Hogsback route if you:
--go up in early season when the berg is completely filled in, especially if you go on a weekend when there will be a trail of people. This year that probably means do it by mid-April.
--go when the avalanche danger is low
--go when the surface is not an ice glaze from freezing rain
--summit by about 9am before the sun has been out on the cliffs long to avoid ice and rockfall. The climb is 5-8 hrs depending on climber strength.
--go when the weather is good
--don't get too close to the edge at the top

Such conditions offer benign runouts if one fell unarrested. The worst runout might be when rounding crater rock. Though in early season, there will likely be no open rocks below.

If you want a good checklist and a short guideline for routes like that email me.

June 19, 2018
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