Mount Hood Summit

12:26 p.m. on June 24, 2014 (EDT)
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Mount Hood is pretty distinct in the PNW skyline.  I have craved it for a while and when my partner for Rainier later this Summer was available I emailed the boss and loaded up.

I arrived at Timberline Sunday night and registered at the climbers cave where a skier gave me some beta and encouragement saying, "I don't want to hear about you on the news tomorrow ok?" With this endorsement I made camp in the Excursion in the parking lot, which makes a pretty stellar basecamp. 


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After three-ish hours of sleep it was 11:30 pm and time to wake up, brew some strong coffee, eat some pop-tarts and gear up.  Jason rolled in at a little before midnight as planned and we hit the trail. 

I hadn't really met Jason yet, just spoke by phone and online so I was relieved find that this recent college grad was exactly what he claimed.  I am sure he was glad to find out that this old man (38) was what I said I was too. 

In the moon-less darkness a nice rock slide about 100 yards away (heard, but not seen in the dark) reminded us of the urgency of summiting before the sun warmed things up too much. 


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At Hell's Kitchen, snacking, putting on jackets and loving the sulfur smell from the many vents nearby.  I left the trekking poles here.  Once the sky brightened enough to see by we headed up, not stopping to take pictures.  


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Topping out of the Mazama chute as the sun rose over the Columbia River; a very moving experience.


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Jason and the summit.

We chatted with another climber then walked over to the true summit, the first of the day to do so.


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Peeking over a big drop on the north side.  I can't wait to see his DSLR pics.


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Mt. Hood Shadow pic.  I think everyone takes one like this.


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With my pockets bursting with extra gloves, uneaten energy goo and granloa bars.  Mount Adams, Rainier and St Helens in the background. Wind all of maybe 5mph at the most!


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Looking South at Mount Jefferson and the three Sisters.


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Looking North, from left to right: Mount Saint Helens, Mount Rainier and Adams


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Looking down the chute I came up in.  I brought a 2nd ice tool but didn't really need it.


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Looking back up at the other teams entering the chutes.  Nice ice steps most of the way except in the chute. 


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The famous bergschrund. From the Blackhawk incident.


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I think this fumarole is the one that ate a guy this Spring (he survived).  Reminds me of that sand monster from Return of the Jedi.


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Sulfur vent.  Stiiinky.


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Looking back at the summit.


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On the way down to the ski area, about 7am. Back to the truck at 8am. Skis would have been nice, next time. 

No we didn't rope up, for several reasons.  One team of two was roped up but it really wasn't necessary or safe IMO to be roped up. 

A pretty amazing trip with everything coming together better than I could have hoped for.  If I weren't so old fashioned I'd admit that there might have been a tear or two watching the sun rise from the summit. 

1:18 p.m. on June 24, 2014 (EDT)
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Can't imagine I'll ever be there in person so thanks for sharing the awesome pics. 

1:56 p.m. on June 24, 2014 (EDT)
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Wow Sage! Yes, a classic part of PNW life for sure. miss it so much. And you look faboo! I am sure the experience of this Mt and your upcoming Rainier will be all the better for your increased fitness!

3:02 p.m. on June 24, 2014 (EDT)
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Good one.

6:20 p.m. on June 24, 2014 (EDT)
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Amazing trip and great photos!


I cant wait to get back to some snow. Every time I open up my gear closet and look at my axes, I crave it even more.

8:07 p.m. on June 24, 2014 (EDT)
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Soooo good. Climbed south sister last summer. I love the pnw!! Btw maple sugar pop tarts are my fav!

10:54 p.m. on June 24, 2014 (EDT)
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I hope these images burn into your memory and you never forget them. It looks surreal up there. 

9:50 a.m. on June 25, 2014 (EDT)
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awesome, and thanks

1:17 p.m. on June 25, 2014 (EDT)
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Jeff,

These pictures are INCREDIBLE! What an awesome adventure!

Thank you so much for sharing!

4:56 a.m. on June 28, 2014 (EDT)
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giftogab said:

Wow Sage! Yes, a classic part of PNW life for sure...

Hood is the classic mountain climb.  I forgot how beautiful it is.  By all means take skis.

Ed

11:03 a.m. on June 28, 2014 (EDT)
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Nice trip report. You really did all that running on pop tarts?

5:01 p.m. on June 28, 2014 (EDT)
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Most excellent!  Are there ever any snow free routes to the summit during summer months?

11:20 a.m. on June 29, 2014 (EDT)
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Great report, Jeff.  Thanks for sharing.

10:01 a.m. on June 30, 2014 (EDT)
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Ppine, it was pop tarts, then energy goo, then granola bars, but ya, mostly junk food.  I used pretty much all that sugar on the climb.  My current scheme is to just keep slurping carbs to climb on then protein after to rebuild.  I think it works ok.  Usually I'd start on oatmeal but but I haven't had a pop tart in like 20 years so I had a craving. 

Rob, Hood is snowy almost 100% of the time at the top.  Some years there might be a time when there is a snow free route but on this mountain the snow is your friend, it keeps the rocks from falling on you and smashing your grape.  My climb was really at the end of the recognized safe season. 

9:48 p.m. on June 30, 2014 (EDT)
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this looks amazing, thanks for sharing!

10:47 p.m. on June 30, 2014 (EDT)
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Sage, your pics are great. A couple weeks ago I got invited to climb Mt. Rainier in August 2015! This morning I started an exercise program to get into shape for that!

8:13 a.m. on July 1, 2014 (EDT)
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Goose..my bro is climbing it in 2015 too. Just get on your team soon as they fill up fast. He was going this year and waited a little too long and the trips were all full with all companies.

5:37 p.m. on July 1, 2014 (EDT)
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GoG...thanks for letting me know!

November 28, 2014
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