February 9, 2003
Rick Treleaven, Renee Hamilton, Brent McGregor, Sheila Pyott
Click on small images to see full pictures.
Traversing above the crevasses
We started at 5 am, Timberline parking lot, summitted around noon, were back at the cars around 3:00-3:30. Conditions were beautiful and quite warm on the climb. No wind on the way up, but quite windy, coming down. Although the south side route looked like a pilgrimage, we had the Wy’east to ourselves. We did see crevasse evidence, but avoided anything significant. The bergschrund is open, coming down the south side, but doesn’t require a huge detour.
Mt. Hood, early morning
This was my first fairly steep (50 degree) climb and it was fabulous. We did plan to rope up, towards the top, but missed our opportunity. Both Rick and Brent were carrying ropes. Nice to have. The conditions were “spider man,” -Rick’s phrase-, meaning we had really good footing. At first I wondered if this meant we had to be spider man, to accomplish the climb, but, apparently, we just had to be ourselves.
Looking down on South Side climbers and Illumination Rock
The sun was very warm, so get started early, if you plan to do this route, as it’s east facing. The snow was soft and the angles look ripe for slides. We didn’t linger on the way up. We initially tried an alternate gully, but found this too much of a struggle. We down climbed this section and continued around the corner, further east, where we had views of Mt. Hood Meadows. The skiing doesn’t look too good, lots of bare ridges showing! We must have been above Heather Canyon.
The crux move of the climb
We had awesome views the whole way, particularly when we topped out from the east and were looking towards Illumination Rock and the south side route. We were nestled on a ridge, among the cauliflower cornices. From the summit, Rainier, Helens, and Adams were clearly visible. Brent was the photo journalist, and got some good shots for this report.
Happy summiteers, Rick, Sheila, Renee, and Brent
The descent was uneventful, although I could feel every ache and pain in my body, after all the duck walk crampon climbing we had done on the ascent. Well worth it!
Renee waiting her turn through the Pearly Gates
Congestion at the Hog Back