Mt. Hood South

04/13/14

Mt. Hood South

A trip report for Mount Hood South Climb
Posted by Nathan Putnam
Road Issues: Road is great
Trail Condition: Minor obstacles, but hikeable
Bugs: Not an issue
Snow Level: Starts at 4,000 ft

A sunny weekend and good snow conditions had me scrambling to plan a trip for a PNW volcano. A group of friends and I decided on Mt. Hood. Conditions were perfect with nice densely frozen snow perfect for crampons. We climbed up the pearly gates and then descended the old chute.

The pearly gates were in great condition. There was about a 10' section of 60 degree mixed ice and rock to climb but it was very easy even with a single general mountaineering style ice axe. We roped up, simul-climbed, and placed an ice screw and picket mainly for fun and practice. I would have felt totally comfortable climbing this with no rope given the great cramponing conditions.

I felt way more confident ascending the pearly gates than during my descent of the old chute.

The old chute requires you to walk along the west ridge for about 75' before getting to the summit plateau. A ten foot section of it was a knifeblade edge about a foot wide with the steep north face on one side and some steep snow leading to cliffs on the south side. eeek! 25mph winds coming off the north face were enough to mess with our balance. I would recommend bringing a rope and picket and protecting this section if it is windy or if you don't feel confident.

There is no cornice formed on any of the ridges and the mountain seemed well glued together well past 9am in the morning. Rime ice on the cliffs was super beautiful with wacky wind etched ice formations coming off them. If you get a weather window now is a perfect time to climb!

Unseen in this photo is a knifeblade section of the ridge that is very exposed.

Comments (1)

Nathan! You deliver once again. Great report, incredible photos. Love it.