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Author Topic: 7/15/08, Mt. Hood, Sunshine Route  (Read 3590 times)
danhelmstadter
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7/15/08, Mt. Hood, Sunshine Route
« on: 07/14/08, 08:52 PM »

After pounding down some rainiers last night at Charlies with Mike Beckman, I woke up without alarm this morning at around 7, and with the recent change to bluebird weather - it is hard to not think about skiing in the morning, when waking up in your truck somewhere near Mt. Hood.
The Sunshine route seemed like the obvious choice, with its NE aspect, and easy access from Cloud Cap. I stocked up on gas station food, then made the drive to the Cloud Cap road. The road seemed longer, and in poorer condition than I remmember it being last year... There was much recent saw-work on the road, a lot of deadfall lay recently removed along the sides of the road, it took a while, but I was able to drive all the way up to Cloud-Cap (the road to Tilly-Jane-CG was obscured with downed trees). Packed, walked the dog, and left around 10am.
The trail was easy to follow, and I was on the ablating reaches of the Elliot Glacier in what seemed like very little time. Stashed the sneaks, and continued up - oogaling the route, which looked phatty, but heavily crevassed. Looks like a group bagged Snow-dome a couple days ago, a faint boot pack was still intact up the dome. The snowsurface on the dome was mostly smooth corn... Exiting the dome on to the steeper glacier, the snow became a little sloshier, and I worked my way around several large crevasses. A massive crevasse loomed not far above me, I speculated that I could negotiate it by what looked like a easy (but large) bridge. As I got closer my hopes evaporated. The crevasse could be passed on climbers left, but that would expose me to heinous rockfall. I decided to try and cross the crevasse system where I was. I gained the first bridge easily, then started on a very exposed and thin ice ledge traverse, making my way across I got spooked and backed out. Decided to climb ~12' of 80dg/vertical ice to gain the next step. Above that, I had to negotiate a thin bridge, then climb ~8' of vertical snow. Above that mess, I weaved around several large crevasses to gain the easy ridge leading up to the summit -- somewhere below the crest, A shopping cart size boulder dislodged from the Elliot Headwall, and bounced off a lower ledge, sending it hurtling high in the sky, smashing down far below with a fantastic splash of snow and ice.
The last bit to the West summit was a cakewalk. Rainier had been sporting a lenticular all day, and I was somewhat glad to see it remain, as too often the scenario is reversed. The forest fire below Adams was spewing out lots of smoke - too bad about that fire, amazing how fast stuff dries out. The SS looked like tracked up runnelled knar.
Skied corn off the West summit, down to the crest of the Sunshine Route. I dropped in, and was somewhat surprised at the amount of sluffing I created, which cramped my style a little. Other than that, the skiing was superb, a couple traverses, but I made sure not to loose much el. so I could maximize fall line vert. To pass the cracky crux, I skied down and to skiers right, exposing myself to rockfall, but I skied it much quicker than I could have climbed it. Great turns down to Snowdome - which I slayed in little time.
There was a lone camper in the camping ground at Cloud Cap, I offered him two dollars for some water, he gave me water and cold beer for free!!!!!!!!


* sunshine.jpg (64.27 KB, 490x653 - viewed 1251 times.)
« Last Edit: 07/14/08, 09:25 PM by danhelmstadter » Logged
danhelmstadter
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Re: 7/15/08, Mt. Hood, Sunshine Route
« Reply #1 on: 07/14/08, 08:53 PM »

...


* closup.jpg (60.85 KB, 564x751 - viewed 1286 times.)

* nehood.jpg (76.73 KB, 564x751 - viewed 1260 times.)
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DG
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Re: 7/15/08, Mt. Hood, Sunshine Route
« Reply #2 on: 07/14/08, 09:13 PM »

Nice report and photos -  it's a nail-biter to just read it!
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Stugie
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Re: 7/15/08, Mt. Hood, Sunshine Route
« Reply #3 on: 07/14/08, 11:18 PM »

Nice work man!  That is some gnarly terrain!  Way to tear it up and great pics too!
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"The mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals; the houses where I practice my religion." - Anatoli Boukreev
Dale Crockatt
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Re: 7/15/08, Mt. Hood, Sunshine Route
« Reply #4 on: 07/27/08, 01:20 PM »

Dan, I spent my first evening of the summer at Cloud Cap Thursday 7/25 and saw your tracks in the last light of sunset.  I missed your TR but there was little doubt in my mind they belonged to you.  I had read your Newton Clark story but missed this one.  What a great line.

I think your line was partly Eliot Headwall, although I am not sure if that route is more the bare face.  At least you did a lot of Eliot Glacier which I had fantasized about many times- but probably in better condition than this.  I studied your route carefully with my binoculars and my heart pounded just seeing it- especially the bergschrund crossing on the east side of the Eliot. 

I posted a sighting this morning in the TRs before I found your TR- asking if anyone knew whose tracks they were.  I was glad to find out it was you.  I could not imagine two SuperDans! 

Your tracks provided a beautiful ski fantasy as I reveled in the purple haze of a wildflower field, enjoying my morning coffee buzz with the honey bees.



* Eliot-Sunshine_descent_tracks.jpg (196.23 KB, 720x540 - viewed 961 times.)

* Cloud_Cap_lupine.jpg (167.39 KB, 720x475 - viewed 934 times.)
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Happy trails!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
skierguitarist
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Re: 7/15/08, Mt. Hood, Sunshine Route
« Reply #5 on: 07/27/08, 04:25 PM »

Thanks Dale for posting Super Dan's route!!!  That is so cool!!!!!!
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buell
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Re: 7/15/08, Mt. Hood, Sunshine Route
« Reply #6 on: 07/27/08, 06:31 PM »

Stoudema, loofus and I were up on Snowdome the 25th and saw the same tracks.  They remembered this TR and knew exactly whose they were.  The pictures cannot come close to doing that line justice!
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