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| |-+  July-August 2004 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  July 11, 2004, Mt Hood, Snowdome
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Author Topic: July 11, 2004, Mt Hood, Snowdome  (Read 3270 times)
Jeff Huber

Posts: 771

July 11, 2004, Mt Hood, Snowdome
« on: 07/11/04, 04:59 PM »

If you drive from Hood River to Cloud Cap the crux of this trip will be avoiding a car crash as the views of the northside of Hood are so intense your eyes will not want to look at the road.

Luckily I made it to Cloud Cap w/o incident. To get to the base of the 'dome I did a slight deviation from the more common approach. From the west moraine of the Eliot I crossed the snowfield below Langille Crags at its flattest point thus avoiding a somewhat steep snow traverse in my tenny runners. The downside to this approach was I accidentally trampled beautiful alpine vegetation that will never grow back. Ergo I decided to name this route the "George W Bush variation".

At the base of the 'dome I traded my tenny runners for skis, boots and skins while most folks (I counted 14 others) hiked up a well stomped bootpath. Bootpacking would probably have been more efficient given the undulations of the snow, but I felt obliged to use my cute blue cow skins since I packed them. As I skinned up I studied the dome carefully looking for open crevasses. I was surprised to find none unlike in July 02. The lack of open crevasses seems to support the first part of my recent gapeothesis (translation: a gaper's hypothesis): there is more snow at upper elevations then in early summer of 02 and 03 but less at lwr elevations.

I was further surprised and disappointed to find the snow surface at upper elevations significantly poorer then expected. On the lwr 'dome were standard suncups, no suprise, however higher up were very irregular, nasty, dirty undulations. Click to see photo. Maybe the snow never fully consolidated after the late May storms before being baked?

I skinned to the top of the Snowdome, Anderson rock at ~9700ft descending around noon. I found the east aspect (Skier's right) that rolls into the Eliot had the smoothest snow. The snow here was not as bad as expected from the ascent. I continued down the 'dome to the inactive Langille Glacier where a short, 10ft portage was required between its upper and middle bowls. Despite the lwr elevation the snow was much smoother then higher up. I skied down the Langille glacier all the way to the Timberline trail for a descent of ~3700vf. From here it was 1.5miles traverse on the pleasant Timberline trail to the car.

The northside of Hood as seen from the Hood River Ranger Station. My descent is shown in blue:

More photos can be seen here.

PS: I just noticed that Oregon High and Oregon Descents refer to Snowdome in two words: Snow Dome while Van Tilburg's guide refers to it as one, Snowdome. Now which one did I ski?
« Last Edit: 03/06/06, 06:20 PM by Gaper_Jeffey » Logged


Posts: 54

Re: July 11th, 2004, Mt Hood, Snowdome
« Reply #1 on: 07/13/04, 07:22 PM »

Did the Sno Dome on Friday 7/9 and had pretty much the same experience.  The lower fields were the best.
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