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| |-+  March 2015 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  March 8, 2015, Mt. Hood, Lower Cooper Spur
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Author Topic: March 8, 2015, Mt. Hood, Lower Cooper Spur  (Read 2325 times)
garrettww
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Posts: 61


March 8, 2015, Mt. Hood, Lower Cooper Spur
« on: 03/09/15, 01:20 PM »

I wanted to get out and explore a side of Hood I haven’t seen before. Though I know the snow level is rather high, I needed a change from the Timberline scene or riding lifts at Meadows. It was quiet – a nice change from the crowds on the south side of the mountain. I saw a few day hikers and only one other skier.

I parked at the winter road closure at Cooper Spur ski area, 3800’, next to a handful of other vehicles. My hopes were that the road would be open all the way up to Cloud Cap since its all melted out, but I guess it's still "winter." I bet the rangers are also still checking for snow park passes at all the trailheads, though they haven't seen snow in weeks at those elevations.

Anyhow, I started out on the Tilly Jane trail but took the short traverse to Pollalie Ridge trail looking for more sunshine and views. Unfortunately the northern side of Hood has about the same coverage as other aspects right now. The trail was snow-free all the way to Tilly Jane camp, 5700’, save for a few frozen patches here and there. I transitioned to skinning at the A-frame, following old tracks, bushwhacking up through the undergrowth on mere inches of patchy snow. At around 6000’ the snow became more continuous and the skinning easier.

Temps were comfortable for short-sleeves and there was very little wind. All the other volcanoes were out and I had a good view of the SW chutes of Adams. I turned around at 8,000’ and enjoyed the 1500’ descent of variable snow – patches of soft unconsolidated mixed with wind-packed powder, and areas of slush. I’m not sure I would call any of it corn. Overall, it was a good exploration trip for me. I look forward to coming back next winter when I can ski to/from the car. The drive back to PDX through Hood River was awesome as well. Great views of Adams from the orchard areas just south of the Gorge.


It was bone dry at 5000' on the Tilly Jane trail.



Larger size of the above pano here: http://tinyurl.com/ouom864



Detail of conditions on the north face and upper Elliot glacier, in case any of you are looking to climb up there soon.



Mt. Adams looking mighty fine.


Link to the rest of my pics: https://plus.google.com/photos/109067386038850896330/albums/6124323527469821521
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tabski
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Posts: 246


Re: March 8, 2015, Mt. Hood, Lower Cooper Spur
« Reply #1 on: 03/09/15, 03:51 PM »

Thx for sharing. Beauty photos.
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30knotwind
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Posts: 6


Re: March 8, 2015, Mt. Hood, Lower Cooper Spur
« Reply #2 on: 03/10/15, 08:20 AM »

Great pics. Thanks for taking the time to post!
Chris
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NickM
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Posts: 43


Re: March 8, 2015, Mt. Hood, Lower Cooper Spur
« Reply #3 on: 03/11/15, 02:02 PM »

Thanks for the photos. Looks like the windboard mid-route has really smoothed out since I was up there over President's day. The upper pitches skied really well then, so it might be in nice condition once we get another extended high pressure going on (can count on that!).
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Edgesport
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Posts: 296


Re: March 8, 2015, Mt. Hood, Lower Cooper Spur
« Reply #4 on: 03/15/15, 05:46 PM »

Well done - takes a lot of work to get to snow line on a year like this.
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