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| | |-+  June 10th, 2006, West Crater Route, Mt. Hood
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Author Topic: June 10th, 2006, West Crater Route, Mt. Hood  (Read 2293 times)
TonyM
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June 10th, 2006, West Crater Route, Mt. Hood
« on: 06/12/06, 11:46 AM »

Andy, Armin, Scott and I enjoyed two stellar days over this past weekend.  We wanted to climb and ski both Mt Hood and Mt Adams in one weekend, so we took our chances weather wise and gave it a shot.

We drove down from Seattle early Saturday AM; first stop, Mt Hood.  With a fair amount of vertical in front of us, we decided this was to be our "rest day."  So we took the chair lift instead of skinning the route - one or two of us had feelings of guilt, but I wasn't one of them!  Although the Mountaineering gods did get even with me for this sin-  I somehow managed to drop and lose my ice axe somewhere above the lift.  We hit magnificent weather and enjoyed a nice temps and sunshine on entire route.  We ran into Jason Hummel enjoying the day with a group of his family and friends ... nice to chat with you Jason.

Our route took us up to the Hogs Back, and then a left traverse over to the West Crater route.  Then we skinned or booted up to the ridge and proceeded to the proper summit.  Armin, Scott and I left the skis at the top of the ridge, but Andy brought skis to the summit.  We enjoyed the views then the three of us walked back to our ski depot, with Andy skiing just behind us.  There was just enough of a platform on the ridge to put the skis back on, so we were able to ski right off the ridge (slightly wider than the spot where Andy is shown - see pic). 

We didn't have to slide slip more than a few feet thru the somewhat narrow ridge exit before the slope opened up.  Not sure what the slope angle is, but I'd guess somewhere around 40 degrees.  The interesting aspect of this decent is the view of the hungry looking steam vents at the bottom of the slope.  One's imagination runs wild at that sight!  Our timing couldn't have been better-  over 5K of perfect corn or buttery smooth spring snow from the ridge basically all the way to the lodge.

We packed up, drove round the east side of Mt Hood to Hood River to grab a meal before driving to Mt Adams to ski the SW chutes.  I'd never been to Hood River -what a nice place to visit.  It capped off the ending to a perfect day in the mountains.


* TAY100_Lets_go_Left.JPG (98.37 KB, 775x581 - viewed 571 times.)

* TAY100_Scott_Booting_at_Hood_Near_Vent.JPG (94.34 KB, 851x638 - viewed 556 times.)

* TAY100_Andy_Skis_Hood.JPG (93.12 KB, 876x656 - viewed 561 times.)
« Last Edit: 06/12/06, 11:55 AM by TonyM » Logged

mountains will add years to your life, and life to your years
Jason_H.
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Re: June 10th, 2006, West Crater Route, Mt. Hood
« Reply #1 on: 06/12/06, 01:30 PM »

Nice to meet you.

We had a wonderful time skiing, although I waited until everyone had made their way down through the pearly gates where inexperienced climbers abounded. It was very worrisome to watch. I ended up taking my little brother (just turned 8 ) back down to the hogsback and leaving him with my brother while I took another friend to the summit. There was no one on the hogsback or anywhere above. I felt much better about that, even if the ice was raining down by that point in the day. Better than people. One group took 2hrs to downclimb to the hogsback! 

I think that I will avoid this route in the future. I hadn't realized how many people were up there, but no matter the people, the day was still incredibly fun. My little bro rocked the house by skiing down. He'll be ski mountaineer yet.

How bout those clouds? And the corn snow was amazing. A good day for photos.
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TonyM
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Re: June 10th, 2006, West Crater Route, Mt. Hood
« Reply #2 on: 06/13/06, 09:03 PM »

Glad to hear your brother made it to the top!  Great news and it looks like we'll be reading Hummel Skiing and Mountaineering stories for years to come.  And agree, the snow was amazing- we had a blast too.

Not sure why the West Crater route isn't the "standard" route to the top, but that day I'm glad it wasn't.  The first pic shows maybe 15-20 people on their way up the pearly gates.  There's that roll-over bulge just to the left of the hogs back to cross in order to get to the West Crater route, so maybe there's more avalanche danger there.  We climbed within 50 yards of the fracture shown in Jeff Huber's May 29th report and it could be a little to close for the guide services?  There seems to be a little more exposure on the ridge, but other than that, it seemed like a straightforward climb to me.  Thx!
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