Return of Mt. Hood Climbing Reports

posted May 24, 2011, 11:52 AM by Luke Hizer   [ updated May 24, 2011, 11:57 AM ]
Looks like there are now climbing reports available for Mt Hood, which means climbing season has arrived. From the 5/19/11 report:

Spring climbing season has arrived and weather and snow conditions can change in a matter of hours.  Due to increased sun and warming, rock and ice fall are present.  It is early spring still and the mountain is still receiving new snow.  Any new snow accumulation increases the avalanche hazard. 

Several storms earlier in the week have deposited new snow on the mountain.  In the wind loaded areas the snow was up to a foot deep.  This new snow is sitting on an old melt freeze crust. The new snow hasn’t yet turned to corn and the upcoming weather will not facilitate that process.  Due to the unconsolidated snow, skis or snowshoes are helpful.

The routes on the south side are in good shape.  The re-alignment of the Hogsback is resulting in a steep traverse route up and through the Pearly Gates. Most climbers are taking the traverse west of the Hogsback and using the Old Chute also known as the Mazamas route as an alternate. This route is more exposed than the traditional south side route was.  From the top of the old chute route, be careful traversing towards the true summit: There is a dangerous two-foot wide section of the ridge. To one side of the ridge there is a 2,000 foot drop, to the other side is a 150 foot drop. Climbers reported that the Leuthold Couloir route is in fine shape but, unconsolidated snow made travel difficult. 

For more information, check out the full Mt Hood Climbing Report here.