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Mt. Hood advice
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tyler marlow

Locale: UTAH
Mt. Hood advice on 05/31/2013 16:55:33 MDT Print View

Ill be climbing mount hood around the first week of june and was looking for some insider advice.

This will be my first time mountaineering, though I'm going with some people with some experience. What should I expect?

Ill be renting crampons and an ice axe unless some kind soul wants to lend me some! I was wondering though, is it a good idea to get some trail runner compatible crampons or just go all out and rent boots as well?


Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Mt. Hood advice on 05/31/2013 17:53:00 MDT Print View

Do you know how - meaning do you have real-time hands-on training and experience with both walking in crampons and self arrest? How about moving as part of a rope team and crevasse crossing/rescue techniques? If not, GO GET SOME. Mid-climb on Mt Hood is not the place to suddenly have to learn. Books teach theory and illustrate technique; they won't give you the practical skills you will need.

Your reaction to a fall has to be automatic; you won't have time to think about what the book said when one occurs. You have only seconds to self-arrest (how many depends on the slope of the runout) or you'll be going too fast to stop.

Like snowshoes, walking in crampons requires a subtle change in the way you move your feet as you go forward. Catching a crampon point in your pants leg is a good way to fall. If you're on a rope team, your fall could take the others with you. Also, use 10-point crampons only; 12 pointers are for ice climbing and require an even more critical walking method to avoid jabbing your foremost Achilles tendon with the front points of the following foot.

Unless your friends have a lot of experience mountaineering and know the approaches well on Hood, you're better off hiring a guide.

And please, sign in and out at the climber's registry at the ski building by Timberline Lodge and carry a locator beacon. Mt Hood SAR and the Hood River Sheriff's SAR units will thank you, and it could save your life.

Oh yes, be prepared to start your climb about 2 am so as to be down before the snow softens mid-morning.

Rent the plastic boots as well. You will want and need the insulation, firm support, and traction they and full-on crampons can provide. Trail runners and their associated crampons might be fine for snow travel but IMO, Hood's glaciers and ice fields are no place for such things.

Edited by wandering_bob on 05/31/2013 18:06:03 MDT.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Mt. Hood advice on 05/31/2013 22:06:16 MDT Print View

Ice axe and crampons can be dangerous if you haven't had considerable training in how to use them! Ice axes, especially, can be deadly if you fall on one the wrong way. Self arrest involves falling down and sticking the handle point into the snow to stop your sliding, so if your chest or abdomen land on either the chopping blade or the pick, not good. Of course if you don't get the handle stuck into the snow really fast, you'll have a nice fast slide into some nice hard rocks or off a cliff or into a crevasse or whatever else is at the bottom of the snow slope. Some skill is required. While Mt. Hood is considered a relatively easy climb, people die up there every year. It is definitely a technical climb, requiring training. Oh, and take a helmet, too; as the snow melts there are lots of rocks coming down.

Please get the training before you go! Otherwise, please pick a more benign mountain like South Sister or the south side of Mt. Adams for your first climb.

Edited by hikinggranny on 05/31/2013 22:12:31 MDT.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Mt. Hood advice on 05/31/2013 22:56:15 MDT Print View

Depending on your fitness, skill, and general ability AND the skill of your partners I'd say its possible.

A bad idea, ill advised, foolhardy, you could die. (Mt Hood is like the most deadly mtn in the US) (I think that's right)

I'd be irresponsible of your buddies to take you IMO.

Carry some beer to the top of Adams. Higher/ easier/ funner coming down/ safer.

Your friends will groan, but I like that hill. My friends from Mississippi thought it was cool. they took likka up there. Two different whiskys lol

Edited by WoodenWizard on 05/31/2013 23:06:34 MDT.