Clackamas County High Point Trip Report

Mt Hood (11,239 ft)

Date: June 1996
Author: Ken Jones

Oregon's tallest peak, and a serious climb, but easy as glacier climbs go. Has been called the second most frequently climbed snow-capped mountain in the world, after Fujiyama.

Get to Timberline Lodge on the south side of the mountain. Register your climb; you should probably have picked up a "Mt. Hood Locator Unit" in the Portland area so they can find you if you don't come back as scheduled. Read the warnings at registration; Mt. Hood is very hard to find your way about in a whiteout.

Basically, you walk up Mt. Hood's south slope to the summit. This is fairly easy to the top of the Palmer Lift of the ski area; stay off the groomed slopes (keep to the east side). Continue walking up, to the right of Crater Rock, then rope up and wear crampons up the Hogsback and to the top. Ice axe skills are essential, but if you choose the right time of year (May - early July) crevasse problems are unlikely most years.

Be cautious on the way down if visibility is restricted. If you just head down the "fall line" you'll end up west of and below where you started.

This is a day hike, but start around midnight or 1 a.m. (a couple of hours later if you're quick). If you're rich and lazy, you can arrange through the lodge to have a SnoCat ride to the top of the lifts; this eliminates about half the gain - but you still have to walk all the way down.