Mt Hood Ascents - 11,240' / 3426m
Standing high above the Columbia River, the highest peak in Oregon offers fantastic technical climbing routes for the aspiring alpinist and classic alpine standards and test pieces for the experienced climber. Quite possibly the most climbed glaciated peak in North America, climbing Mt Hood by any route requires the use of ice axe, crampons, and a recommended rope. With great access, climbers can ascend a technical climb on a big peak in a reasonable single day, eliminating the need for an overnight pack on most routes.
This is a great trip to combine with a few days of rock climbing at Smith Rock State Park, just outside of Bend, Oregon: LINK.
There's also great skiing to be had on Mt Hood at the same time there's great climbing. If you're interested getting a few more turns in May - or a special trip earlier in the year - check out my ski itineraries: LINK.
Southside-Hogsback Route - II steep snow, glacier
With lodging at the historic Timberline Lodge or a little bit lower in Government Camp, this 1.5-day trip is a fantastic introduction to mountaineering. After a mid-morning meeting at Timberline Lodge, we'll head out for practice wearing crampons, climbing steep snow, and self-arresting. We'll meet again early the next day to catch a Snow-Cat ride to the top of the ski area, climb the classic Southside route to the summit, then head down to Timberline for a celebratory ale. Maximum 3:1 ratio.
Southside Overnight - II steep snow, glacier
Stepping up the game a little bit, the Overnight Summit Climb adds a heavier pack to the mix. We'll meet in the morning on the first day to pack up the group gear before heading up on the chairs to the top of the ski area, then traverse 1.5 hours to a fantastic camp site overlooking Portland. In the morning we'll get an "alpine start" to climb the classic Southside Route, then return to camp to pack up and head down. Maximum 3:1 ratio.
Cooper Spur - III Steep snow, glacier
A classic North Face route, the Cooper Spur is the prominent ridge on the north side of the Newton Clark Glacier. Depending on lower elevation snow conditions we'll either approach from Cloud Cap to the north, or ride the ski area chairlifts on the south side to 8500', and then traverse to a high camp in a good position for the next day's ascent. The climb features several thousand feet of steep and exposed snow climbing through multiple rock bands to the summit, and then a descent of the Southside route back to Timberline Lodge. This is a long sustained climber with an overnight pack - be prepared! Maximum 2:1 ratio.
Sandy Glacier Headwall - III glacier, steep snow
Leuthold Couloir - II AI1, steep snow
Wy'East Route - III AI2 3rd class
These are classic steep, sustained routes that are reasonable day objectives when we take advantage of the Timberline Snow-Cat to get us to the top of the ski area. All three can also be overnight trips if you want to have an awesome bivouac experience. 1-2 days, depending on prior experience and itinerary; Maximum 2:1 ratio.
North Face - III AI3 steep snow, glacier
This is one of the classic North Faces in the Cascades. We'll stage a car at Timberline before traversing around to Cloud Cap and a bivouac. The route ascends the Elliot Glacier to the climbers right of the Cooper Spur, then ascends the face through steep snow and intermittent ice steps. This climb is best done in late fall/early winter, and is condition dependent. If you'd like to climb it's best to plan in advance and wait to watch for good conditions to form. Max ratio - 2:1.
Timberline Trail - 38 miles, 3 Days
Timberline Express - 2 Days
Timberline Bullet - 1 Extreme Day
This is a new offering for the fall of 2015!
The Timberline Trail circumnavigates Mt Hood at or above the treeline, passing through dramatic alpine scenery. Join me for a fantastic trek. We'll be woken by the sunrise and after an easy breakfast hike into the late afternoon.
I'm also going to offer this trek as an "Express" 2-day option that will be much more strenuous, and a crushing "Bullet" 1-day trail run.
Private dates are available mid-May to mid-June for Mt Hood climbs, and in September for Timberline Trail treks.
I offer these trips as a guide-employee of Timberline Mountain Guides.
Photos: Mt Hood from the North, by Zach Dischner. A typical sunny weekend from the Hogsback, Southside Route. Summit grins. Sunset from camp on Illumination Saddle, overnight trip. Climbing the Cooper Spur, by Timberline Mountain Guides.