Mt Hood Once, Twice...Four Times!

I'm finished with a stretch of guiding 12 days out of 14.  The first week I was down on Mt Hood, helping Timberline Mountain Guides guide two summit climbs for American Lung Association's Reach the Summit benefit.  After we returned to Timberline Lodge on the first climb, the guides grabbed their ski gear and took another lap on the snowfields between the Newton Clark and White Glaciers - sometimes called the Wy'East Glacier.  We reached the summit ridge, but didn't climb the last 200' to the summit.  Then it was back up for a return trip, my legs complaining much of the way.  Still, it was nice to finish the last 1000' feet down with a short, quick ski.  But unfortunately, I didn't have a camera for these three trips.

Bryan then joined me for an overnight climb.  Our first day was spent sorting through gear, packing up, and then started climbing up.  Mt Hood is unique in the Cascades for the year-round operations of the Timberline Mountain Ski Area, who offer single-trip lift tickets to gain 2500' above the parking lot.  Since we had 5 more days of work, we decided to take advantage of that offer, reaching Illumination Saddle with two hours of climbing.

Just as the sun set, the clouds moved in and settled over camp.  Our plans to climb for the summit were fully stopped when the rain came at 11pm, and the rain stayed with us for the next 21 hours.  We just hunkered down and waited it out, making sure to stay dry.  Finally the tent began to warm up at 5pm on Tuesday, and we got to see an incredible sun set.

With all that rest, we decided to go for the summit on our last day.  We were up at 1am and on our way an hour later.  In just a few hours we found ourselves on the summit, watching the sunrise over the Columbia River.  The Oregon Cascades were still shrouded in clouds, but Mts St Helens, Rainier, and Adams stood above the clouds to the north.

During the descent we passed only two other climbers - a welcome respite after the mad weekend rush.  A brief detour let us pack up camp, then we hiked down to the ski area and followed the SnowCat-softened climber's trail to the lodge.

But Bryan and I were not done yet - we are on our way to Mt Baker!

Statistics:  June 23-24, 25-26, and 27-29. Mt Hood, 11239' / 3426m. South Side Route, snow to 45 deg, 2500' climbed and 4000' descended to Silcox Hut; another 1000' skied to Timberline Lodge on .  The Wy'East Glacier, snow to 40 deg, 2300' climbed and 4900' skied.