Mt Hood/Sandy Headwall
06/14/13 - 06/15/13
From Timberline Lodge, proceed up the ski slope to the top of the Palmer Chairlift (8600’). Stay off the groomed ski surface, there are climbers’ tracks on the right boundary of the groomed runs, and directly under the chairlift. At the top of the chair, make a rising westward traverse towards Illumination Rock. Camp at Illumination Saddle (9300’). From Illumination Saddle, descend Northwest onto the Reid Glacier. This descent can be simple or technical depending on the snowpack; it may need to be protected with pickets. Make a descending traverse of the Reid Glacier, cross over the toe of Yocum Ridge at 8600’ and descend onto Sandy Glacier. Make a rising traverse (North) toward the center of the glacier, then climb moderate slopes (45-degree) up the center of the headwall, through a narrowing gully (the “Hourglass”) and up to the top of the Headwall and Yocum Ridge, the Queen’s Chair. Climb upper Yocum and Cathedral Ridges to the summit ridge. From the summit, descend the South Side route through the Pearly Gates and down the Hogsback. At the low point of the Hogsback, turn (skiers) right and bypass Crater Rock on its right (the normal South Side route goes left), through the chute between Crater Rock and the Castle Crags. Be aware, as this chute can be a funnel for avalanches off the Castle Crags or rockfall. Traverse and descend rightwards below Castle Crags to Illumination Saddle. Pick up your camp and reverse your approach route back to Timberline Lodge.
Plan is to drive to Timberline late afternoon on Friday, rest at the cars for a little, then depart for the climb around midnight. This will be a strenuous day in a single push, with a return to Seattle on Sat afternoon/ evening. Must be in great shape; this should not be your first ice climb.