Mount Hood/South Side

Also known as the Palmer Glacier route, this is a Grade II, Class 3 glacier climb. Devil's Kitchen Headwall is a moderate ice climb variation.

getting there

Take I-5 to approximately 15 mi north of the Oregon state line to I-205 bypass around Portland to US 26. Travel east on US 26 for about 50 mi. Just past Government Camp turn left at Timberline Lodge turnoff. Drive 8 mi and park in lodge parking lot.

South Side (Palmer Glacier)

ASCENT ROUTE

basic glacier, strenuous 1, technical 2, season: May-jun

Follow Palmer Glacier, along east edge (right side) to avoid interfering with ski trails (as directed by sign at climbers’ trailhead), to Triangular Moraine above cat track (5° bearing from Silcox hut). Climb above Triangular Moraine (8,500 ft) on most gentle ground to east side of Crater Rock (slope opposite Steel Cliff). Follow round Crater Rock, above sulfur-fuming Devil’s Kitchen (10,400 ft), to its north side to find wind carved snow formation called the Hogsback.

The “Old Chute” route is now preferred. From the low point on the crest of the Hogsback, descend the far side (to the north) then go straight up (east) a large steep open face into a narrowing and even steeper (~50°) chute on the right. It tops out onto a level spot about 50 yards from the summit. It is also possible to bear slightly left near the top of the steep face, before the chute, and gain the summit ridge by a very steep final slope. Running belays with pickets is recommended.

TRIP PROFILE

SEGMENT TIME (HOURS) ELEVATION GAIN (FEET)
Trailhead to Camp 2 3,000
Camp to Summit 5-8 2,235
Summit to Camp 2
Camp to Trailhead 1

EQUIPMENT

Standard glacier equipment.

NOTES

  • Conditions above the bergschrund have deteriorated in recent years to the point that the “Hogsback/Pearly Gates” route is significantly less viable.

Devil's Kitchen Headwall

Ascent Route

intermediate ice climb, Season: Dec-Feb

Follow Palmer Glacier, along east edge (right side) to avoid interfering with ski trails (as directed by sign at climbers’ trailhead), to Triangular Moraine above cat track (5° bearing from Silcox hut). Climb above Triangular Moraine (8,500 ft) on most gentle ground to east side of Crater Rock (slope opposite Steel Cliff). Follow round Crater Rock, above sulfur-fuming Devil’s Kitchen (10,400 ft), to its north side to find wind carved snow formation called the Hogsback.  Before reaching the Hogsback traverse up and climber's right into an obvious funnel leading to steep snow then snow and ice with short steep steps.  Use pickets and ice screws to protect a few pitches until reaching the summit ridge.  Tag the summit.

Trip Profile

SEGMENT TIME (HOURS) ELEVATION GAIN (FEET)
Seattle to Trailhead 4-5
Trailhead to Camp 2 3,000
Camp to Summit 5-8 2,235
Summit to Camp 2
Camp to Trailhead 1

Equipment

Standard glacier travel gear, pickets, ice screws, 2nd tool.

DESCENT ROUTE

Descend the South Side (Palmer Glacier) route.

notes

  • Most parties do these routes as a one-day climb from Timberline Lodge. If done as a two-day climb, it is possible to camp in snow approx 500 feet above the top of the Palmer Chair lift (9,000 ft).
  • As a one-day climb, the lodge or a car camp is recommended. To car camp, either sleep in cars in parking lot or camp at Forest Service campground (both noisy). An early start 12 am or 1 am) will avoid soft snow and rock/icefall near the summit, and crowds at the Hogsback.
  • Check with the ranger station after July for potential rock fall danger and possible closure of route.
  • Mount Hood Locator Units (MLUs) are available for rent at Mount Hood Inn in Government Camp just off SR 26 on Business Loop. Their use is recommended, but not required.
  • Recommended as a mid-week to avoid the large crowds usually encountered on weekends.
  • Suitable Activities: Climbing
  • Climbing Category: Basic Alpine
  • Seasons: May, June
  • Weather: View weather forecast.
  • Difficulty: Basic Glacier Climb, Strenuous 1, Technical 2
  • Length: 8.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 5,235 ft
  • 11,235 ft
  • Land Manager: Mount Hood National Forest
    Richard L Kohnstamm Wilderness, Zigzag Ranger District (MHNF)
  • Parking Permit Required: None
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
Map
  • Green Trails Mount Hood Climbing No. 462S
  • USGS Mt Hood South
Activities

Upcoming Activities



MAC Alpine Climb - Mount Hood/South Side

Climbing Field trip: Mountaineers Adventure Club - Tacoma
Alpine climb for Tacoma MAC Students
Difficulty: Basic Glacier Climb, Strenuous 1, Technical 2
Sat, Jun 8, 2019 - Sun, Jun 9, 2019
No Prerequisites
9 participants 2 instructors
Registration closes Jun 6
Tacoma Branch
Trip Reports
Titles

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Mount Hood/Palmer Glacier
  • Mount Hood/South Side (Palmer Glacier)
  • Mount Hood/Devil's Kitchen Headwall
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