Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - Mount Hood/South Side (Palmer Glacier)

A one-day late-season climb via the Old Chute.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • There is a trail on dirt and rock on the west side of the Palmer ski lift until well above the Silcox Hut where it switches to snow. The route is in good shape for this time of year, with a solid boot track from the Hogsback to the summit. The Pearly Gates are guarded by a good-sized bergschrund making the Old Chute the route of choice.

This climb was scheduled at the last minute since the weather forecasts for more northerly locations were discouraging. We ended up with a party of three. After taking a two-hour nap in the Timberline parking lot we set out at 2:20 a.m. We joined perhaps 50 to 75 other climbers, spread out over the slopes.

We decided against bringing a rope, harnesses, and pickets but we each carried two ice axes/tools. This worked out well, though a single axe would have been sufficient. We went up the Old Chute and reached the summit at 6:50 a.m. Although lower elevations were obscured by clouds we had good views of a half-dozen volcanoes in Washington and Oregon. There was a gusty breeze so we headed down and reached the car at 10:00 a.m.