Trip Report    

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

The late-season, mid week, full moon, all-nighter, sunrise climb of Mount Hood/South Side (Palmer Glacier).

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The route is in excellent condition; the old chute is still a very viable option. No ice or rock fall was observed. Recommend as a mid-week climb to avoid weekend crowds and subsequent hazards. On this Tuesday night/Wednesday morning climb, we encountered only 3 other groups. The pearly gates appear to still be an option, 2 tools would be recommended. The stability of the route was attributed to the recent freezing temperatures and PNW weather experienced in the days prior to our climb.

The original plan was for a two-day climb of Rainier/DC route. Given the very poor and electric forecast on Rainier, we opted for a pleasantly forecasted peak and went south to Mount Hood.

 We departed Tacoma at 7PM, and after stopping for dinner and coffee we arrived at Timberline Lodge around 11PM. At midnight, our group of 8 left the parking lot in good spirits, climbing only by the light of the full moon. The climber’s trail is snow free until well above the Silcox Hut. Upon reaching snow, crampons were used for efficiency and ease of travel. We roped up for the glacier and un-roped at the base of the hogsback. As a group, we decided that the old chute was the most viable option and that un-roped travel would be the safest and most efficient way to move up and through the hazard zone. From the base of the hogsback we traversed climbers left between the #1 and #2 fumaroles, up through the old chute and across the summit ridge to the beckoning summit. Solid footing and excellent snow conditions were experienced. We were greeted on the summit by calm winds, clear skies and the rising sun. At 7AM, after spending over an hour on the summit, we began our descent. We reached the parking lot at 930AM both hungry and thirsty. An incredible breakfast followed at the Huckleberry Inn Restaurant which never disappoints! After eating, we reluctantly began the 3-hour drive home.

Another great climb with even better friends!