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Trip Report    

Intermediate Alpine Climb - Mount Hood: Leuthold Couloir

Overnight climb of Leuthold Couloir.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • First day was mostly clear. Clouds rolls in during the evening with about an inch of snow. The night was quite cold. Summit day was mostly clear with clouds on the horizon. The snow was mostly soft with a firmer layer half foot down.

  • Roll out of Seattle: 0900
  • Roll into Timberline: 1300
  • En route: 1345 pm
  • Illumination Saddle: 1745
  • Wakeup: 0500
  • En route: 0645
  • Base of Leuthold Couloir: 0700
  • Summit: 0945
  • Camp: 1115
  • Cars: 1345

The hike to the top of Palmer's was pleasant and uneventful. As we traversed the ZigZag glacier to Illumination Saddle the clouds rolled in, which made for slow going. We arrived at the Saddle and spent the next 3 hours melting snow and making sure we didn't freeze that night. In the morning we spent another hour melting snow. The day was clear and we had really nice views of the Reid Glacier Headwall.


The traverse across the glacier was simple enough. There was a bootpack for most of the way, and the snow was soft enough that we didn't need protection or a second tool.


We made it to the top of the Hourglass in about 45 mins, then cut left and traversed to the top of Queen's Chair in 30. From then it was another 30 mins to the summit ridge, and a short walk to the summit.


We didn't stay too long due to the winds. By then the sun was out and the snow softening, but the downclimb through the Pearly Gates was the worst part of it all. We took a break afterwards and got some good views of the Devil's Kitchen Headwall.


All in all it was a good weekend.