Trip Report    

Mount Hood/South Side

Perfect day for climbing with no winds, clear sky, good temp.

  • Sat, May 15, 2021
  • Mount Hood/South Side
  • Climbing
  • Successful
  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  •  The Bergschrund is opening up, but should be good for couple weeks (??). The catwalk is getting razor thin. See my video for good conditions perspective.

    One minute video of just the razor thin Catwalk:

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    The full-climb video - shows Bergschrund. Pearly Gates and the Catwalk:
    Embedly Powered

I climbed Mt. Hood on May 15, 2021. The conditions were absolutely ideal. The temperature in the morning leaving the Timberline Lodge parking lot was 42F degrees. The sky was clear and the winds were calm.

It seems that many area people had the same idea as myself to climb Hood. When I left at about 2am I noticed a freeway of lights ascending from the parking lot to the Hogsback. I would estimate that there were about 100 - 200 climbers that day.

The snow started at the parking lot and it was solid all the way to the summit. The Bergschrund is open, but there is a solid snow-bridge across to the Pearly Gates.

At the Pearly Gates the left route is solid ice. The right route is snow, but with some larges steps. I choose the right route. This had a lot of people and the bottleneck was very slow at times. At one point I waited over 15 minutes for a group of four to rope-up in order to continue up.

The summit was perfect. Zero wind and clear skies in all directions. An absolutely perfect summit.

I decided to head down the Old Chute. That involved me crossing the catwalk. At this time the catwalk is razor thin, and the walkway through involves one boot width on both sides. The left side is about nine to 12 inches higher than the right side in places. My left ankle has reduced range of motion due to a break 40 years ago, so I decided to down-climb the narrowest, steepest part.

It was a rather spooky traverse for me, but very exhilarating. Once through the catwalk I descended the Old Chute. I down-climbed nearly the entire descent of the Chute. Most other climbers descended by down-climbing, but I did see some people just walking straight down while others switch-backed while descending.

Once I was back on the Hogsback, it was easy travel at that point. There were still people heading up to the summit nearly all the way back to the parking lot. The snow was very soft in the afternoon.

I am so glad I bailed on an attempt two weeks earlier when the wind was very strong. I would not want to walk that razor-thin catwalk with 30 MPH gusts!