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[pct-l] MT Hood and North - LOCAL????

Although I would agree entirely that Mt Hood is a mountain that 
deserves and requires enormous respect and good mountaineering skills, 
I would not say that rope is essential, or at least it would not 
*require* roping up with a team (you may want to carry rope as a 

I was just skiing on Mt. Hood on July 10th (one week ago), and there 
were hundreds of climbers making the ascent to the summit.  I stopped 
and spoke with some of them at Timberline Lodge for a few minutes.  
None of them roped up, but they all wore crampons (and obviously 
carried an ice axe).

There is a sign in the parking lot of Timberline lodge that directs 
climbers to a trail that starts the climb.  Once you hit about 8000' 
you will be on snow and then glacier firther up the hill.  Although 
there is not a "trail", per se, I cannot immagine that there would not 
be a very pronounced rut in the snow where the hundreds of climbers 
trek up the hill single file.  I have not actually summited Mt. Hood, 
but I saw the line of climbers from the top of the chair lifts and 
cannot see how this could not be the case.

I did also learn from discussing with the climbers at Timberline Lodge 
that there is a significant bergschrund that takes some mountaineering 
skills to negotiate, but they didnt use any ropes and instead just 
hiked around to the edge where there was a snow bridge.

I would certainly not count out an August climb of Hood.  I think its 
entirely possible if you have good mountaineering skills and know what 
you are doing in the mountains.  Although I have not been on the summit 
of Hood, I have been on many other mountains, including the highest 
Volcano in North America, El Pico de Orizaba in Mexico (18,800').  I 
have also been on Shasta in september and consider that to 
be "climbable", but more difficult than earlier in the summer.  Based 
on my experience with mountaineering, I'd say that Hood is entirely 
climbable in August, though certainly may not be optimal.

However, I would like to add that Mt Hood is not to be taken lightly.  
A few people die on Mt Hood each year, and I am sure that you remember 
the disaster 1.5 years ago when the helicopter crashed trying to save 
climbers who had fallen into a crevasse.  You must know what you are 
doing in the mountains to attempt this.


> Duane -
> August-September would be a very undesirable time to consider a "hike"
> to the summit of Mt. Hood from Timberline Lodge. Snow and rock
> conditions will be very hostile. Optimum timing is in May. There is no
> "trail" to the top, and this is not a walk to attempt without solid
> mountaineering skills. For sure, under best conditions, crampons and
> rope would be essential safety accessories. There are many very scenic
> trails in the area at lower elevation. If you have enough time,
> consider the "around Mt. Hood trail" which you can access at
> Timberline Lodge (6000 feet elevation). It is 41 miles and 10,000 feet
> of elevation gain and loss to see the whole mountain - by no means a
> cakewalk, but worth the effort for very good scenery.
> Mark
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