The season on Mt. Hood
Back in early February, Patrick and I knocked out a ski mountaineering circumnavigation of Mount Hood, a long-term goal. The “high orbit,” as it’s known, circles the mountain between 7000′ and 9000′, crosses multiple glaciers and numerous ridges, and has just enough crevasse exposure, technical climbing, and steep skiing to be the sort of thing that I needed to do with an experienced partner. Patrick, formerly a mountaineering instructor for NOLS, certainly fits the bill. His excellent report makes any effort at my own redundant.
Last week, in a rather more pedestrian effort, Jarkko and I climbed Mt. Hood in 4:13 via the standard south side route, under a mostly full moon and in excellent conditions. We ended up skiing inelegantly (well, Jarkko did just fine) from the top of Hogsback and I instantly regretted not mustering the courage to drop in from the ridge, as I suspect snow like that doesn’t come along very often. 5:43 round trip, but only 10 minutes from back down from Crater Rock to Timberline Lodge. God I love skiing.