Saturday, May 07, 2016

To the top of Mt. Hood

Jared joined a group of hikers from Precoa in climbing to the summit of Mt. Hood. We got geared up and left from Wilsonville at 10:30 and caravaned up to Timberline Lodge. We arrived at the parking lot, signed in, and started trekking up the mountain by not long after midnight. Because it was the first night of a new moon, it was DARK! We had a beautiful view of stars, and other than the beams of our head lamps, we only saw others' head lamps below us dotting the trails up the mountain.

It was also very windy! Jared didn't pack his ski coat, fearing it would be too hot, and for some time, wondered if he would get too cold, but by the time he put on his outer down layer, it was perfect.

As we got higher up, we started to be able to see more city lights in the distance. Then, the sun started coming up, and we could see the enormous shadow cast by Mt. Hood spreading over the valley for miles below. 

As we continued up the mountain and as the sun continued to rise, some of the wispy clouds rushing over the peak were lighted by the light of the sun and looked beautiful. I'm not sure the picture quite does justice to how pretty it was. I was quite happy to see the sunshine and have it get just a bit warmer!

We got to the Hogsback and prepared for the final ascent. We were reminded, as we arrived and once we got there, that Mt. Hood is a volcano as we smelled the sulfur and could see steam coming from Hot Rocks and Devil's Kitchen. 

We started the final trek up the mountain with our crampons. We decided to forego the Hogsback ridge and the Pearly Gates because of the crowds, and instead headed left to the snowfields of the Old Chute.

We ended up taking a side chute off of the Old Chute, called the Mazama Chute, which ended up being a little steeper of an incline. It was quite a rush going up the narrow chute, using the ice axe the entire time up.

It was an incredible feeling climbing up to the top of the Mazama Chute, which was shaded, and into the sunny top of the mountain. The views were incredible! It was just awesome to be on the top of the mountain with Brady and his dad, Stephen, Nick, Drew, and Jim. We worried that Jim would not make it, but Stephen gave him some confidence (over the phone... we had strong signal up top of Hood!) and he made it too!

After slowly making our way back through the Mazama Chute and getting below the Hogsback, we followed some sliding chutes, sliding our way over a thousand vertical feet down the mountain. By the end, Nick, Stephen, and Jared started running down the mountain. It felt like it took forever, but it felt good to be at the bottom! All in all, it was one of the toughest things he says he's ever done!

Jared happily says, whenever he sees Mt. Hood. "I've been on top of that mountain!"


Unknown said...

Ok, done! Check it off your bucket list! Once is enough!