The end of May has been prime time for summit bids and adventures on Mt. Hood. The weather was wet and stormy for the first part of May, but a massive high pressure ridge has been sitting over the Nothwest for the last two weeks. Two of my clients, Sandy and Kirsten rescheduled from early May due to the high winds, snowfall and near zero visibility.
They returned to Hood on my birthday and we had glorious weather and great climbing conditions up the Old Chute. The snow was perfect Neve and we ended up climbing the route in 3 fun pitches. We were greeted with the sunrise just as we popped onto the summit ridge. It was a drastic change from their last visit to Hood when we couldn't see 15 feet in front of us.
After my trip with Sandy and Kirsten I had two other successful summit climbs in two days during our bluebird weather window. Several days later I met up with Gary, Tim, Rich and Stephen who had come all the way from Sitka, AK to climb on Hood. Chris and Shane rounded out our team of six climbers. Shane had originally just signed up for snowschool, but we roped him into making a summit bid with us.
We had two strong rope teams and we managed to summit in just over three hours from 8500 ft. Here is a shot of my rope team: Stephen and his father Rich are up front and Gary is in the back.
All six regrouped on the summit to watch the sunrise and celebrate a successful ascent of Mt. Hood.
Although I was working a ton I decided I needed to take advantage of this high pressure system and get out and play a bit on Hood as well. I come from a state with 300 days of sunshine a year, but it is a bit different out here in Oregon! Along with TMG guides Nick Pope and Geoff Lodge, I completed a successful circumnavigation of Hood in just over 7 hours.
Here's a shot of my partners in crime skinning across the the Coe Glacier during sunrise. Below is another dawn shot on the Coe.
The icefall is next on the ticklist for exciting ski descents on the north side of Hood! It has been a busy May on Mt. Hood. I logged 4 summits and one circumnavigation in a span of 8 days. Thanks to fellow guides and great clients, we were all able to take advantage of sunny days and clear, calm nights. If June is anything like May, there should be plenty more great climbing in Oregon!