Forums TR Archive Oregon July 6, 2008 – Hogsback/Zigzag Glacier, Mt Hood
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  • #570213
    551 Posts

    What a great weekend! After some fun and a slight sunburn at Smith Rock on Saturday, Todd and I headed towards Mt Hood with aspirations of July turns and corn snow. The drive from Terrebone to Mt Hood was fairly uneventful, but the weather was a bit concerning with the dense cloud cover. We pulled into the Clear Lake campground about 12 miles from Govy and got the last spot. The rain held off all night and we awoke at 3:30 and packed up camp. Smith Rock on Saturday……

    Afterdriving through a dense cloud layer, we were pleased to see the outline of the mountain with no clouds in sight. We signed in at the climbers cave, and left the parking lot and started skinning about 5:20. We made good time up to the top of Palmer. Snow conditions were frozen hard and ski crampons were necessary for me. We continued up towards the top of the White River Glacier.

    At about 9000 feet, the snow was dicey enough to put the boards on our backs and lug our heavy packs up the mountain, which slowed us considerably. Several climbers were ahead of us higher up on the mountain. We continued climbing towards Crater Rock and reached the Hogsback about 10:15.

    A few climbers were staged at the Hogsback and we considered heading up the Mazama Chute, as the other options were melted out. It became apparent that rockfall was a hazard, with several shouts of rock coming from parties above us in the chute. One lady got hit pretty hard in the arm with a rock. As we assesed the situation and were preparing to climb on, we heard an oh s#%t, and looked up to see a climber tumbling like a rag doll down the steep slope. It ended up that the guy was hurt and needed rescue. A person in the party next to us called 911 and a snowcat and helicopter were deployed for help. We decided heading up would not be prudent and offered our help. After the situation was under control, we decided to head down and get some turns in. Here’s a shot prior to heading down…….

    and another heading down…….

    The icy conditions had corned nicely and we headed out towards the Zigzag Glacier. The corn was great as always, and we ripped up over 4000 feet of vertical. The Zigzag Glacier is one of my favorite places to make early July turns. Here’s Todd…..

    Another couple of shots……..

    We were back down to the lodge by 12:30 or so, and down at Govy by 1:30 sipping on an IPA and watching Federer get beat by Nadal at Wimbledon, while eating an enormous pizza at the Ratskellar.

    Conditions on the Hood should be good for another couple of weeks, especially on the Zigzag, though the summit route is pretty much done.

    457 Posts

    I’m supposed to be in the area for brewfest, you think Hood will still be decent or should I keep the plans to go coastal for the rest of the time I’m there?

    551 Posts

    It should still be in pretty decent shape for the next couple of weeks. Up high (above 10000′) the snowpack is about average, but from the lodge (6000′) to 10000′ there’s definitely above average snowpack. I doubt the summit would be great for riding, but you could still easily get 3500′ vertical and probably still ride to the car.

    46 Posts

    Nice TR, thanks for posting the pictures…where did all the snow go? Looked different up there three weeks ago. I was on Snowdome the same day, while relaxing in the midday sun on Cloud Cap Inn’s sun deck I have seen the Helicopter hovering for a while just above the Way’east face, wondering what happened. Good decision to skip the summit in such conditions.

    353 Posts

    No kidding, the upper part has really melted out a lot in the last few weeks.

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