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Home Forums TR Archive Oregon July 9-10, Mt. Hood Northside – Cooper Spur/Snowdome

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    I had a chance to get away for some summer riding on Mt. Hood and took advantage of the excellent corn everyone’s been talking about recently. The destination was the north side of Mt. Hood. After leaving the southern Willamette Valley around noon to temps in the 90’s, it was nice to get up to the mountain. Here’s a shot of Hood’s north side from a few miles below our camp. Cooper Spur, our Friday evening ride, is on the right, and Snowdome, which we rode Saturday morning, is the obvious snowfield in the center.

    Todd and I pulled into camp at about 4:30 and after setting up our spot, headed up towards Cooper Spur to try to find some evening turns before the sun went down. The snow is still in pretty good shape right now. Here’s a photo from the hike up. The knob in the middle left was our high point.

    Here’s a shot of Mt. Adams, which we were contemplating riding earlier in the week…..

    It was warm, but there was a stiff breeze which kept us from overheating. Once we reached the notch at 8500 feet, we were treated to a nice view into the Newton Clark Glacier and bowls. This looked very enticing, but given the evening hour, we didn’t have time to make a run down there. This is the view looking up the Cooper Spur climbing route from 8500 feet to the top of Hood….

    The ride down from the Spur was really good corn for about 1500 feet, followed by about 500 feet of pollen covered crud, then trail hiking back to camp. Both of us were in shorts and t-shirts, only the second time I can remember riding in shorts w/o being cold!

    We were pretty satisfied with the night’s work, and after some dinner, we got the fire going and were treated to this sunset…..

    Saturday morning we woke early, packed our gear and hit the trail at about 5:45 with the intention of riding the Snowdome and lower Eliot Glacier. After an hour of so of ridge hiking, we dropped down to the Eliot to cross the glacier. To get to the Snowdome, you have to cross the Eliot Glacier at about 7000 – 7500 feet, since the trail and lower canyon have been washed out for several years. Our route was up the middle/middle right of the glacier, then straight up the Snowdome (the obvious dome in the upper right in the photo).

    Conditions were good and there were very few crevasses showing on the ascent route. We had packed glacier gear and harnesses, so we broke out the rope even though it wasn’t needed just for fun……

    The climb up went quickly, and I ended up booting the whole thing and didn’t break out the skins :scratch: Seems like whenever I go to Hood in July I don’t use the skins for some reason or another. By 9:30, we were at the top of the dome at about 9400 feet. The snow was softening up quickly. A climbing party was pulling their camp after summiting via the Sunshine route earlier in the day. We talked with them for a bit when a large serac/icefall calved on the Coe Glacier to the west – a good reminder to be extra careful around those things if you get around them.

    Then it was time to make turns down the dome as the climbing party looked on, envious of our quick ride down knowing they had a long slog ahead….

    Here’s a couple shots of Todd heading down on the tele’s – the first is the middle part of the dome, the second is lower down on the Eliot Glacier with some icefall in the background…

    This shot of me is interesting because it shows Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. Adams all in one photo…….

    A few more turns and we were down to the bottom of the glacier, ready to hit the trail back to the truck. We were able to ride down to about 6500 feet, making for about a 3000 foot day.

    Back to the truck by 12:30 and on the road to Govy for a burger. I had the new Hop in the Dark beer from Deschutes Brewery and it was pretty tasty. Overall, it was a good trip and not a bad way to spend a few days in early/mid July…..


    Overall, it was a good trip and not a bad way to spend a few days in early/mid July…..

    Oh yeah…and 3k’ too! That looked friggin’ awesome!

    Hope all is well w/ the new baby! Sweet TR! How you feel about an early Aug something? I’m thinking of getting my first TAY year this year and may have an opportunity to do a climb in early Aug.


    Thanks Jbay – the new baby is doing really well 😀 I’m definitely up for doing something in August – usually I head to Hood since it has the best snow. Were you thinking anywhere in particular?

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