This is the second trip for the month of June getting the goods on Mt. Hood. I expected some great spring corn and not only did I get that, but even found a real powder stash hidden up top!
I met up with my friend “Mooz” at Timberline around 1:30 after his HCSC session was finished and we caught the last chair up Palmer to hike up to the Hogsback on Mt. Hood. The weather was spectacular and snow was in great shape. We booted up to the Bergshrund Crevasse at the 10,700 foot level; arriving there around 5:00 PM. On the way up, the skies were clear enough that far to the south we were able to just make out the top of Mt. Shasta in California. Mt Jefferson, The Three Sisters and Bachelor were stunning.
One thing that I found amazing is how little melting has occurred up here. The rime icing on the cliffs has not even begun to melt. There was not the normal constant rock and ice falls that you experience in the spring and summer on Mt. Hood. This climb was more like an early April climb. Our cold wet spring has kept our snowpack in great shape. Considering that we only received about 60% of normal snowfall in the Cascades, there is an above normal amount left for this time of year.
On the last 1,000 feet of the climb, a heavy, but high cloud layer moved in and the snow began refreezing. By the time we made the Bergshrund, the footing was getting sketchy and without crampons we decided not to attempt to summit. Upon reaching the Bergshrund, we hung out inside of it and had the beer we packed up. Amazingly, we found powder stashes inside the crevasse as it has never gotten above freezing inside.
The ride back down the 55 degree pitch of the Hogsback down to Devils Kitchen was an awesome run in some of the best spring corn conditions you could hope for. We then traversed over to Illumination Saddle and got a great view to the northwest of the Reid Glacier, Bull Run, Portland and Mt. St. Helens.
Crater Rock on the ascent about 1,000 feet above the top of Palmer
Illumination Rock and the Columbia River near Portland
Mt. Jefferson to the south and the White River Glacier
The Base of Crater Rock with all of the rime icing
Steel Cliff which makes up the east wall of the crater
Devils Kitchen Fumarole; a hot pile of sulfur and ash
Climbing the flank of Crater Rock to get to the Hogsback
Approaching the Hogsback with the Bergshrund and the Pearly gates above all encased in 50 foot thick ice
Crater Rock Fumarole steaming
Looking up the spine of the Hogsback toward the Bergshrund and the Pearly Gates.
View back down from above Crater Rock
East Crater wall encased in ice
West Crater wall
Inside the Bergshund
Powder stash inside the crevasse
Mooz enjoying to goods
Time to ride!
Timberline far, far below
The drop in on the Hogsback
Looking back up to the Pearly Gates
The route down with Steel Cliff to the left
Dropping off of the Hogsback enroute to Illumination Rock
Headwall of the Reid Glacier
View of Mt. St. Helens
Dropping in below Illumination Rock
Mooz dropping the Hogsback from the Bergshrund Crevasse:
Basically if you change the display mode when you are reviewing pics on your camera to show you the histogram, you can add in some exposure compensation (+2/3eV for example) to capture just the right level of detail every time, out in the field.