Saturday, July 26, 2008

On Top of Oregon

This is Mount Hood. It's the tallest mountain in Oregon, towering more than 11,000 feet over Portland and the Columbia Gorge. Why not climb it?

This picture is from Trillium Lake, where we camped the night before. This spot is so scenic I was able to snap this picture while talking to Bri on my cell phone. We (myself, Brandon, our friend Chris, Ashley's dad Dave, and his friends Matt and Ben) started up the mountain at 6:30am. The first two-and-a-half hours were spent walking up through Timberline Ski Area, which is open year-round. Here I am at the top of the ski area next to the last out-of-bounds markers. In case you haven't noticed, one of my hobbies is attempting to make myself look cooler than I am using photography.

The going was pretty slow. We finally reached the crater. I wasn't aware Mount Hood had a crater because from most angles it looks like a sharp point. However, it does indeed have a crater that is blown out on one side, like Saint Helens, only much smaller. Here's a tour...

After ascending above the fumaroles and up what's called "the Old Chute," we made it to the summit. There was almost no wind and the views were spectacular! Here I am looking out across the Columbia river at Mount Adams in Washington. In addition to Adams, we had great views of Saint Helens, Rainier, the Goat Rocks, Mount Jefferson, all Three Sisters, Broken Top, and Diamond Peak.

After a while on the summit it was down the chute, out of the crater, a glissade (sliding on one's butt) to the ski area, and a quick stroll down to the parking lot: Eight hours up, three hours down. This is Brandon descending down the chute into the crater. There's Crater Rock and some very stinky fumaroles (vents spewing out sulfurous gases).

All-in-all this was an epic climb. Except for the chute at the end, there was nothing too challenging. It was mostly just endurance. However, even endurance isn't really necessary to climb Mount Hood. Most climbers we passed took the chairlift. Cheaters!

1 comment:

Miranda said...

Holy Moly! Nice Work, I particularly enjoyed the video from the summit looking down, I felt like I was a little woozy. I'm really impressed, that seems like it would be a little challenging, like say I couldn't do that with out a helicopter rescue. Thanks for the sweet shots!