Mount Hood is an interesting place. You Drive up the first mile, then there is a ski lift the next 3,000 feet, and finally a nice little technical hike to the top. Also, unlike most other mountains, it's an extremely small alpine area. What I mean is, most animals that live in the mountains have the easy ability to go down a valley and then back up the next mountain. Mount Hood is isolated, an animal would have difficulty traversing to the next mountain.
We woke up in East Portland at 4 AM. This was our third day with not much sleep. We packed, had bad coffee, and quickly left the hotel. Continuing the process of introducing Steve to unique experiences like espresso shots this summer, or Olive Garden the night before, we had breakfast at Starbucks, another first. The roads were empty and we cruised to the nearly empty parking lot at 5,800 feet.
|Parking Lot in the Morning|
|The Haze from about 10,000 Feet|
|About 10,300 Feet|
|Sulfur Steam and Green Colored Rocks|
The video below shows the highest point that we reached and what I would call very typical mountaineering.
|Back at the Parking Lot Safe and Sound!|
Having climbed to within 500 vertical feet of the summit, I would like to go back and actually summit. In fact, Mt. Hood is so accessible that I would like to try and do laps on it. I think you could do it twice in one day, on skis in April when it is snow covered and there is good weather, between breakfast and supper. The key is snow conditions. From the top of the hogsback snow ridge through the gully leading to the summit you need solid snow conditions, and I would need a set of alpine touring boots and bindings. Next time...