Thursday, June 2, 2016

Mt. Hood. May 25, 2016

11,249 feet
About 5.6 miles round-trip
2,745 feet of elevation gain
Summit day was on 5/25/2016
Training day was on 5/24/2016 

On 5/24/2016 I had a training day with our guide, Tico, from Timberline Mountain Guides.  During this time, Tico showed us different ways of walking up and down a steep slope, how to use an ice axe properly, how to walk in crampons while holding an ice axe, how to be roped up, and more.  I learned a lot of valuable mountaineering skills.

Here is the scenery that surrounded us as we trained.

I took a selfie with my new sunglasses.  We needed to get sunglasses and hiking goggles to protect our eyes from the bright white snow.

Our guide walking ahead --

This is the steep slope (it doesn't look as steep as it actually was in this picture) where we practiced different techniques for walking, holding an ice axe, self arrest, etc.

Here are our backpacks that we rented from Timberline.  We chose to rent some instead of using our mom wasn't sure how much of the group gear we'd need to carry, so she opted to rent the appropriate size packs from Timberline just in case ours weren't big enough or sturdy enough.  Turns out we could have used our own.

I believe that is Mom down there in the red/orange jacket.  This picture better shows the steepness of the slope we were practicing on.  There were multiple training groups like ours--one of them is down below to the left of Mom.  Our group was private, so it only consisted of Mom, Sage, and me.  This was convenient for us and probably easier for the guide to manage.

This is my ice axe that we brought to practice with.

Mom and Sage (Sage in the purple and Mom in the red/orange) practicing walking with crampons and ice axes --

Here, Tico, on the left, is fixing Sage's harness.  We are practicing roping up.

That is all of the photos from training day!  Now we begin the pictures from the summit day on 5/25/2016.

We woke up at 1:30 am and got ready in our room at the Timberline Lodge.  We purposely hadn't adjusted to Oregon's time (which is three hours behind New Hampshire's time) so that waking up so early on summit day would not feel too horrible.

We got on a snow cat at 3:00 am and it drove us up the mountain for about two miles.  We got off of the snow cat at 3:45 am and started hiking up.

A picture of Mom sitting in the snow cat:

When we got out of the snow cat, it was still very dark.  Mars could be seen at this time!  It is the pinprick of red light to the right.

The moon:

I think I am looking down the mountain in this picture.  The lights are from people and snow cats.

Looking ahead.  Mt. Hood is a volcano (which could erupt at any time!), so there is sulfur.  There is also a burgschrund (crevasse) on the mountain. 

People with their headlamps...

It is getting lighter.  Looking ahead --

Behind me is an extremely beautiful view; there is a gigantic layer of clouds spread all over Oregon as far as I can see with a sunrise.

This is Mom crossing a steep slope of snow.  She has crampons on and is using her poles for balance.

There's one of the paths up to the summit.  We are going to go a different way, though--off to the left which is not shown in this picture.

More beautiful views...

Sulfur coming out of a sulfur smelled like eggs.

Some views...looking behind me...

This is one of the particularly steep parts, but not the slide yet.  We were roped in here.  The person right in front of me is our guide.

Looking behind me...

There was a really steep slope, or a chute, after the place in the picture above.  It was a little scary, but we were all roped in, so it was relatively safe.  I am excited now because I can see the summit right over there!

At the summit!  I was really happy to have made it.  It is my 46th highpoint, and my first "technical" peak.

Looking back from where I came...there is another group heading up.

I took some summit view images.  Still above the clouds...


I could see Mt. Rainer in the distance--in Washington.

Mom and Sage...

Mom, Sage, and I...

Tico, Sage, and I...


The sun!  It wasn't as cold as I thought it was going to be.  I had expected it to be freezing, but it really wasn't bad.

This is what I chose to have on the summit.

My ice axe...

I am sorry I got my thumb in a few of these pictures...please try to ignore it!

On the slide/shoot, our guide belayed us down.  It was scary at first, but then it became exciting.

There were some sulfur vents close to where we were walking.  Our guide told us that if you fall into one and go deep into it, you will die from the low oxygen levels.

More views, plus a pole or two.

A lot of sulfur gas.

My shadow:

I took a picture with my sister.  We are both wearing the new sunglasses.  My sister is on the right and I am on the left.

I thought it would be interesting to take a picture like this.

Me on the mountain...

Looking up at a person who is hiking up...



Down into the clouds we go...

A nice-looking rock over there...

Looking tough...

We saw a raven!

Raven flying away...

When we got back down to our room in Timberline Lodge, Mom, Sage, and I chilled out for the rest of the day.  We took it easy the next day too.  It was a great hike!  It was definitely different from what I am used to, but I liked it.


  1. Thank you for this account, with detailed description and beautiful photographs. I am a new fan of yours, from Women Outdoors. I'm also a 6th grade school teacher. I plan to show your blog periodically to my students to inspire them about nature and about excellent writing!

  2. I am glad you enjoy reading my posts! I hope your students enjoy them as well and become interested in spending time outdoors. Thank you so much for your positive comment!