Mt. Hood, Hourglass route

April 30-May 1, 1982

Five climbers left Eugene at 4:30 p.m. Friday, and went as far as Rhododendron where we spent part of the night. We got up at l:20 a.m. and after going on to Timberline Lodge, started climbing at 3:00 a.m. Along the upper chair lift, Jack decided to turn back. At the upper end of the lift we saw Stu Rich. He had intended to solo the normal route, but had long desired to do the Hourglass Route. When he learned we intended to do it, he asked to join us, and we were glad to have him along using him as a rope leader. While roping up at the Illumination Saddle, we watched as one of the tents from the nearby camp was carried away by the wind. It disappeared far down the Reid Glacier. Despite warnings, three young people started down the glacier, unroped, in hot pursuit.

After dropping down to the Reid Glacier and crossing the upper end of it, we started up toward the Hourglass, enjoying the fine steps put in by four climbers who preceeded us on the route. In the hourglass, the wind-blown snow became too hard for steps, and we had to walk on the steep surface, which was very tiring on the feet. The crest of the ridge ahead kept moving away as we climbed, and it was a never ending effort to attain it. When we finally reached the summit ridge, we found it to be unusually easy, and were on top by 12:30. After a half hour break, we descended to the Hogback, where we unroped and removed crampons. Stu told us to go ahead without him as he intended to stay awhile enjoying the sunshine. We had had wind at times, but never a bad wind. Cloudy for awhile, it cleared pretty well by late afternoon. We reached the car at 3:45 p.m. and Eugene at 8:00 p.m., tired, but satisfied. Climbers were nonmembers Rob Laney and Stu Rich, and members Lee Hatch, Gary Doolittle, Jack Nitzel, and leader Norm Benton.


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