Mt. Hood

May 6, 1989

All 6 climbers spent part of the night at Camp Creek Campground, above Rhododendron. A 2 a.m. wake-up was followed by a drive on up to Timberline and a 3:35 a.m. start for our climb. It was a beautiful morning, without wind, but a red sunrise was soon followed by a few minutes of sprinkles. We had clouds for the rest of the day, and the upper part of the mountain was socked in. We reached the ridge by the White River Glacier just as it got light enough to see that we shouldn’t descend there. After climbing higher, we found a safer place to descend and cross the glacier. The normal Wy-East route goes up the east side of the Steel Cliffs; we went up the end of these cliffs, a route favored by the leader, although he had not done this variation for 6 or 8 years. We usually climb on hard snow or ice, with rhime ice on the rocks. This time there was less rhime ice, and we found soft snow in the gullies, making it easier. When we reach a notch where the tough part begins, we usually go up, but a man in a party ahead of us said not to go up, but to drop below a rock buttress. We couldn’t see him, but followed their tracks. After putting on crampons, we worked up through a chute, and soon rejoined the familiar route. After reaching the summit by 12:45, we ate a bit, then descended through the clouds. We had a sitting glissade for a way, but soon were on our feet, following wands and tracks to the Palmer lift terminal. After a great climb, we were all very tired, especially the leader, but we were on our way home by 5:10. At a food stop in Sandy, we noticed the mountain was out of the clouds again. Some of us were back in Eugene about 9 p.m. We had a strong team, and the leader especially appreciated the strong help of Tom. In our party were non-member Don Harrold and members: Tom Donnelly, Jim Mooney, Royal Murdock, John Pegg and leader Norm Benton.

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