Mt. Hood

May 24, 1999

Because there was so much interest from the participants in the Spring Climb School this year, Doug Nelson asked John Pegg to lead a second Mt. Hood climb. Doug’s group climbed on Sunday; our group climbed the next day, Monday. As always, we were watching the weather closely, but it turned out to be one of the best days of the year so far. The freezing level was 12,000 ft. with clear skies forecast. We left the parking lot at Timberline Lodge at 12:30 a.m. and climbed steadily under a half moon that seemed so bright that we didn’t need headlamps. As the moon went down in a red ball over Portland, the Milky Way was brilliant over the mountain. At the top of the Palmer chair lift another group jumped in front of us by having a snow cat take them up with their skis. Crampons helped on the upper mountain and we roped up on the Hogsback. The crevasse that guards the Pearly Gates had a strong snow bridge across it and there was a direct route to the summit rim. It was calm and warm on the summit and we all enjoyed good rest, water, food, and the view of the other mountains. A surprisingly good glissade helped with the descent and we were all back to the cars about 12:30 p.m. By climbing on a Monday instead of the weekend we had the summit and the mountain almost to ourselves. It was well worth taking the day off for all of us. Climbers were Climb School graduates Lori & Gordon Robertson and Keir Smith, and assistant leader Deb Carver and leader John Pegg.


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