Trip Report
Mt. Hood- (FA of Ravine-WI3 M4).
Tuesday May 22, 2012 12:38am
It all begun on a twelve hour drive to Portland from Hyalite Canyon (Montana). Anastasia was talking about some un-climbed ice lines as I tried to navigate our little car through a snow storm. Although I was interested, the idea of climbing a worthy new ice line on Mt. Hood seemed as likely as getting a raise at work.
awesome setting
awesome setting
Credit: Vitaliy M.
Just a few month later a rock wheezes by my right ear on a snow traverse bellow Eliot Headwall. We increase our pace. As we simul climb above the bergshrund towards the Cathedral Spire the objective becomes clearer with every step. As we get to the base my body is gripped with excitement. Beautiful water ice above seems thinner then body width in spots, but appears doable, I rack the screws, and concentrate on the climb.
Da Brim was obtained for this secret mission
Da Brim was obtained for this secret mission
Credit: Vitaliy M.
As an regular Mt. Hood climber, Anastasia was rewarded with information about a few "named, but unclimbed" ice lines on the steep walls of North Cleaver. Just a week from my planned trip to 'climb some peaks in PNW,' Anastasia went to climb Eliot Headwall and spotted one of these lines as 'in.' After some discussion we decided to try our acquired skills on unknown terrain. Filled with excitement I drove from the Bay Area to Portland in a push(!) and crashed on Anastasia's couch by 3am. We woke up earlier than I wanted to, ate, and drove to the trailhead. By noon we left from the trail-head and started the hike towards the summit- our base camp!
Life in the alpine is rough
Life in the alpine is rough
Credit: Vitaliy M.
Since I never been to Mt. Hood we decided to camp on the summit to experience beautiful alpine glow, and to possibly climb the North Face route as well. Although we decided to abort the North Face climb due to very high temperatures and unfavorable avalanche forecast, we had a lot of fun camping in the beautiful setting and climbing a line that possibly never been climbed.
Illumination Rock
Illumination Rock
Credit: Vitaliy M.
On the hike in I was a bit sad getting passed by a bulldozer, so I stuffed my mouth with a glazed doughnut- like any modern aspiring alpinist would. After passing the ski lift we came across awesome views towards Illumination Rock. Past it we came up to the final stretch of our trek towards ‘base camp.’ Anastasia noted “the regular route is blooming”- there were kicked steps all the way to the summit ridge.
Our tent- just bellow the summit, on Cathedral ridge
Our tent- just bellow the summit, on Cathedral ridge
Credit: Vitaliy M.
Familiar smell of sulfur and rime ice reminded me of Mt. Shasta. As we hit the summit ridge the drop down North Side came as a surprise- both of the Cascade Volcanoes (Rainier and Shasta) I have previously climbed have large summit plateaus. On the other hand, Mt. Hood has steep snow/ice slopes divided by loose rock buttresses dropping down to a glacier a thousand feet bellow, this is called Eliot Headwall.
Enjoying the weather and the smell of the sulfur
Enjoying the weather and the smell of the sulfur
Credit: Vitaliy M.
Instead of stepping on the high point less than a minute of walking away, I head left after spotting a flat spot to make camp. We fight the winds, build a wall to protect our tent, make food, and warm up. Spectacular views toward Cathedral Spire and Yocum ridge are present right from our tent. Both of us were excited to get some good rest (as good as it gets, going from flatlands to eleven thousand feet in a day).
Ideal weather
Ideal weather
Credit: Vitaliy M.
Getting up in the morning was rough, but soon after, we were descending, and traversing above the shrund. Finally I noticed the ice drip to the right of Cathedral Spire. It is hard to notice from other angles, one has to face it directly to see it.
Route
Route
Credit: Vitaliy M.
With Eliot Headwall above, rock and ice fall kept us on our toes. This place re-educated me on the meaning of ‘loose rock.’ In case one of us got hit, we protected the traverse with pickets (we brought 3) on our simul-climb. After getting to the base, Anastasia built a solid anchor and we picked apart the sections that will most likely present a challenge. As we faced our line it did not look terribly hard even for punters like us.
Anastasia traversing to the base
Anastasia traversing to the base
Credit: Vitaliy M.
Thin spots appeared to have nice rock ledges for feet. Gripped with excitement I started up into unknown. As I made progress up the ice I was amazed by it’s quality. Although brittle, it was thick and took protection well. It started out with fun WI2 ice and transitions into another flow that starts out with an awkward bulge (crux). As I climbed to a pillar thinner than my body, I realized this climb will not be as straight forward as I thought.
I had to turn a corner and get over a slightly overhanging ice bulge. With brittle ice, poor feet, icicles hanging in the corner, and awkward bulge pressing me down, I was challenged by this section.
Before I got into climbing, I did Muay Thai
Before I got into climbing, I did Muay Thai
Credit: Vitaliy M.
However after protecting (rest stance required some flexibility!) and committing, I pulled the bulge. Past it, was more fun and easy climbing on perfect ice, till it joined the snow couloir above. In the end I had just enough screws (7) and cams (#1 Red Camalot, and #3 Orange Metolius) to protect this 55-meter pitch.
Fun climbing above the crux
Fun climbing above the crux
Credit: Vitaliy M.
Belaying from two equalized snow pickets in the couloir I looked at the incredible view towards bergshrund and Eliot Headwall. In my mind, I associated our location with photos I saw in Cordillera Blanca guidebook.
Shrund from the top of the route
Shrund from the top of the route
Credit: Vitaliy M.
Anastasia came up and quickly led up to the top of the couloir.
I am coming up the couloir
I am coming up the couloir
Credit: Vitaliy M.
After that we took a few photos, and decided to save the lunch for the summit- which we earned! We joined the gullies of the North Face and topped out via the direct variation through the summit cornice, which wasn't huge this year.
Getting up to the summit after joining NF
Getting up to the summit after joining NF
Credit: Vitaliy M.
At the summit we joined a big group of people who were happy to summit via regular route.
Summit shot
Summit shot
Credit: Vitaliy M.
A big thank to Anastasia for picking me as her partner, and sharing a great time in the mountains! Does not even matter if this route was ever climbed before us- we had a great time out there.
"In this country you have to get the fame first, when you get the fame...
"In this country you have to get the fame first, when you get the fame, than you get the women!"
-Cheburashka
Credit: Vitaliy M.

  Trip Report Views: 3,277
Vitaliy M.
About the Author
Vitaliy M. is annoying gym climber from San Francisco.

Comments
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Nastia

Ice climber
Portland, OR
  May 22, 2012 - 05:58pm PT
Awesome times with Vitaliy, as always! Cheburashka was a real help as
well. I hope the 11 hr drive from the Bay area in a push was well
worth it for both of them.

The original plan of Vitaliy's "climbing peaks" in the Pacific
Northwest was supposed to start with the local mixed classic - Triple
Couloirs on the Dragontail. With the access road being closed at the
time (and still remaining closed) and extra 6 hr drive to Leavenworth,
the plan was quickly modified to climbing just one peak - Mt. Hood,
but via different routes. The strategically chosen camping spot on the
summit served that purpose very well.

As Vitaliy has already specified here,
http://www.mountainproject.com/v/ravine/107618470#a_107618491
Ravine (as well as lines on the Eliot Headwall) could easily be done
car-to-car via the summit carryover, as opposed to the long assed
north side approach from the Tilly Jane TH.
It is interesting to mention the recent comment from Jeff Thomas, the
author of "Oregon High", regarding one FA of the Eliot Headwall:
"I do remember that when they did the route, they also camped near the summit and went down to come back up. History does repeat itself".


More pics from the trip:
Summit block via the north face direct
Summit block via the north face direct
Credit: Vitaliy M

Camping out on the summit ridge
Camping out on the summit ridge
Credit: Nastia

Vitaliy and the rack on the summit
Vitaliy and the rack on the summit
Credit: Nastia

Stoked!
Stoked!
Credit: Vitaliy M

Soleil Dansant on the Cathedral and Yocum Ridges at sunrise
Soleil Dansant on the Cathedral and Yocum Ridges at sunrise
Credit: Nastia

Hood shadow at sunrise
Hood shadow at sunrise
Credit: Nastia

Summit pano
Summit pano
Credit: Nastia


micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  May 22, 2012 - 06:24pm PT
Stellar!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  May 22, 2012 - 06:40pm PT
Sweet job , thanks!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  May 22, 2012 - 06:57pm PT
Nice! An alpine TR- my favorite. Looks sweet.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
  May 22, 2012 - 07:02pm PT
looks like the best. How many pitches? Where in relation to the Black spider wall is all that?
michaeld

Sport climber
Sacramento
  May 22, 2012 - 07:14pm PT
Vitaliy is so hard. Teach me to climb good sir?
slidingmike

climber
CA
  May 22, 2012 - 07:28pm PT
Well done, and thanks for posting the great pictures!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  May 22, 2012 - 08:03pm PT
BEETCHIN Man! THe views!
Nastia

Ice climber
Portland, OR
  May 22, 2012 - 10:34pm PT
Where in relation to the Black spider wall is all that?

Vitaliy and I were considering to repeat the Center Drip on Black Spider but because that wall is on the Eastern aspect of Hood and thus can be pretty much a suicidal undertaking in the temps above freezing in the morning sun, we were much happier to stay in the shade of the northwest facing Cathedral spire/Ravine.

Here is a recent pic of the Black Spider (with not much ice to be seen):
Black Spider
Black Spider
Credit: Nastia
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  May 22, 2012 - 10:50pm PT
"I'm sooooo cooooold. Sooooooooo cold..."--Homer S-s-s-simpson

Love that Hoodie Shadow, Nastia. Between you two (3 incl. Ch.), I cannot decide who's saltier, but that's like trying to tell the diff between a peanut and popcorn. You sound like a great team.

Excellent tr, Vitaliy.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  May 23, 2012 - 11:10am PT
Thank you all. Mouse, I will introduce you to him some day! : )
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  May 23, 2012 - 01:32pm PT
This looks like quite a good adventure! I really like the shadow of Mt Hood too.
hamik

Mountain climber
Pasadena, CA
  May 23, 2012 - 02:00pm PT
Yay, I was waiting for this TR! Good job team :-)
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
  May 25, 2012 - 10:46pm PT
Great photos Vitaliy and Nastia! Looks like a cool line.

Good to see an alpine TR. Way to go!
johntp

Trad climber
socal
  Nov 2, 2013 - 10:47pm PT
nice. TFPU.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Nov 3, 2013 - 01:40am PT
Cheburashka looks happy in the sun but generally Hood is for the dogs...

Credit: Reilly

Cheburashka texted me that he's starting the Yocum Ridge vigil...
crunch

Social climber
CO
  Nov 3, 2013 - 11:08am PT
Ha ha! First dog to ascend Yocum Ridge, that'd be something!

Hey, I'm working on getting Bill Mullee's book ready for the printers. One little question:

On The Ravine, once at the saddle, did you guys go directly upward (pretty much new terrain) or did you trend up and leftward, joining the finishes of the North Face Gullies routes?
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Nov 3, 2013 - 11:47am PT
'The ice drip/runnel] "is hard to notice from other angles, one has to face it directly to see it."

Good to have partners who:

Like you enough to invite you on a possible FA.
Have a babysitter who is reliable enough to take off for a weekend.
Don't mind riding in a tiny car from the Bay to Portland with a maniac (nice to see Cheburashka again!)
Have "low sulfur content" in their passed gas when trying to sleep in the tent!

You rock and ice, guys!

Hope you can make it to Belch-Fest this month.
Nastia

Ice climber
Portland, OR
  Nov 13, 2013 - 11:28pm PT
Hey, I'm working on getting Bill Mullee's book ready for the printers. One little question:

On The Ravine, once at the saddle, did you guys go directly upward (pretty much new terrain) or did you trend up and leftward, joining the finishes of the North Face Gullies routes?

We followed the standard NF right gull exit through the summit pyramid.

Going up and right was an option too, being shared by people either finishing up the NF right gull or the Eliot Headwall. More often than not, this exit also deals with a hefty cornice at the summit ridge and needing some digging.
Eliot Headwall left exit
Eliot Headwall left exit
Credit: Nastia


P.S. Any news on when the new Hood guide book will be out?
Leggs

Sport climber
Made in California
  Nov 14, 2013 - 11:19am PT
This is SOOOO good!

Great TR... thanks for sharin'!
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