Climb / Ski Mt. Hood

The Mt. Hood area is a wonderful recreation area with great skiing, climbing, mountain bike and sailboarding.  Unfortunately, the skiing and climbing (at least the most common routes) are on the south side of the mountain while the airport is on the north side at Hood River.  But the Hood River airport is a nice little airport with friendly people with rental cars on-site.  Also, if you have a choice, I would stay in Hood River rather than Government Camp, unless you really want to stay close to the mountain for an early climbing start.

I’ve also flown into Redmond and drove from there, and I also made an unfortunate emergency trip into Troutdale airport in order to pick up my son from the hospital after a bad skiing accident on Mt. Hood.

I wasn’t actually there this time to specifically to climb Hood, but rather to chaperon a group of boys on a summer ski trip to Hood (in fact my son got hurt this time as well, but only a broken wrist).  I took the opportunity while there to climb and ski it. I couldn’t get an early morning start like you should, so I cheated the start by buying a lift ticket after dropping the boys off for the day.  The lift cuts out a few thousand feet of vertical, but I was still late considering the rule-of-thumb that avalanche danger increases as the day goes on.  Plus I was alone, so I climbed up to just below the headwall and the final climb, then turned around and skied down.

Final ridge climb before turnaround and ski (down the right side)
Coastal layer of clouds from Mt. Hood

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