I have been up and around Mt. Hood for a few years now ever since my son has been going to ski camp at Mt. Hood Summer Ski Camp (and is now a counselor there). I’ve hiked, biked and skied on the mountain, but have never summitted. My son has wanted to get to the top so we all made a plan to ski it together this summer.
I’ve flown to various airports nearby, and this time my wife and I flew into Bend in order to rent ski gear (special AT skis and boots for uphill climbing) for my son. We then picked him up at camp for an early dinner, were up at 1:30 am and on the mountain climbing (from the Timberline ski resort parking lot) at about 2:15 am. I was shocked when we started climbing and realized there were lights all over the mountain and none below us. We start at 2:15 am and we are the last ones up? Really? It turns out almost everyone in front of us were on guided trips, and the guides start VERY early just to make sure they are off the top portion by early morning.
We got lucky in that the day was cool so the rock and ice fall that can start mid-morning didn’t materialize, and we were able to get up and down safely. We didn’t end up being the last either, although there was only two others behind us and one of them turned around because of the wind.