© 2018 by The Elective Mountain Refugees. 

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Mount Hood

April 22, 2018

After completing many routes in the Cascades that come “in” for many months at a time, we’re learning to adjust to watching weather on routes that come into condition for maybe a week or a few days. Although the North Face gullies are very climbable for much of the year, proper conditions for good ice and mixed climbing might only appear for a couple days, or a week or two depending on the year. It seems that on this route, th...

May 21, 2017

After what felt like a resounding success on the Reid Glacier Headwall, we were excited to try our skills out on the Sandy Headwall. We couldn't find a lot of information on this climb so aside from a single paragraph in one of our guidebooks indicating that the Sandy was more difficult than the Reid, we really didn't know what we were getting into. So, we brought a selection of gear: the rope necessary for glacier travel, an...

May 20, 2017

The various headwalls on Mount Hood have been on the list for a while now. We’ve moved on  from the straightforward south side routes, to more moderate steep snow routes like Cooper Spur and Leuthold Couloir, to a steeper ice and snow line like the Devil’s Kitchen Headwall. Now, we decided to set our sights on the Reid Glacier Headwall. In fact, we opted to link the Reid and Sandy Headwalls in a back-to-back hit over the weeke...

May 7, 2017

We were not exactly prepared for the circumnav– you ascend the Palmer Snowfield, traverse around the mountain at a moderate elevation, a little up, a little down. We’re not actually climbing anything. No big deal, right? We knew it was going to be a big day, but 13 hours and 7K feet of elevation gain was a little bigger than we'd anticipated. This route requires some serious shenanigans – it’s the variety pack of ski-mountaine...

May 6, 2017

Corie: We've been trying for months to get on this route and the weather bit us in the ass at the last minute on both occasions. Thankfully, with (mostly awesome) weather in the forecast and nice, cold temps up high, we lucked out on this weekend. We drove up to Timberline on Saturday morning and were skinning by 5am, surprised and pleased at how few people were in the parking lot. The Palmer snowfield was a sheet of crusty ic...

January 16, 2017

Andy: As we've spent more time on Mt. Hood in the past few years, we have also become more interested in routes around different aspects of the mountain. Climbing the Cooper Spur allowed for a great view of the inciting North Face gullies. Completing the various south side variations inclines one to peak around the corner from the Illumination Rock col, towards the Reid Glacier Headwall, the Leuthold Coulior, and the infamous...

May 29, 2016

Corie: Andy and I had been talking about heading up Cooper Spur for months. With the weird weather we’ve had in the PNW this year, getting up on a new route on a distant mountain proved challenging so we started looking for new-to-us, less standard routes on one of the giants in our backyard.  Cooper Spur seemed like it fit the mold and we reached out to friends and did a bunch of reading online to get beta on the “deadliest”...

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