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July backcountry skiing photos: Snow Dome, Mt. Hood, Oregon
Turns All Year: Previous Home Page Galleries
This is a gallery of Snow Dome skiing photos which appeared on the Turns All Year home page in the past. Thumbnail images on this page can be clicked to view the full-sized photos, and lead into a slide show sequence for the gallery. Photos from July backcountry skiing trips to Snow Dome, on the north side of Mt. Hood between the Coe and Eliot Glaciers. The skiing wasn't ideal, but still good enough for July and extended all the way down to the Timberline trail.
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Turns All Year CD-ROM

The complete version of this photo gallery is now available on Turns All Year CD-ROM. Below you can view thumbnail photos from this gallery.

Turns All Year CD-ROM contains over 180 photo galleries, containing more than 3200 full-sized photos, from backcountry skiing and snowboarding trips in the Pacific Northwest.

from October 3, 2005:
Backcountry skiing, Snow Dome, Mt. Hood, Oregon, July, 2002 and 2004
North side of Mt. Hood,
showing Snow Dome
Eliot Glacier trough, with
Cooper Spur and Snow Dome
Close up of the north side of
Mt. Hood, with Eliot Glacier
North side of Mt. Hood from
Hood River Ranger Station
A bridge on the Timberline trail
Seracs on the Eliot Glacier,
with Cooper Spur ridge
Skiers prepare to start
skinning up Snow Dome
Looking up Snow Dome
toward the Sunshine route
Skiing lower Snow Dome
near the Eliot Glacier
A skier on less than perfect
July snow on Snow Dome
Booting up some funky
snow on Snow Dome
Sunshine route to the
summit of Mt. Hood
Upper Coe Glacier to the
west of Snow Dome
Telephoto of Mt. Adams
from Mt. Hood
Ski tracks on the
inactive Langille Glacier
Last turns before
the Timberline trail
A good view of Eliot Glacier,
Snow Dome, and Coe Glacier
Photo of Mt. Hood showing the
route skied on Snow Dome

Photos by Jeff Huber

Backcountry skiing trip report:
Snow Dome, Mt. Hood, Oregon, July 11, 2004

   If you drive from Hood River to Cloud Cap the crux of this trip will be avoiding a car crash as the views of the north side of Mt. Hood are so intense your eyes will not want to look at the road.
   Luckily I made it to Cloud Cap without incident. To get to the base of the Snow Dome I did a slight deviation from the more common approach. From the west moraine of the Eliot Glacier I crossed the snowfield below Langille Crags at its flattest point, thus avoiding a somewhat steep snow traverse in my tenny runners. The downside to this approach was that I accidentally trampled beautiful alpine vegetation that will never grow back. Ergo I decided to name this route the "George W. Bush variation".
   At the base of the 'dome I traded my tenny runners for skis, boots and skins, while most folks (I counted 14 others) hiked up a well stomped bootpath. Bootpacking would probably have been more efficient given the undulations of the snow, but I felt obliged to use my cute blue cow skins since I packed them. As I skinned up I studied the 'dome carefully looking for open crevasses. I was surprised to find none unlike in July of 2002. The lack of open crevasses seems to support the first part of my recent gapeothesis (translation: a gaper's hypothesis): there is more snow at upper elevations than in early summer of 2002 and 2003 but less at lower elevations.
   I was further surprised and disappointed to find the snow surface at upper elevations significantly poorer then expected. On the lower Snow Dome were standard suncups, no suprise, however higher up were very irregular, nasty, dirty undulations. Maybe the snow never fully consolidated after the late May storms before being baked?
   I skinned to the top of the Snow Dome, Anderson rock at ~9700 feet, descending around noon. I found the east aspect (skier's right) that rolls into the Eliot Glacier had the smoothest snow. The snow here was not as bad as expected from the ascent. I continued down the 'dome to the inactive Langille Glacier where a short, 10 foot portage was required between its upper and middle bowls. Despite the lower elevation the snow was much smoother than higher up. I skied down the Langille Glacier all the way to the Timberline trail for a descent of ~3700vf. From here it was 1.5 miles of traversing on the pleasant Timberline trail to the car.

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