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Mt. Hood backcountry skiing photos: Illumination Saddle, Illumination Rock,
Crater Rock, Hogsback, Pearly Gates, Mt. Hood summit, Oregon

Turns All Year: Previous Home Page Galleries
This is a gallery of Mt. Hood backcountry 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. The photos are from May backcountry skiing trips to the south side of Mt. Hood, Oregon. Included are photos from an early May ski trip to Mt. Hood's summit via the Hogsback and Pearly Gates, and a late May skiing trip to Illumination Saddle.
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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 31, 2005:
Summit climb and ski, Mt. Hood, May 1, 2004, and
Illumination Saddle skiing, Mt. Hood, May 31, 2004, Oregon

Climbing up toward Crater Rock under a dawn sky
Climbing up toward Crater
Rock under a dawn sky
Looking down to Palmer snowfield, chair lift, Timberline
Looking down to Palmer
snowfield, chair lift, Timberline
Climbers ascend the Hogsback toward Pearly Gates
Climbers ascend the
Hogsback toward Pearly Gates
Climbing through Pearly Gates on frozen snow
Climbing through Pearly
Gates on frozen snow
Looking down the Hogsback to Crater Rock
Looking down the Hogsback
to Crater Rock
Hogsback, Pearly Gates, and rimed crater rim
Hogsback, Pearly Gates,
and rimed crater rim
Skiers and snowboarders below summit rim of Mt. Hood
Skiers and snowboarders
below summit rim of Mt. Hood
Snowboarder makes his way down West Crater Rim
Snowboarder makes his way
down West Crater Rim
Tent site near the base of Illumination Rock
Tent site near the base
of Illumination Rock
South side of Mt. Hood from near Timberline
South side of Mt. Hood
from near Timberline
Palmer snowfield and chair lift, Crater Rock, and summit
Palmer snowfield and chair lift,
Crater Rock, and summit
Rimed rocks on Mt. Hood's summit rim
Rimed rocks on
Mt. Hood's summit rim
Palmer snowfield skiing, south side of Mt. Hood
Palmer snowfield skiing,
south side of Mt. Hood
Wide view of Mt. Hood's summit rim, with Crater Rock
Wide view of Mt. Hood's
summit rim, with Crater Rock
Mt. Hood's crater rim in black and white
Mt. Hood's crater rim
in black and white
Illumination Rock
Illumination Rock
Rimed summit rocks on Mt. Hood in black and white
Rimed summit rocks on
Mt. Hood in black and white
Looking back up the Palmer snowfield and chair lift
Looking back up the Palmer
snowfield and chair lift


Photos by Jeff Huber

Backcountry skiing trip report:
Summit climb and ski, Mt. Hood, May 1, 2004, and
Illumination Saddle skiing, Mt. Hood, May 31, 2004, Oregon

Summit climb and ski, May 1, 2004: This past Saturday I skied the south side of Mt. Hood from Hogsback ridge to Timberline Lodge. Upon reaching the Hogsback I left my skis then continued to the summit. When I returned to the Hogsback I napped in the warm sun while waiting for the snow to setup. I then skied to Illumination Saddle on still firm snow, took another brief nap, then at 10:30 am skied fantastic corn snow all the way to the Magic Mile ski lift where the snow deteriorated to Zardoz conditions (ie, slush).
   The snow near the base of Crater Rock-Devils Kitchen area was heavily undulated, rutted and dirty. If I was to do this trip next weekend I would probably leave my skis right at the base of Crater Rock.

Illumination Saddle skiing, May 31, 2004: I had big, BIG plans for the Memorial Day weekend but, alas, the weather did not cooperate. The forecast called for Monday to have the best weather of the weekend. I desperately wanted to go ski some large volcanoes in central Oregon, however given the recent relatively massive accumulation of new snow I was concerned that I might be driving a long distance only to be turned back by avalanche hazard or, if not that, skiing sub-optimal snow. Ergo, I decided on a short tour to Illumination Saddle on the south side of Mt. Hood. Illumination Saddle is next to the picturesque Illumination Rock, which is west and ~900vft above the top of the Palmer chairlift. This is a great destination to escape the Southside crowds.
   After not enough sleep, I arrived at Timberline at 10am to find Mt. Hood obscured by thin, low-level clouds. I quickly ascended above this layer, being treated to the pretty views of the foothills covered by an ocean of clouds with Mt Jefferson sticking up in the distance.
   Above the Magic Mile chair lift the snow had a supportive, shiny and awkwardly undulated crust on it. Based on other reports and the shininess of the surface, I believe at least the top-layer was formed from rain or freezing rain. I was glad to have ski crampons with me as it was very slippery. As I traversed west I found this crust less undulated.
   At Illumination Saddle I dug an informal snowpit. I found the top crust to be about 4" thick and very supportive. Under this there was at least 2' of new snow. Given the supportiveness of the crust I confidently skied one of the short steepish pitches that skirts Illumination Rock then made turns on the crust all the way to about mid-way down Palmer snowfield before the snow gradually started begging for zardoz.
   Jeff

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