Mt. Hood East Side

6/27/20
OR Mt Hood
690
8
Posted by LilB907 on 7/1/20 2:01pm

I think Cooper Spur is the most striking feature on Mt Hood. Last fall I envisioned a 7000 ft descent right off the summit down to the Tilly Jane Snopark. I tried the line in November and February this year and was scared off by icy conditions on both outings.

I'm realizing now that skiing in the PNW is much easier in June than February. 

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I left Corvallis around 2:30am and made good time up from the Tilly Jane Sno Park. I skied Cooper Spur from the summit around 11:30am, and things were a over-ripe, sluffing but not propagating as point-releases. Fortunately there were no climbers below.

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With lots of day left and not too much snow moving on it's own accord, I traversed over to the base of the Wy'East Face. I skinned all the way up to the ridge. Looking back at the South Side. Pearly gates in the center of the photo and looking skiable (if you're into that type of thing).

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Skied down the Newton Clark Headwall. Some really big wet sluffs on this one.

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Took advantage of the skin track and took another lap up the Wy'East.

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By this point (4:30pm) the snow was starting to refreeze and the skiing was oddly reminiscent of February. In the fast conditions I was able ski continuously down the Wy'East, over the Cooper Spur, and onto the Elliot Glacier where things were much better.

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It was a great day out on three new-to-me lines. All still very thicc and devoid on suncups.

Good stuff! Much snow left on the upper spur?

2020-07-02 01:39:05
skiguydude

The choke points were still ~20ft wide. Should go cleanly for a few more weeks. 

2020-07-02 01:57:15
LilB907

A great, big day.😀

2020-07-02 02:41:48
Zap

Inspired by this report, Reed and I finally got out and skied the Spur today. Great fast hiking in trail shoes from Tilly Jane camp up to 9k. Crampons from there to the top. We brought two axes although it wasn't essential. We left camp at 5:30 and were at the base of the chimneys by 9, but still had one disconcerting set of grapefruit sized rocks whiz down. Leaving an hour earlier would have been smarter.

We topped out at 10:15 and the snow was already nicely softened to the summit ridge. Once onto the summit area we were hit full force by the WSW wind which made for a chilly transition. 

The ski down (started 10:40) was engaging but excellent. The chimneys are mostly smooth although the snow is aerated up high. Below the chimneys we found excellent smooth corn. At no point did the snow get over soft. 

We scoped a line from the route onto the Eliot glacier on the way up, which proved an excellent way to finish the route. Once onto the glacier and away from what we thought was the main rockfall zone we paused to chill out and enjoy the ambience. This was great until we saw a load of rocks unleash up high. I thought "those might make it down here". It took a while--maybe a minute?--for a few small stones to plop onto the glacier above us. We had prepped to ski in case a deluge of rocks was headed out way. Sure enough a bunch of huge rocks came careening over tie-in rock! We started retreating and watched as a microwave size rock aired the cliff and cratered in the snow, sending a jet of snow at least thirty feet high. That was wild.

Skiing the Eliot was fun along the right side. There are some sections that have melted down to blue ice to watch out for. We also observed a number of skiers lapping the Snow Dome in what looked like good corn. 

A remarkable and fun outing. I only give it a week or maybe two before it's decidedly not in ski condition. The rockfall is definitely a thing. Staying to climbers right below the chimneys is a good idea. 

Eliot etc

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Chimneys

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Airborne

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Zone

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2020-07-04 05:24:46
kamtron

A few more photos

Exposure

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Reed's photo

Angles

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2020-07-04 05:29:51
kamtron

😎 3rd shot is sick! 

2020-07-04 21:07:46
LilB907

Nice trip report! How was the access to the Snow Dome looking?

2020-07-05 15:42:55
Gnar1

I've never been up there but it looked like there was a skintrack from the lower Eliot onto the dome that avoided crevasses. 

Lower Eliot

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2020-07-05 16:44:11
kamtron

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mt-hood-east-side
LilB907
2020-07-01 21:01:31