Mount Hood July 29, 2004

Mountain height:    2,903 m (9,524 feet)
Elevation gain:       1,300 m
Ascent time:          
3:25
Descent time:         1:50

Solo scramble.

The highlights of this scramble were the scenic journey through King Canyon, a short section of easy hands-on scrambling, up a gully, just before the Hood/Brock col, and a magnificent panorama from the summit. The lowlights were an attempted shortcut that cost me about 150 extra vertical metres of elevation gain and half an hour of time, and two very annoying black flies that followed me the entire way up the mountain and down again.  

For future reference, upon reaching the fork in the creek and then turning left, it is a mistake to try and gain elevation and then traverse towards the Hood/Brock col up high. Staying near the creek is far easier and there’s a trail almost the whole way. I tried ascending a dry streambed and then traversing grassy and treed slopes heading north. It quickly became evident that this route would require all kinds of detours, as well as repeated elevation loss and gain. I should have just retraced my steps back to the creek, however, I decided to traverse the slopes and descend at the same time. This was, at times, quite painstaking and frustrating and it didn’t help when I went through some high vegetation that prompted my arms to break out in a lumpy rash – the first time I’ve had an allergic reaction to anything out there.

The best part of the ascent (and only moderate stretch of scrambling) was the section from the top of the grass/shale slope to the Hood/Brock col. I ascended a water-worn gully that avoided much of the tedious scree and provided an enjoyable way up. From the col, a 20 minute plod along an obvious trail took me to the summit, where the panorama was terrific. Obviously, Mount Brock, directly south, was the most prominent and striking mountain. Several of the 11,000 ft. + were visible: Joffre, King George, and Assiniboine . The scene to east was a beautiful combination of peaks, valleys, and green meadows.   

The descent was quite rapid and I wisely choose to stay near the creek – much better than my ascent route! Overall, a decent scramble, with the best part coming right at the end – the summit view.     

Some "untypical" scenery near the beginning; Sonny Bou has a good description at: http://members.shaw.ca/ssbou2001/hood.html

 

Trees and flowers; I really enjoyed the scenery on this slope, but I was way off course and had to lose a great deal of elevation to get back on track.

 

Mount Wintour to the south, looking quite tame; I assure you it's anything but tame!

 

Beautiful green slopes, with Mount Brock behind

 

More of the same...

 

More flowers, more green, and the summit of Mount Hood in the centre

 

At the summit, looking to the northeast; the green meadows on the east side of the mountain were stunning, in contrast with the rugged peaks 

 

Looking to the northwest

 

The fantastic summit view of Mount Brock

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