Mount Hood

As one gets into the rocks above the snow slope, the route becomes a matter of weaving through the rock outcrops. Late in the year, this is typically steep, rotten rock but early season snowfall had covered the route with enough snow that we were using crampons and ice axes. We were roped up in pairs here; the going seemed easy and there were plenty of opportunities to find a comfortable place on a rock to secure each other. The slope increases as one nears the summit, and we made our belays more secure the last several hundred feet through the “Chimneys.”

The route ends suddenly with a sharp transition from steep snow and rock to a flat plain near the summit mound. After scrambling to the summit and returning to the flat area, we met a lone man wearing tennis shoes and light clothing, carrying only an empty water bottle. He had come up the easy route. This is a good example of why there are so many injuries and deaths on the mountain.