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Mount Hood, South Route

Fellow SACsters,

After two postponements due to lousy weather, we finally decided to chance it and go ahead with our South Side climb on Hood last Saturday, June 19th. We combined an originally scheduled June 6th (and then June 13th) climb with a scheduled June 19 climb. So our party was good size. SAC Climb School grads Bill and Matt Nichols, John Coyier, and Albert Porter, Salem Scout Post 18 member John Solonika, and SAC members Byron Kellar, Gregg Huld, and Rich and Dana Margosian all reached the summit.

Our plan was to get a late start (3:00 AM), thinking that the foot pack would be in and that the crowds would be off the summit when we arrived. We were half right. A good trail was established to and above the Hogsback but unfortunately, most of the day's climbers were still negotiating up and down the Chute and Pearly Gates. The bergshrund was longer than usual and required a lengthy traverse to get around it. A sizable traffic jam gave us time for a nice, restful ascent of the last 800 feet. We were all on the summit by 11:00 AM and had naps, lunch breaks and photo sessions. However, by noon threatening storm cells and distant thunder encouraged us to begin our descent.

Just as we arrived at the Hogsback, Kipp Bajaj and friend Tony hailed us from their descent from the West Crater rim. They had just climbed the Sandy Glacier Headwall and were glad to see friendly faces after what has to be one of the longest routes on the mountain. It did my heart good to actually see Kipp tired for once.

It was a classic Hood climb. Good weather prevailed and all starters summited and returned safely.

Santiam Alpine Club


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