If you’ve been following along, you know my first Attempt on Mt. Hood was a bust due to weather. Here’s the plan for my second attempt.
The climbing season ends soon, so I need to finish it this trip to make it by my 50th birthday, so I cancelled my return flight, extended my room and car and stayed. It has been suggested to me that it would be OK to slide a bit and do it during my 50th year, but that’s not the goal. The goal is 50 by 50, so I’m going to give it my best effort to complete the goal on time.
I’m going to climb it solo and here’s why; first because my previous Guide Ben was confident that I’m a strong and competent enough climber to handle it and thought my chances would actually be better than going with a guided group as weak climbers often turn those around. I could do another private guide like before, but the guided trips all use snow cats and or ski lifts to get higher on the mountain, and I want to climb it all myself. Also because I have been within 700′ of the summit already and did not find it particularly taxing, although the last 700′ are extremely steep, but I’ve climbed vertical ice walls before and have the skills, strength and experience. And finally because I’m a manly man and Old Spice said I could have another shot at the contract if I went solo. If that joke doesn’t make any sense to you, take a look at the Illinois highpoint trip report.
One Day Up And Down
It will be a single day, climb this time because I don’t need the head start that the camping gives you and it makes logistics simpler.
The weather has greatly improved, and Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are all clear days. Tuesday has below freezing temperatures which will keep the snow firm and reduce the chance of rock fall and avalanches. So Unless the weather changes, Tuesday is the day.
I have secured some gear from the local climbing shop, mainly a lighter pack to replace my 8 lb expedition one and a few other items to lighten the load and fill in gaps created by the new plan. I had 60 lbs of gear the first time, I expect to have 25lbs or less this time.
I’ll start at 11:00 PM on Monday, and climb the whole darn thing myself thank you, none of that lame ski lift nonsense. I hope to be at the summit around sunrise and back down before noon. It’s important to get up and down early for better snow conditions. The steep upper slopes especially become slushy when the sun hits them as well as the aforementioned rock and avalanche risk.
I have shifted my sleep schedule so I can get 8 hours sleep today from 2:00PM – 10:00PM before I leave at for the mountain to start climbing at 11:00PM.
But as they say, no plan survives contact with the enemy, so I’ll keep you posted.