Ice Climbing on Mt. Hood's Glaciers
Joe sleeps in style with an Exped DownMat, Lafuma fast and light, and a Kelty Lightyear 20 as a pillow.
The next morning we climbed up to the Eliot Glacier, weaving around unstable piles of volcanic rock, glacial sinkholes, and mud covered ice. The approach took longer than expected, but we arrived at some crevasses within an hour or two of hiking.
We set up an anchor with 2 ice screws and a picket t-slotted into a thin crevasse. We equalized it all nicely and I rappelled into the crevasse first.
There was a small shelf about 20 feet down, and the bottom of the crevasse was about 40 feet from the surface. Looking to the left it was obvious that this was not the bottom of the glacier. A thin crack looked as if it led down another 100 feet or more.
We all took turns rappeling into and climbing out of the crevasse. It was pretty neat to explore down inside the ice, although it was very wet and cold!
A week later on October 17th Ryan #2 and I went up on splitboards from Timberline Lodge. We skinned up to the Palmer snowfield (on a couple inches of fresh snow!) and stashed the boards there. We continued up to the serac walls on the White River Glacier. It was a much better spot for climbing than the skinny crevasse we went into on the Eliot a week prior.
We set a bomber anchor with 2 V-threads (a V shaped tunnel drilled into ice) and a pounded in picket, and then rappeled down to the bottom of the jumbled mass of ice.
We each took two laps on top rope to practice our skills before leading some pitches ground up.
Ryan #2 forgot sunglasses but he brought some hummus...
We found a nice wall that actually had some water ice on it rather than the glacial-compacted-snow-type ice. We were able to each lead 2 pitches, and we rapped off of a snow bollard (a tear drop shaped trench dug into the hard snow) on top to clean our ice screws on the way down.
While this kind of climbing still qualifies as "practice" it was tons of fun to use different mountaineering techniques and exploring Mt. Hood's glaciers.
We hiked a little ways down to our stashed snowboards, strapped in and the went for the first ride of the 2012-2013 season. It was great to be able to do two different sports in one day, with quality conditions. Sorry no riding photos because we were just surfing it way too hard!
There is going to be some more new snow this weekend so expect to see some snowboard photos here soon!