Climbing Mount Hood

  

Mt. Hood is 11,240 ft. in elevation, a dormant volcano, and has 11 glaciers. The peak is part of the Mt. Hood Wilderness. Mt. Hood attracts more than 10,000 climbers a year.

  • Climb mid-week for reduced crowds.
  • Mt. Hood is a technical climb and requires planning. If you are new to climbing, please consider a guided climb.
  • Find more Mt. Hood climbing questions from the Mazamas.
  • Watch the video below for some tips.

Climbing Report, 6/17/21:

With warm sunny days on tap for this weekend, expect large crowds and substantial traffic on the upper mountain. Start early and be sure to give parties ample space to avoid injury by rock or climber fall. Be cognizant of warming hazards such as falling rock or ice and wet loose avalanche activity.

WEATHER NOTES: The early week brought relatively cool temperatures with light precipitation. Starting Thursday into at least Tuesday, there will be a warming trend. Temperatures will likely rise through the weekend with light winds. Free air freezing levels will likely rise to 16000 feet by Monday.

SNOW CONDITIONS: With a stretch of warm sunny days in the forecast, expect snow to soften with minimal to no refreeze overnight. Areas on the upper mountain will likely still be firm and hold ice. Climbers are now traversing around the Bergschrund adjacent to the Hogsback to access the Pearly Gates due to the collapsed snow bridge.

MOUNTAIN HAZARDS. Many hazards can exist on Mt. Hood. Some of these include:

Rockfall: Snow melt continues to expose an increasing amount of loose rock on the upper mountain. This makes more and more rock available to fall. Sun and warm temperatures tend to cause rockfall, as the ice that holds loose rock together melts.

Icefall:  Large and small chunks of ice are similarly capable of falling and either can cause serious to fatal injury. Remember that sun and warming increases the likelihood of both rockfall and icefall.

Avalanches: Snowpack conditions and stability can change rapidly in spring and early summer. With new snow expected, your ability to identify avalanche terrain and assess snowpack stability, along with your beacon, probe, and shovel, are often crucial for reasonably safe travel on Mt. Hood. The NWAC avalanche forecast season has ended.

Glacial features: Crevasses and other glacial features are increasingly open and visible, including the bergschrund adjacent to the upper Hogsback. Mount Hood is heavily glaciated. These glacial hazards can be found on many climbing routes and may be thinly bridged by snow.

Long, sliding falls: Relatively cold temperatures should minimize softening of wind scoured refrozen snow this weekend. Refrozen snow conditions allow long, sliding falls that are difficult or impossible to arrest and have resulted in many fatalities. Consider the consequence of such a fall in any terrain you consider climbing or descending.

Glissading: Glissading has its time and place but also results in many accidents on Cascade volcanoes. Be sure the snow is sufficiently soft to allow speed control and assess the consequence of a sliding fall in your terrain if considering a glissade. Remove crampons to avoid potential serious lower leg injury.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: The Northwest Avalanche Center issued its last avalanche forecast of the season on April 18, 2021. You can still find valuable information and weather history year round on their website: National Weather Service forecast links:
Rentals & Guides: Outfitter/guide organizations currently authorized to conduct climbing services on Mt Hood:
Permit Info:
  • Climbers must have a Wilderness permit in their possession year-round when on the south side climbing route of Mt. Hood. Permits are available at the Wy'East Timberline Day Lodge. Wilderness permits are required for all other areas of the Mt. Hood Wilderness from May 15 through October 15 annually.
  • Climbing Register forms are highly recommended. These forms are not checked to ensure that climbers have safely returned, but they provide rescuers crucial information if a rescue is initiated on your behalf. Complete these forms at the Climbers Registration at Timberline.
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Busiest Season: Late spring and early summer
Restrictions:
  • Group size limit is 12
  • Mount Hood Wilderness Restrictions & Guidelines for Mount Hood's upper reaches.
  • Please carry one or more human waste pack out bags and use them if you need to defecate while on the mountain. Blue Bags are available free of charge at the Climbers Registration at Timberline. No one wants to see human waste on the mountain. Pack yours out!
Closest Towns: Government Camp, OR
Restroom: Climbers register restroom is currently open.
Passes: Some trailheads require a day use fee. View a list of available Recreation Passes that may be used in lieu of day use fee payment.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center:
  • Zigzag Ranger District, (503) 622-3191
  • Hood River Ranger District, (541) 352-6002

General Information

Directions:

The southside climbing route leaves from the Timberline Ski Area. Climbers registration is in the Wy'East Day Lodge. When you leave the parking area, please use the Climber’s Trail just east of the ski area to avoid resort operations.

4/16/21: The Salmon River Lot at the Timberline Ski Area is currently the primary point of access to the upper mountain. Expect parking shortages on weekends. The Cloud Cap Road gate is closed near the Cooper Spur ski area.

 

Remember:

You are responsible for your safety. Those planning to climb should take all necessary equipment for self-rescue and extended stays on the mountain due to weather or incident. There are no emergency medical services available on the mountain. It is a remote location.  Any help may be hours or days out, especially in situations where your location or weather would create an unsafe situation for rescuers. It is always advisable to leave your itinerary and estimated time of return with a third party.  The South Side climbing route leaves from the historic Timberline Lodge. Climbers Registration is in the Timberline Day Lodge. Use the Climbers Trail out of the Salmon River Lot to avoid Resort Operations while climbing.

View our detailed climbing page for more information.

Photos

(select individual photos to view a larger version)

South side of Mt Hood from Timberline.

South side of Mt Hood from Timberline.

Landmarks on the south side of Mount Hood

Landmarks on the south side of Mount Hood within Mount Hood Wilderness.

From Hogsback looking at Bergchrund and Pearly Gates (06/20/2005)

June 20th, 2005 Picture of Bergschrund and Pearly Gates

Virtual Tour

Portland Mountain Rescue's - Mt Hood Virtual Tour


Activities


Climbing

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Areas & Activities

Related Links

Location

 
  Latitude : 
45.37345861

  Longitude : 
-121.6959691

  Elevation : 
11,240'

 

Tips for beginner campers

Tips for first time campers

 



https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mthood/recreation/recarea/?recid=80001