Mountain Sports

Beginner Mountain: Safety Tips You Should Know Before Climbing Mount Hood

Mount Hood from Mirror Lake

Mount Hood is considered to be Oregon’s highest summit, which stands at a whopping 11,240 feet. This mountain is a dormant volcano that is covered with eleven active glaciers. Located in the snow-covered peak is the Mount Hood wilderness, which is covered with alpine meadows and forested slopes. Mount Hood has over 10,000 climbers a year, which makes the summit of Mount Hood’s to be most visited snow-covered peak in America. In this article, we are going to give you some safety tips that you should know before you climb Mount Hood.

  • Know the weather. Foul weather is one of the most common factors that you should consider when climbing any mountain. That is why it is always best to check the forecast for the mountain and not just for lowland areas. This is because the weather can actually change rapidly when you are in the mountains, and there is a high chance that it will turn nasty once you get in the upper mountain. If there is a predicted storm cycle within 24 hours of your climb, then you should consider canceling your climb and plan a different outing. Always be keen when it comes to observing the weather as you climb and head down at the first sign you see an approaching storm.
  • Start your climb early. Rock and ice fall are some of the common causes of injuries when it comes to the climbers of Mount Hood. There is a high chance that the upper crater of the mountain can evolve into a maelstrom of ice and rocks once the sun warms the steep cliffs. That is why we suggest that you start your climb in the wee morning hours; Experts calls it an “alpine start.” Starting your climb early will help you reach Mount Hood’s summit and be out of the crater before the sun begins to warm the crater walls.
  • Avoid high traffic – Take note that during a clear weekend day in May or June, there are hundreds of climbers that share the narrow chutes which can lead them into Mount Hood’s summit. This is why if you’re planning your trip during that time, expect massive traffic jams. This is because other climbers spend too long in the areas where rock and ice fall is the most dangerous. Beginner climbers need to look out for these risks because they tend to move slowly.
  • Get training – Even if other people have reached Mount Hood’s summit using tennis shoes in ideal conditions. And more than just one dog has made it to the summit, this mountain is still considered as a serious and technical. Which is why we suggest that you know a thing or two when it comes to mountaineering. Because even if you think backpacking and hiking are a helpful and somewhat relaxing activity, You still have a significant advantage if you know some technical mountaineering skills.
  • Climb with companions – When it comes to different kinds of climb, always remember to bring a friend with you so that when something goes wrong, your teammates can provide emergency assistance, call for help, and go get help.
  • Wear and carry the proper gear. Take note that the conditions on Mount hood require you to have different equipment compared to when you’re hiking in the Columbia Gorge. That is why you should have appropriate clothing that you can wear in layers, ice ax, crampons, flashlight, knife, extra batteries. These are just a few of the “must have” items in your bag before you embark on your climb on Mount Hood.

Make sure that your itinerary is known by your trusted friend or family member. Even if climbers are supposed to register themselves at a lodge and complete a form that states their schedule, route, and equipment, there is still no substitute for leaving this information with your trusted friend or parents before you leave for your trip. So that if something happens, they would know where they would go. Take note that no one, not even the guide, monitors these registration forms or checks to see if climbers have returned. That is why you should let someone you trust know where you’re going.

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