The GoalTech Mt Hood High Route - 360 Loop

Discussions and Trip Reports for off-trail adventures and rediscovering lost trails
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dmthomas49
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Re: The GoalTech Mt Hood High Route - 360 Loop

Post by dmthomas49 » October 6th, 2018, 4:58 pm

Starburst whom you met on the trail also has a YouTube channel, The Whimsical Woman for her PCT videos.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUPDU ... 96rxhlr5rA

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Chip Down
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Re: The GoalTech Mt Hood High Route - 360 Loop

Post by Chip Down » October 6th, 2018, 6:34 pm

I haven't even read the entire report, and here I am commenting on the comments! It's kinda like participating in discussion in a literature class, pretending you actually read Don Quixote. :D

There are many variations on a high route from Cooper Spur to the A-Zone (upper reaches of Meadows). Not too much trouble, fun and scenic. Advance scouting recommended though, as there are a few tricky parts that might come as a surprise, and on "event day" you don't need that!

Sounds like your White River crossing needs some refinement, but I think you found the sensible exit point. I've exited much higher, and you can avoid the whole hassle by skirting Steel Cliff and popping out around Triangle Moraine, but that's flirting with "mountaineering", maybe not in the scope of your endeavor.

Getting to Reid from Illumination is easy on snow, treacherous without (just a few steps, but a crumbly unstable steep nightmare).

Yes, looping around behind Crater Rock and descending to the west is quite simple, but again, I've never done it without snow, and never hope to.

Recently, we discussed (in another topic) how to get from the Barrett/Pulpit gap to the other side of Coe. Since then, I've surveyed that terrain from high on the other side, and realize it's tricky. However, I have crossed Coe a bit above the terminus, where it's fairly well mantled. I can't recall if it's easy to ascend the moraine on the other side, or if I had to descend to the terminus (I remember I descended to the terminus, but I don't recall if it was because I wanted to, or because it was the only safe route). Anyway, from the terminus, or a bit below, I remember it was easy to stroll around, so I don't think it's necessary to get anywhere near the trail. I agree that it's pretty brushy just above trail, so if you're fighting brush you're too low. (This reminds me that I want to get back on Coe someday).

The drop from Cathedral Ridge to Ladd is absolutely doable, but you kinda have to be strategic. Pretty sure I failed once, but went back and did it right. Wait, am I thinking of Gladd ridge? Anyway, point is you can get from Cathedral to Barrett offtrail without too much trouble, but might require some backtracking if you make poor/unlucky decisions.

I'm flattered that Jerry thinks maybe I found a high route from Paradise to Yocum, but no, just to Illumination Ridge. Between Illuination and Yocum I've poked around a bit, but haven't linked it all up. I'm told it's a PITA, and everything I've seen suggests it is.

A possible way to avoid the Yocum Ridge trail: If you must use the the TLT to get from Paradise to Yocum Ridge, then at Yocum you might as well stay on TLT just a little longer, descending to Muddy, and follow it up to the Sandy Glacier. I'm not saying it'll be fun or easy, but that's not the point, amiright? :geek:

In conclusion, if I were crazy enough to attempt a true offtrail circum, my greatest anxiety would be Reid canyon (Paradise to Yocum). I'm moderately confident I could pull it off, but the question is, would it be a stupid bushwhack a hundred yards above the trail, or would it be a satisfying fun scenic segment? Above, there are links and more links, matryoshka topics referenced within topics. Ain't nobody got time for that.

Regarding trekking poles: I always break my tips. Heck, I should just cut a few inches off them when new, and epoxy plug the openings. I like a simple two-section camlock style, very little to go wrong. And if something does go amiss, the top section is long enough that it's not worthless.

Regarding pace/timing: You wrote "Doing this route in 3 days was harder than when I did the 42-mile Timberline Trail in one day." Now that's interesting! Good to hear a comparison from somebody who has done both. Sometimes I get so discouraged at how slow I move (like my last hike where it took me 5 hours to do a little more than 3000' EG).

What a fun topic! I must tear myself away, before my evening disappears.
Attachments
20170819_174412 - Copy.jpg
Is the ridge to the right of "X" where you wish you had descended, instead of the snow?
20170819_133608 - Copy.jpg
I think that's your exit from White Water, the two little parallel strips of green? As you surmised, there is a nice waterfall just downstream.

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mjirving
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Re: The GoalTech Mt Hood High Route - 360 Loop

Post by mjirving » October 7th, 2018, 12:53 pm

dmthomas49 wrote:
October 6th, 2018, 4:58 pm
Starburst whom you met on the trail also has a YouTube channel, The Whimsical Woman for her PCT videos.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUPDU ... 96rxhlr5rA
Cool, thanks, I'll check it out. I saw she just finished which is great as they really were pushing it late into the season.

Mike

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mjirving
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Re: The GoalTech Mt Hood High Route - 360 Loop

Post by mjirving » October 7th, 2018, 1:20 pm

texasbb wrote:
October 6th, 2018, 10:28 am
it might get turned down for having too much content.
Thanks in advance for bearing with my verbosity, just trying to lay it out clearly for others. Hope you can wade through it and join the conversation.
Chip Down wrote:
October 6th, 2018, 6:34 pm
many variations on a high route from Cooper Spur to the A-Zone
Any tips for a starting point?
Chip Down wrote:
October 6th, 2018, 6:34 pm
Yes, looping around behind Crater Rock and descending to the west is quite simple, but again, I've never done it without snow
There seems to be snow there year-round...still up there on my hike...I think? or maybe I was thinking last time I was up there which was 5 weeks earlier in the summer last year? I am surprised there are no public tracks on GaiaGPS for that, as it seems reasonably approachable??
Chip Down wrote:
October 6th, 2018, 6:34 pm
I don't recall if it was because I wanted to, or because it was the only safe route
It seemed like the moraine slopes were awfully steep and unconsolidated, but I know looks can be deceiving sometimes.
Chip Down wrote:
October 6th, 2018, 6:34 pm
Anyway, point is you can get from Cathedral to Barrett offtrail without too much trouble, but might require some backtracking if you make poor/unlucky decisions.
I found a public track on GaiaGPS this morning for the traverse from the top of Cathedral to the top of Gladd, and I asked the author "SnakeDog" for intel on it...we'll see. Looks interesting.
Chip Down wrote:
October 6th, 2018, 6:34 pm
Between Illuination and Yocum I've poked around a bit, but haven't linked it all up
Yeah, I didn't find any public tracks at all on Gaia except climber's tracks going above Illumination to the Leuthhold Couloir.
Chip Down wrote:
October 6th, 2018, 6:34 pm
descending to Muddy, and follow it up to the Sandy Glacier
The views from Yocum are awesome on both sides and the traverse is quite a good one too, so I think I'll keep with that for my route/my recommendation.
Chip Down wrote:
October 6th, 2018, 6:34 pm
my greatest anxiety would be Reid canyon (Paradise to Yocum)
Totally agree.
Chip Down wrote:
October 6th, 2018, 6:34 pm
Regarding trekking poles: I always break my tips.
Yeah, next time I'll leave my $200 Leki Micro Vario Carbons at home and take my $40 Costco carbons (those Costco ones have to be the best bang for the buck of any pole out there...cam locks even)
Chip Down wrote:
October 6th, 2018, 6:34 pm
"Doing this route in 3 days was harder than when I did the 42-mile Timberline Trail in one day." Now that's interesting! Good to hear a comparison from somebody who has done both.
I'd say it was also harder to do it in 3 days than doing my Ironman Triathlon in 13 1/2 hours. (If you include the necessary training, then the Ironman wins, but for just the race...the hiking was harder...36 hours of HARD hiking with just enough time off to sleep) Having said that, knowing the route now definitely removes a chunk of the challenge and having better weather would help ease it too as it was quite cold and quite windy in places...and being solo added challenge too. I think doing it in 4 days with warmer weather would be WAY easier. (and going with someone else)

On your "X" picture...yes, that's the ridge between the X and the snow chute to the right. I came down to the right of the snow chute. Up high, where I was, you can cross above the snow chute so it's not relevant.

On the exit, I think that's the one, but I have to double check. That was my intention, but I might have gone up the single green strip upstream from that one, thinking that it was the one you reference. (there was no snow on the one i ascended)

Thanks for all the great info and thoughts Chipdown! Good stuff...fun discussion.

Mike

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mjirving
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Re: The GoalTech Mt Hood High Route - 360 Loop

Post by mjirving » October 7th, 2018, 1:37 pm

Schrauf wrote:
October 6th, 2018, 1:34 pm
There was this 2014 report that is definitely a mountaineering route
Yep, I've read that one, pretty cool, but crazy. That's outside the scope of my route for sure.
Schrauf wrote:
October 6th, 2018, 1:34 pm
There's also some good discussion here on Paradise to Yocum
Interesting...doesn't seem like much in there. May have to spend some time noodling around and scouting. I'm just concerned it will be just a bit too sketchy if anything is found (or maybe a lot sketchy).

Chazz
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Re: The GoalTech Mt Hood High Route - 360 Loop

Post by Chazz » October 8th, 2018, 7:36 am

Mega trip report, Mike! Wow, congratulations on completing a passion project. Those are always satisfying and worthwhile.

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mountainkat
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Re: The GoalTech Mt Hood High Route - 360 Loop

Post by mountainkat » October 8th, 2018, 3:28 pm

Wow, congrats on completion of such a great endeavor! I've been really interested in a higher route on Hood, lately, as well. The Timberline trail is so highly trafficked and anytime I consider a backpacking loop there, I never go because every place that interests me most is up above the TT and I'd end up spending a week on it, going up and down from the TT.

I have read that earlier report that did involve more of a mountaineering route and I just don't know if I'd be comfortable traveling it solo as I'd hope to do. Maybe someday, but, not at my current skill level. So, seeing your spin on the route is appreciated and inspirational.

I am still working through your report, and will have to read it a number of times. It's fantastic! All of the details and photos and thoughts on route selection are great. Thank you for sharing.

As for the spaceship rock, some folks on here have called it 'Bandit Boulder.' I visited it this year, spending hours soaking up the landscape in that area. What a special place it is.

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Chip Down
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Re: The GoalTech Mt Hood High Route - 360 Loop

Post by Chip Down » October 8th, 2018, 5:42 pm

My solicited advice for a route from Tie-In Rock to A Zone:

You found what I call Big-Ass Boulder (BAB), which I think you dubbed Spaceship Rock, nestled in the flat-bottomed bowl (I think maybe you called it the football field). Pretty damn cool, eh? (Shhh, don't tell anybody.) From there, you descended towards the trail, but if you had veered right/clockwise, you'd drop into Newton Canyon. There are safe routes to the bottom. From there, you needn't follow the creek all the way to the TLT crossing. When the creek gets pinched through a narrow spot and makes an abrupt turn, maybe about 6k', take a spur ridge that leads out of the canyon up to the crest of the Newton Clark medial moraine. TLT crosses this moraine down below, so you could drop to the trail, or maybe drop into Heather Canyon at this point (careful, there are some hairy spots in the North Heather fork). Or, better, continue up the crest of the moraine to its end, where you can traverse left under the steep slopes of Newton Clark Prow (I don't like calling it a prow, but whatever). Pass under a waterfall spilling off the prow, to easy slopes which will take you towards A Zone (intersecting with the route you took, IIRC). Along the way, find an overlook of glacier-polished rock, with bouldery steep semi-meadows below, supporting beautiful creeks (essentially below A Zone). Unfortunately, you pretty much have to drop down a gully that follows the A-Zone cliffs, to a basin where you can climb back up to the top of A-Zone.

Or, from Spaceship Rock, contour up and clockwise, staying above cliffs but below glacier, following a series of benches and basins, to the top on the prow. This, at times, approaches more of a mountaineering route, especially the final stretch to the top of the prow. Fun and scenic, but probably outside the scope of your project.

I realize my written description is hard to follow. You just have to go scout it. If you go back and read all my TRs in the last 2 or 3 years, that might help. ;)

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mjirving
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Re: The GoalTech Mt Hood High Route - 360 Loop

Post by mjirving » October 8th, 2018, 7:31 pm

Chazz wrote:
October 8th, 2018, 7:36 am
congratulations on completing a passion project
Thanks Chazz, we're going to have to get back out there on the trails one of these days.
Chip Down wrote:
October 8th, 2018, 5:42 pm
My solicited advice for a route from Tie-In Rock to A Zone:
Thanks Chip...sounds great. I agree that scouting is the way to go, but it generally makes sense to me. Have you gone up A-Zone with no snow? How was that? Any recommendations? Maybe I'm making it out to be worse than it is, but it doesn't look great without solid snow.
mountainkat wrote:
October 8th, 2018, 3:28 pm
As for the spaceship rock, some folks on here have called it 'Bandit Boulder.'
Thanks Mountainkat! I figured that rock must have a nickname or two, or three. Glad you found some inspiration...that's the ultimate complement.

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Chip Down
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Re: The GoalTech Mt Hood High Route - 360 Loop

Post by Chip Down » October 9th, 2018, 6:51 pm

Have you gone up A-Zone with no snow? How was that? Any recommendations? Maybe I'm making it out to be worse than it is, but it doesn't look great without solid snow.
So, your options are: straight up the steep rock, up the generally-snowy bowl at the base of A-Zone, drop down Heather Canyon a ways until the slopes are more gentle, or climb up through Super Bowl and cross above A-Zone.

Late in the year, if that bowl below A-Zone is meted out, I bet it's a crumbly mess. Maybe doable, but I've never seen it in that condition. Climbing straight up A-Zone seems unlikely. I'd go for the high Super Bowl route, but the Heather Canyon route would be fine as well, maybe aim roughly for 6600'-6700' at the canyon rim.

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