Mt. Hood Lower Snowdome 9-14-2019

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markesc
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Mt. Hood Lower Snowdome 9-14-2019

Post by markesc » September 15th, 2019, 12:01 pm

Decided to do some exploring in an area I've not visited in a long time.

Didn't wish to expose my car to 7 miles of abuse on the Cloud Cap road, and having done the snow shoe route a few times on the 643, I figured it would be interesting to start there. Well, about a mile up the trail, got one bee sting from an angry hornets nest. On the way back, I ran into another family with two kids, the mother had 5 bee stings and one of the kids had one. So we ended up hiking back using the cooper spur ski area trail instead. (see red dotted line in photo below).
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From the bottom:
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Route leaving TT:
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Last time I did this, I went up the knife edge sandy like ridge adjacent, except that it doesn't seem that it runs into this ridge as easily without some rock scrambling, so I was thankful I made the more tedious but safer route by going west on the TT just a bit further before heading up
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Looking over to Cooper:
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markesc
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Re: Mt. Hood Lower Snowdome 9-14-2019

Post by markesc » September 15th, 2019, 12:11 pm

Elliot Terminus:
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Thought about going this way next time, just not sure about going across the morain and then up the ridge... probably not a great idea alone...
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Looking down wondering if we had a Stranahan ridge hike, what would that be like?
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Lenticulars were hanging out of Adams all day, and would later hit Hood:
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Summit pinnacles:
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As mentioned above, anyone wishing to go up from the Cooper Spur Ski area, unless you can outrun angry hornets, I'd strongly recommend the short detour as dotted below:
hornets nest.jpg
Other than the bee sting, it was a great day, and enjoyable to experience the new Elliot crossing for the first time. Kind of neat how much effort went into the trail reroute, and subsequent elevation gain/loss now required, so maybe we just had it good before and didn't know it?

Interestingly enough, there's a sense of freedom just leaving the trail for a bit, most of it there's no boot path or anything. Play your cards wisely as if you end up too far west, you get the joys of a shale pile ridge, so once up, be sure to cut over to the west before gaining further elevation.

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markesc
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Re: Mt. Hood Lower Snowdome 9-14-2019

Post by markesc » September 15th, 2019, 12:34 pm

A not so good pano, but it's really one of those areas that is impossible to capture in a photo!
IMG_6209_stitchb.jpg

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Chip Down
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Re: Mt. Hood Lower Snowdome 9-14-2019

Post by Chip Down » September 15th, 2019, 7:21 pm

Nice. I've wanted to do that approach variation, especially if I could find the bottom end of the snow gully that persists well into most summers.

I've pondered a Stranahan Ridge hike. Looks like there's probably pretty good access from Inspiration Point. Leave the car there, cross Eliot, make a loop. Maybe drop a bike near Cloudcap.

Same day as your hike, I was almost positive I saw new snow up high on the south side. But on the north side, it's unmistakable.

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markesc
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Re: Mt. Hood Lower Snowdome 9-14-2019

Post by markesc » September 15th, 2019, 8:21 pm

Chip Down wrote:
September 15th, 2019, 7:21 pm
Nice. I've wanted to do that approach variation, especially if I could find the bottom end of the snow gully that persists well into most summers.

I've pondered a Stranahan Ridge hike. Looks like there's probably pretty good access from Inspiration Point. Leave the car there, cross Eliot, make a loop. Maybe drop a bike near Cloudcap.

Same day as your hike, I was almost positive I saw new snow up high on the south side. But on the north side, it's unmistakable.
Yeah it would be really neat to have a loop option from the Elk Cove TH to Stranahan, and to all those various waterfalls, then up to the TT. The fresh small layer of snow was a refreshing reminder we're quickly turning the corner into fall, and should be a great next 4-5 weeks!!!

The route was fun, from the map you can see where I left the TT, the first quarter mile kind of sucks as your choices are the rocky gully, which right now appears snow free, or you can kind of go up the ridge, but there's plentiful amounts of dead/burnt/down trees. It doesn't take long though to get through them, then up high enough, it's pretty straightforward. As mentioned, one mistake I made was to not cut back over to the east sooner, so you will end up at the base of this pinacle like large outcropping (labeled Langile Crags on some maps) that's evil shale, so I cut to the east of that then back into the gully, which has plenty solid steps on it's eastern part making it a simple walk up til you hit the flat crest area with the first big views.
Langile Crags.jpg
There is a little maze of those short pine tree's up there, but easily passable. From there you'll see your "high route" where you crossed over and dropped down to the Mooney Tarn from your report (atleast this is where I suspect you went through?). I thought about dropping down to the tarn and then back out, but Had that fun elliot crossing to contend with. I didn't use the downed log many have been using to cross as those in my mind are higher risk than just going wet foot if you must. Made it across fine with just a bit of water to wash off the boots, but not saturated swamp foot!!!

Heading back from there those switchbacks...ugh... got back to CC and thought about just hitching a ride back down, but there's something kind of neat about the solitude on the 643 this time of year...

Calculated roughly 14 miles / 4k elevation gain apx...

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Chip Down
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Re: Mt. Hood Lower Snowdome 9-14-2019

Post by Chip Down » September 15th, 2019, 8:36 pm

markesc wrote:
September 15th, 2019, 8:21 pm
From there you'll see your "high route" where you crossed over and dropped down to the Mooney Tarn from your report (atleast this is where I suspect you went through?).
Could you be thinking of GoalTech Mike? I've been to the tarn a few times, but not this year.

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markesc
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Re: Mt. Hood Lower Snowdome 9-14-2019

Post by markesc » September 16th, 2019, 5:28 am

Chip Down wrote:
September 15th, 2019, 8:36 pm
markesc wrote:
September 15th, 2019, 8:21 pm
From there you'll see your "high route" where you crossed over and dropped down to the Mooney Tarn from your report (atleast this is where I suspect you went through?).
Could you be thinking of GoalTech Mike? I've been to the tarn a few times, but not this year.
Yep probably! This though is prob a lot easier than that newton clark adventure!

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