Mount Hood is one of the most climbed mountains. That has a lot to do with its location at the base of Timberline Lodge. Its easy to just start walking to the top and most of the journey is a walk.
The news sources like to sensationalize the number of rescues and accidents on Mount Hood, often with inaccurate information and hardly any facts. That being said, there have been a number of incidents on the mountain, some of them, including recent highly publicized ones, were tragic.
No one can prepare for everything and accidents happen on highways and roads every day here in the US. That being said, there are things you can do to prevent being stranded or injured, or, if this should happen, to increase your chances of returning to tell your story instead of leaving everyone to wonder.
There is a climbers registry outside the day lodge. Everyone must register and include the names of everyone in their party, their start time, intended route and expected time of return. Its also key to let someone know when you are going and when you plan to return. MLU's should also be essential (see packing list). Although some would disagree with that statement, I'm a big believer in better safe than sorry. By all means, don't get yourself into a situation you are not physically capable of exiting on your own, and don't use it as an excuse not to be prepared . But the devices have saved lives and saved the state of Oregon (whose taxpayers pay the cost of rescue in most instances) by being able to narrow down the location of a person who needs assistance.
Bring extra food and clothing: Even if your plan is a one day climb, be prepared for having to spend an overnight. A down jacket, emergency blanket and a couple of power bars do not add that much weight and provide extra warmth and sustinence should an injury occur.
If you're climbing in the winter, make sure you have a compass. Actually, take one in the summer as well.
There is more, but I don't want to go on and on.
- Mountain Climbing
- Adventure Travel
Be aware of weather conditions
Mount Hood is a snow covered volcano. In the winter, it is a popular ski destination, so driving in the area during winter months should be done with caution. In the spring, be aware of snow melts and subsequent road closures due to "wash-outs".
- Road Trip
Winter Driving Take Care
This is probably an obvious one, but nevertheless I'll say it even if it's been said before.
Please take care while driving on snowy & possibly icy roads. Driving up insn't so bad, but driving back down and into Hood River was a bit more challenging under the conditions we experienced & apparently they weren't really that extreme at all according to a couple we spoke to.
Be aware of signs posted regarding use of chains & road conditions in general.
Funny thing is we were driving what we call in Australia a four wheel drive & it was in the township of Hood River where we nearly lost control by applying the brakes when approaching an intersection. Just goes to show that 4 wheel drives (nor their drivers) are not infallible!
Snow on the trail can be Hazardous
Snow will persist on higher trails until August. It can present some real risks to travel. Snow-covered trails traversing slopes should be approached with a lot of caution. Early in the morning, these slopes will be frozen and even more difficult to safely cross. It is not a bad idea to take along an ice axe and even crampons if conditions warrant. More and more people are taking trekking poles and while these are invaluable, they will do little to stop a fall down an icy slope.
Snow bridges over creeks can present special dangers as well. Test the snow bridge before committing yourself. The mountain corgis here did not and one of them stuck their foot through. But they have four wheel drive while you don't.
- Hiking and Walking
- National/State Park
Avalanches and volcanos
You might want to check with a park ranger before you go tromping about the park. I've heard of avalanches being a pretty likely hazard for some hikers. Again, i'm just paranoid about volcanos....there really isn't any danger.........I think.
Remember to take your Rope!
When you are playing in the crevasses of the many glaciers on Mt Hood, remember to take your rope, ice tools and crampons!!
- Skiing and Boarding
- Hiking and Walking
- Mountain Climbing