Ski Mountaineering

Mt. Hood
June 16-18, 2001

Owen Maloy

Because the snow in the backcountry near Mammoth disappeared in early May, Joseph McCoy and I were suffering from ski deprivation. So we headed up to Mt. Hood, traveling up CA 89 through Quincy and eventually Lassen. There was no snow on Lassen either. I had never been to Mt. Hood, but Joe used to teach there.

The sheer size of Cascade volcanoes is hard to appreciate for one used to ordinary mountains. Over 11,000' in elevation, Mt. Hood encompasses everything for miles around; the natural elevation is only a few hundred feet above sea level. The photos show Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson far to the south.

Timberline Lodge is full of history and supported by enthusiastic volunteers. There is a ski center to the south, which Joe helped build as an ironworker, that takes the pressure off the historic building. The photos show the front of the lodge and the main fireplace.

The place was full of snowboarders in race and other camps. Ever since the disaster a few years ago when some kids were lost on the mountain, safety is everything. One must register and carry a radio locator to climb the mountain. Even the little snowboarders all had full day packs packed with the ten essentials, showing that their training was appropriate for tough conditions in the Cascades.

The skiing on the lifts is low intermediate, but was fun anyway, although it snowed a bit the middle day and visibility was poor.

We camped out the entire time, but were able to jacuzzi every afternoon at a local resort. We also visited the Mazamas lodge and listened to some lectures by local skiers Joseph knew. A great trip.

The photos show the Timberline Lodge, some scenic views, and a couple of shots that we took to see if we could still ski.

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