Mt Hood via Old Chute

Mt Hood via Old Chute


Julia Bodiford and I summited Mt. Hood (11,249 ft.) via Old Chute June 24, 2021. It was our first time in the area, and first Cascade volcano.

Weather & Conditions

It was cold and windy on the way up. Somewhere in the 20s F probably, with a steady 20 mph or so wind. It warmed considerably once the sun hit the south face.

Before sunrise the snow was firm and crunchy, but it softened considerably after sunrise. Rocks and ice started to tumble as well post sun rise, but it fell short of a shooting gallery. Even after sunrise, the snow was relatively firm and consolidated going up Old Chute, but was soft enough on the way down that I took my crampons off on the Hogsback. After Crater Rock we glissaded and jogged, making nice heel plunges the whole way down.

The forecast for 9,600 ft was for a low of 45, a high of 55, and 10,15 mph winds with 25 mph gusts.

Elevation, Mileage, and Timing

In summary:

  • ~10.5 hours
  • ~7 miles
  • ~5,300 feet of gain

The Strava recording is slightly inaccurate and the numbers above are from others. The trailhead is about ~5.9k feet, with the summit at 11.25k feet.

We started moving around 1:20 AM, reached the Hogsback around 7:20 AM, summited around 8:25 AM, and returned to the parking lot around 11:50 AM.

Notes and Lessons Learned

  • It was cold the first few hours, Julia and I were having trouble pacing together. Every time I would stop I would get super cold and change layers. I went back and forth with whether I wanted a shell or not. I ended up sweating into my sun shirt and swapped my Ferrosi and shell back and forth.
  • I took 3 L of water, and only drank 1 L the first 4 hours. Total I drank 2.5 L
  • I ate far less than usual, I must have eaten well the night before. I took ~2550 calories:
    • ~4 GU Roctane
    • ~4 GU regular
    • 3 Spring Energy (speed nut)
    • 1 Pro Bar gummies
    • 2 Pro Bar Meal bars
  • I returned with ~1.5 GUs, a bar, a spring gel, and the gummies. This means I only ate about 1500 calories, definitely less than I would normally eat for this many hours.
  • I took super light tennis shoes (Arcteryx Norvan SL) and light mountaineering boots (Scarpa Ribelle) with aluminum crampons. In retrospect, I should have brought some Goretex tennis shoes with micro spikes, this probably would have gotten me most of the way up the mountain in the morning and quite a ways on the way back down. The superlight tennis shoes wetted out too quickly with the intermittent snow patches at the bottom. The aluminum crampons were perfect, and I could have definitely gotten away with even lighter skimo crampons if I had them.
  • I forgot poles which was sad. One long ice ax and a pole or pair of poles probably would have been perfect. We took extra tools and rope and gear just in case Julia wasn't comfortable in the chute, but didn't even consider using any of it.
  • The "climber's trail" the resort provides was total crud due to their snow cats using it. 0/10 would not recommend but there's no other option. Get a ride up the lift if it's an option.


The majestic Mt. Hood on the drive in
Parking lot photo of our route
A serious moon giving us some light around 4 AM
The sun making its appearance at 5:18 AM
Serious shadows (also 5:18 AM)
Last sunrise pic I promise
Making our way up to Crater Rock
The Hogsback comes into sight around 6:30 AM
Julia making upward progress
Gained the Hogsback at 7:05 AM
Left the ridge and making our way up the Old Chute
Good selfie opp
Getting closer! About 7:50 AM just before reaching the summit ridge
The last bit steepens a bit and was very firm
Finally up on the summit ridge, which is surprisingly narrow at this point
Looking over at the summit
When you gotta go you gotta go