Type: Ice, Snow, Alpine, 5300 ft (1606 m), Grade II
FA: W.L. Chittenden, James G. Dierdorff - Aug 6, 1857
Page Views: 49,106 total · 220/month
Shared By: Karsten Duncan on Feb 1, 2006 · Updates
Admins: Micah Klesick, Nate Ball

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Description Suggest change

The south side of hood is one of the most popular routes up a glaciated mountain in the world. Also called the "Dog Route" or "Slog Route," this route has also claimed the most deaths on the mountain.

The South Side Route requires few technical skills, but still has objective dangers!!! Use caution at all times when on the mountain.

The route traditionally begins at Timberline Lodge (~5900ft). If you hire a guide they often take you up to the Silcox Hut in snowcat, but most local mountaineers consider this cheating. The ski area would like for you to take a trail that heads up the right side of the ski area. Most climbers, however, head straight up the slopes following the lift line all the way up the "magic mile" to the Silcox Hut.

Continue heading straight up the mountain toward the right side of a rock outcrop called Crater Rock. Here you'll find a saddle formed between crater rock and the main summit. This saddle, known as the Hogsback, is a good place to rest and evaluate the final push to the summit. Be careful of fumaroles in this area as they can release poisonous gases.

At the north end of the Hogsback is the greatest objective danger facing climbers, the bergschrund. This large crevasse is always present, but sometimes covered with snow. During winter and early spring climbers can simply walk across this chasm on a snowbridge. Extreme caution should be taken however. At some point every year the bridge collapses. Climbers in late spring through fall must circumnavigate the bergschrund.

Just past the bergschrund is a steeper section through a narrow chute dubbed "The Pearly Gates" that has been the site of many accidents. Care must be taken on this section as a fall here could result in a long slide straight into the crevasse. This part of the climb can be very beautiful as the rock can be entirely covered in rime ice like a fairytale ice palace. As the chute opens up continue up a short ways to the summit ridge and up right to the true summit.

In recent years the chute to the left of the Pearly Gates has become another reasonable option to ascend past the bergschrund. In late spring and fall, the chute ("Old Chute") is actually preferable, because the Pearly Gates has dangerous rock and ice fall at that time. Please note that the Old Chute in late season requires a traverse of a few dozen feet on a knife edge, so be comfortable with exposure.

Descend the route. Be careful as the route conditions can change dramatically in a short period of time.

Protection Suggest change

In good conditions the route can be done with nothing but a good pair of boots and a light jacket. Occasionally you'll see someone with a pack filled for a week trip on top though? The gear will actually vary widely considering on the season and conditions.

Common gear includes:
Crampons, Ice ax, 30m rope, Pickets, Prussiks or ascenders, harness, & belay device