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climb-hood

Take care up there! Photo by Joe Poulton

Editor’s Note: Anyone thinking of hiking up to nab a few early-season turns on Mount Hood should read this story from experienced climber Joe Poulton, and think very carefully about safety. Snow conditions have been hazardous in the early going, as Joe and his climbing partner found out the other day in a very close call. Here's Joe's story from that day, with some beautiful, ominous photos:

On November 10, 2015 at 10:10 am I lost my right to say I've never triggered a slide, that beast lurking in the snowpack as soon as the first snow flake falls from the sky.

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summit-mount-hood

Beauty and terror on top of Oregon. Photos by Jason Murray

Editor's Note: This Mount Hood adventure took place in May of 2016, but it stands as relevant for any spring season on Mount Hood, where thousands of people climb to the top and ski and snowboard down every year, with all the joy and pleasure and occasional terror that accompanies a climb to and descent from 11,11,249 feet above sea level.

Would you climb a mountain with Donald Trump? Me neither... but I did climb Mount Hood with a Donald Trump impersonator, with winds gusting 50 miles an hour in exactly the wrong direction.

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jeff-albright

Jeff Albright rides a tasty wave in Baja en route to victory. Photo by Clark Bradley Merritt

Jeff Albright broke through to the top of the podium in Baja California this August, taking first place in both the masters and amateur divisions at the Punta San Carlos competition of the American Windsurfing Tour.

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michael-getlin

Michael Getlin reaches the ridge above Devil's Kitchen Headwall. Photo by Carlos Martinez

I've been wanting to climb the Devil’s Kitchen Headwall ever since I saw some dude high up on Mount Hood disappear into a small couloir as nonchalantly as he might have waltzed into his neighborhood coffee shop.

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christof-teuscher

Christof Teuscher competing in the 200K Swiss Irontrail race. Photo by Alpha Foto

Christof Teuscher, the outrageous Portland-based endurance athlete who recently climbed Mount Adams and Mount Hood and ran the distance between them, was forced to abandon a radical attempt to run and speed-hike the Oregon Desert Trail.

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randonee

Gliding to the finish after the ups and downs of Randonee racing.

Editor's Note: The Ramshead Randonee is a fledgling event on Mount Hood that is exhausting, exhilarating and a little bit insane: a race up steep slopes normally accessed by chairlift, and then straight down, rewarding fitness, courage and strategy. It is also a fundraiser for the Northwest Avalanche Center, a worthy organization that does a fine job of reporting on alpine conditions for the mountain community. Mt. Hood freeride coach, ski mountaineer and entrepreneur Ben McKinley competed in the 2016 Ramshead Randonee at Mt. Hood Meadows, and he files this report:

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jarod-cogswell

Jarod Cogswell on Mount Hood. Photo by Richard Hallman

A few months ago, when I interviewed Mt. Hood rescue climber Jarod Cogswell about his new FIT Academy in Beaverton, he told me a harrowing story about spending the night on the summit of Mount Hood during brutal white-out blizzard in 2003.

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dale-crockatt

How exactly did this happen? Photo courtesy of Dale Crockatt

Editor's Note: As you may have heard, Mount Hood skier, climber, photographer and real estate pro Dale Crockatt is paralyzed from the ribs down as the result of a battle with cancer. Here is a story Dale originally wrote by typewriter in 1991, during his prime as a pioneer of high-consequence ski mountaineering on Mount Hood. It tells the story of his 11th ascent of Mt. Hood in 17 days, a day when things nearly went very, very wrong.

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christof-teuscher

Christof Teuscher competing in the 200K Swiss Irontrail race. Photo by Alpha Foto

800 miles in 17 days, on foot, through the Oregon Desert. Unsupported. In August.

What could possibly go wrong?

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geoff-mihalko

Best to have your gear issues figured out before you carve that first turn from the summit. The skier is Geoff Mihalko.

The last thing you want to be doing when you are on top of an 11,000-foot mountain preparing to ski from the summit for the first time is to be futzing around with your bindings in a near-panic. I know this because that is exactly what I found myself doing atop West Crater Rim on Mount Hood the first time I dropped in from the summit, and that was not an experience I would recommend to anyone.

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