“Home to the largest ice caves in the contiguous United States!”
Mount Hood, called Wy'east by the Multnomah tribe, is a stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc of northern Oregon. It was formed by a subduction zone on the Pacific coast and rests in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located about 50 miles east-southeast of Portland, on the border between Clackamas and Hood River counties. In addition to being Oregon's highest mountain, it is one of the loftiest mountains in the nation based on its prominence. One of the most fascinating discoveries in the history of Mount Hood are the newly discovered ice caves beneath a glacier at the mountain's foot. The ice caves stretch for at least two miles and are currently the largest discovered ice caves in the 48 lower states. The incredible caves were discovered by accident in 2011 by two cavers exploring the mountain. The newly discovered caves have been part of an ongoing research study to determine how, and why, glacial ice is melting much quicker than expected. If you plan on visiting the caves, you should do so very soon.. they'll be gone eventually. Timberline Lodge is a National Historic Landmark located on the southern flank of Mount Hood just below Palmer Glacier. The mountain has six ski areas: Timberline, Mount Hood Meadows, Ski Bowl, Cooper Spur, Snow Bunny, and Summit. They total over 4,600 acres of skiable terrain; Timberline offers the only year-round lift-served skiing in North America. Mount Hood is within the Mount Hood National Forest, which comprises 1,067,043 acres of land—including four designated wilderness areas that total 314,078 acres—and more than 1,200 miles of hiking trails. Mount Hood is Oregon's highest point and a prominent landmark visible up to 100 miles away. It has convenient access and a minimum of technical climbing challenges. About 10,000 people attempt to climb Mount Hood each year. There are six main routes to approach the mountain with about 30 total variations for summiting. The climbs range in difficulty from class 2 to class 5.9+ (for acrophobia). The most popular route, dubbed the south route, begins at Timberline Lodge and proceeds up Palmer Glacier to Crater Rock, the large prominence at the head of the glacier. The route goes east around Crater Rock and crosses Coalman Glacier on the Hogsback, a ridge spanning from Crater Rock to the approach to the summit. The Hogsback terminates at a bergschrund where Coalman Glacier separates from the summit rock headwall, and then to Pearly Gates, a gap in the summit rock formation, then right onto the summit plateau and the summit proper. Technical ice axes, fall protection, and experience are now recommended in order to attempt the left chute variation or Pearly Gates ice chute. The Forest Service is recommending several other route options due to these changes in conditions (e.g. "Old Chute", West Crater Rim, etc.).
Though we didn't get a chance to drive up into the mountain - Mt Hood is a gorgeous snow capped mountain volcano that can be seen from anywhere in Portland and surrounding areas. Only a 90 Minute drive from Portland, Mt Hood is a favorite destination for hikers and ice climbers. We consider it a much loved landmark.
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