Mt Hood Leuthold Couloir May 6, 2007

Climbers: Scott Phillips, Jay Avery, Joanna Picchi, Mike McHugh, Mike Niemeyer, Jeff Chicoine

The climb last weekend ran into unexpectedly bad weather and snow conditions. After abandoning our bid for the Leuthold before we got to illumination saddle we traversed over to the standard south side route hoping for better conditions, but still encountered very strong winds. Farther up, at around 10,000 ft, we were getting knocked down with such frequency we abandoned the climb and turned around. Visibility was bad, snow was soft and balling up on crampons, the wind was relentless and we were completely wet. On the positive side, we were greatful that there weren't hoards of locusts. How much wind does it take to knock a person over? Here's this from USA today..

"Q: How fast does the wind have to be in order to "blow a person away" and not just knock them over? Is there a specific formula for this? A: There is no specific formula to determine at what wind speed a person would be knocked over or even blown away. The Beaufort wind scale, in use since 1805, is based on observations of the effects of the wind. Number 8 on this scale is a gale-force wind (39 to 46 mph) and would be sufficient to knock the average person over. Number 12 on the scale is hurricane-force (74 mph and greater), certainly enough to “blow a person away.”"

Prospectus From Scott Philllips: Our climb this weekend will start at Timberline Lodge and after a one mile hike, the first rest break will be at Silcox Hut (7,000’). After another mile and reaching the top of Palmer ski lift (8,600’) we will take another break. From there we head to Illumination Saddle (9,300’) and rope up. We will descend onto the Reid glacier and traverse to the bottom of the Leuthold where we might start to get some ice fall from the Leuthold. Without taking a break there we will head up the coulior through the Hourglass and to the Queens Chair (10,500’). Here we will take a deservedly longer break and then continue up to the ridge and on to the summit (11,239’). We will descend the South side, probably the Old Chute.

10:00 pm Meet at State Motor Pool
12:00 pm Meet at Rest Area at Government Camp
12:30 pm Meet at Climbers Registry
1:00 am Start Climb
8:00 am Summit
8:15 am Depart from Summit
12:00 pm Return to parking lot. Head back to Salem
2:30 pm Arrive in Salem

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