Mt. Hood - Ladd Glacier

Trail Description

Driving Route

Driving Directions

This fantastic route on Hood isn't in the guidebooks - yet.

With the rising winter snow levels, it's now feasible to approach the north side of Hood from Lawrence Lake all but a few weeks a year.. In spring it's a 3.5 mile hike from the 3800 foot Pinnacle trailhead, through the Dollar Lake burn, to the Timberline Trail. Add an extra 2.5-3 miles from just above the lake during winter.

Follow the west flank and crest of Barrett Spur, up to a stellar campsite at a saddle above the left shoulder of Ladd Glacier. teraverse the lower Ladd to below the prow of Barrett, then go right around the base of Pulpit Rock. (Left side is the Pulpit Rock Route which is also good, also on http://sharemytrail.com , and is (barely) in the guidebooks.) The Ladd route takes a 100-foot 60 degree ice pitch just behind Pulpit Rock, then 800 feet of 45-degree snow to gain the ridge above Pulpit. Climb this ridge until it intersects Cathedral Ridge and follow Cathedral to the summit.

Descend the west option on the Sunshine route or the upper Coe next to the ascent ridge, and traverse the upper Coe back to the top of the Snow Dome. Descend most of the Snow Dome, then drop 70 feet west onto the lower Coe and traverse back to the Barrett-Pulpit gap. (This is the traditional approach to the Coe Headwall from Cloud Cap).

- Glenn Widener
This fantastic route on Hood isn't in the guidebooks - yet.

With the rising winter snow levels, it's now feasible to approach the north side of Hood from Lawrence Lake all but a few weeks a year.. In spring it's a 3.5 mile hike from the 3800 foot Pinnacle trailhead, through the Dollar Lake burn, to the Timberline Trail. Add an extra 2.5-3 miles from just above the lake during winter.

Follow the west flank and crest of Barrett Spur, up to a stellar campsite at a saddle above the left shoulder of Ladd Glacier. teraverse the lower Ladd to below the prow of Barrett, then go right around the base of Pulpit Rock. (Left side is the Pulpit Rock Route which is also good, also on http://sharemytrail.com , and is (barely) in the guidebooks.) The Ladd route takes a 100-foot 60 degree ice pitch just behind Pulpit Rock, then 800 feet of 45-degree snow to gain the ridge above Pulpit. Climb this ridge until it intersects Cathedral Ridge and follow Cathedral to the summit.

Descend the west option on the Sunshine route or the upper Coe next to the ascent ridge, and traverse the upper Coe back to the top of the Snow Dome. Descend most of the Snow Dome, then drop 70 feet west onto the lower Coe and traverse back to the Barrett-Pulpit gap. (This is the traditional approach to the Coe Headwall from Cloud Cap).

- Glenn Widener

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  1. Glenn Widener
    Sat, May 12 2012
    We proved out the "Ladd Glacier Route"...
    We proved out the "Ladd Glacier Route", though only to the 9500 foot level in order to exit all avvy-threatened areas early. The route not only goes, but is a truly fine route, with one 100 foot pitch of WI3 as you leave the Ladd Glacier to make it interesting!

    Given our start time, and our pact to be off the steep stuff by noon no matter what, we got pretty far! Climbing only another 300 feet of easy ridge would connect to the Sunshine->Coe descent line I've done before. Good thing we kept to our deadline, as it was really surprising that we saw almost nothing come off while we were there - though one large snowbridge went "whump" when I stepped on it while traversing back to the Snow Dome! West-facing crux pitches is a big help.

    Our calendar timing was perfect: we were able to bust through the last patch of snow on the road above Laurance Lake in 4wd, and drive to the trailhead, a blocking tree having recently been cleared. We started hiking at 5:50 PM. The trail was all-snow after the first 3/4 of a mile, so snowshoes were perfect. It was very interesting hiking through 3 miles of smelly burned forest from the Sept 2011 Dollar Lake fire. Just don't lean against a tree and wipe your face - you will look like you are on a night mission! Live trees finally show up for a bit around the Pinnacle, then the burn ends about 300 feet below the Timberline Trail.

    At 9 we crossed the Timberline Trail, and camped in the trees just below the Barret Spur crest at 6200 feet. we were horizontal from 10:30 to 12:30, then off up the route.

    The one 1ice pitch required several pickets and one ice screw. Later in the season, 3-4 might be valuable. We just simulclimbed the whole 800 feet to the ridgetop - nice lead Al! Then intermittent hard/soft snow above to the spur ridgecrest above Pulpit.

    So the route is now open and available, and if someone acts fast they just might tick a possible second complete ascent.
  2. Glenn Widener
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Driving Route

Driving Directions