FKT: Jason Dorais - Mt Hood (OR) - 2014-05-22

Route variation
South Side, car-to-car (on skis)
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
1h 44m 3s


Last week Amanda and I headed to Oregon for vacation.  My Aunt has an amazing beach house in Mazanita and we were planning on lounging around for a week.  It was going to be great.  No skiing. Just hanging with the wifey.  The only problem with the plan of not skiing was that after leaving Boise at 9 AM I couldn't stop thinking about Mt. Hood.  Even with no plans of skiing, for some reason I had packed up boots and a couple pairs of skis...

It doesn't seem like Mt. Hood has a strong speed ascent history and there isn't a ton of info regarding the Hood FKT but I did find an official record from 2004.  A guy named Dan Howitt hired Climb Max Mountaineering to time his ascent.  I guess there was controversy over the Rainier FKT and Dan wanted to make it official.  He put up pretty quick times on a bunch of volcanos.  His Hood time was 1:56:39 timed by Jacob Kammermeyer and Charlee Gribbon to the summit.  My attempt certainly would be unofficial.

Luckily the freeways in Oregon have ridiculously slow speed limits so I was able to drive and surf the web for Hood beta.  Weather looked good - still with a high of 37 on the summit.  There had been a touch of snow a few days ago but nothing in the immediate past so I thought conditions just might be OK.  The detour to Timberline Lodge was only going to add an hour to our drive which also seemed reasonable.  After several hours of driving I still couldn't stop think about Hood so I brought it up to Amanda and we (I) decided give it a go.  I figured I should eat something and the only food I could find at our last stop before heading up was a Mickey D's.  I guess I would have to attempt Hood on a crispy McChicken Wrap. 

When we got to Timberline Lodge it was 3PM, 70 degrees and sunny.  The snow was a slushy mess.  Not quite what I was hoping for but figured I'd give it a go.  The first 2800' are in the resort and although the snow was slushy it was reasonably compacted and skinned pretty well.  I think I hit the top of the resort in roughly 45 mins. 

From there I slowed considerably trying to fight the slush/ice combo.   The schrund was easy to bypass and the Pearly Gates had softened enough to make booting without crampons an option.   

Once through the Pearly Gates I skinned to the top summiting in 1:27:46 still in a tee shirt.  I snapped a few pictures, put on a jacket and headed down.  The Gate's were too narrow for me so ski and I was too scared to straight line it so I down booted the slush covered ice and was glad to have a whippet. The rest went smoothly and in 1:44 I found myself back at the fire hydrant.  Amanda and the dog were a sleep in the back of the truck, there were no timers.  I pulled my skis and boots off and we headed to the beach. I was psyched to have squeezed a little skiing into the trip.

I won't be surprised if this time is lowered considerably in the near future.  In fact, SCARPA athlete Scott Simmons who just won the Ski to Sea and summited/skied Mt St Helens with his 10 year old son is there right now and keen to give it a go. Good luck Scott!