Ho Rock and Snow
With the first measurable rainfall in months coming to northwest Oregon this past weekend, several inches of snow fell on Mt Hood. Excited to see snow return and crisp fall conditions up high after a dry and hot summer, I headed up the way to McNeil Point from Top Spur Trailhead. The first stop was to head up the forest path to the viewpoint at the old fire lookout site on Bald Mountain. Early in the morning the sky was clear and blue.
I took the steep scramble cutoff trail at the base of McNeil Point, which offered great views of the immense patch of blowdown in the McGee Creek drainage, the Sandy Glacier Volcano remnants in the Muddy Fork drainage, and views up to the last pieces of the Sandy Glacier Caves.
approaching McNeil Shelter
Clouds started to roll in over the mountain, settling of the glaciers and moving around on the summit, providing for a dramatic ascent up the ridge behind McNeil Point. The trail is steep but pretty easy going all the way up to Ho Rock and its views of Co Rock, the massive gendarme beyond. The names Ho Rock and Co Rock were lifted by chance from the topo quadrangles of the area where The Ho in "Hood" and the Co in "County" happened to be placed on their locations.
clouds coming in
glacier cave remains
approaching Ho Rock
looking over Glisan Glacier
snow covered Barrett Spur above Ladd Glacier
Mt Hood above Co Rock
looking back at Ho Rock, out of the cloud
furry friends in talus fields
clouds clearing and sun returning
views of the Sandy Glacier Volcano, Razorblade Pinnacle center
The Sandy Glacier Volcano is an entirely different, ancient, volcano system that predates Mt Hood by millions of years, now worn mostly worn away.