The Highpointers Foundation
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of the highest point in each of the 50 United States.
State Highpoints – Oregon - 11,239-foot Mount Hood

Oregon’s highest peak and the 13th highest US state summit, 11,239-foot Mount Hood, is a spectacular Cascade volcano. Hood is located South of Portland and is visible from many vantages, some quite far away. With 7,699 feet of prominence, Hood is the most prominent peak in Oregon. When you see Hood from a distance, it looks quite steep, and three sides of it are steep. The south side of the mountain is less steep, and holds the standard route. Even this route is steep near the top, especially through the famous Pearly Gates. There is a ski area on the lower slopes, and you can shorten your ascent by taking the ski lift. However, the gain from the Timberline Lodge at the base of the route is over 5,300 feet. The round trip distance for a summit climb is less than 6 miles, and this makes Hood one of the most popular snow climbs in North America. This fact leads to over crowding on the upper slopes, and there have been many bad accidents here. Carefully consider the weather and snow conditions, and do your best to avoid the crowds. As the season progresses, a bergschrund opens near the bottom of the Pearly Gates that further complicates the crowding problem. There have been accidents where roped teams fall, and sweep other climbers into the gaping bergschrund. This is definetly a bad scenario, and has proven fatal. There are several variations that avoid the Pearly Gates, but they are more difficult. The volcano is rated dormant, but there are some active fumaroles that climbers should avoid. The standard route carries a rating of Class 3, and you should take crampons and an ice axe. When starting from Timberline Lodge, most parties start in the middle of the night, and arrive at the summit a little after sunrise. Of course, as the day progresses, the snow softens. Some parties choose to pack up to a high camp. In spite of the hazards, Hood is a modest ascent for experienced climbers. There are many other routes up Hood, but most of them carry a technical rating. On a clear day, a climb of Mount Hood can provide an exceptional experience.

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