Volcano Season Part 1: Mount Hood

The Pacific Northwest is very much a wild, thriving place. There’s the coastline, where mysterious and beautiful sea creatures dwell, showing us only a glimpse of what’s really going on down there. There are the wet forests, thick with massive moss-covered trees, where everything’s bursting with life, including you when you’re there. There are the mountains, harboring some of the most remote wilderness in the lower 48, bustling with wildlife and outdoorsy folk alike. And there are the volcanoes. The PNW volcanoes seem to have a whole different life-force than all the rest. Literally where the earth is bursting at the seams, they stand prominently above the other mountains, spattered with glaciers and gnarly peaks, creating their own weather patterns and pushing up into the atmosphere where oxygen becomes sparse. They’re epic. So naturally, we want to climb them.

Since moving to Seattle ~3 years ago, my mountain-minded friends and I have been training up our skiing and mountaineering skills. For weekend warriors, we’ve gotten a lot of backcountry experience in – and now we’re ready to go bigger. Our goal for 2017 is to summit and ski all the major PNW volcanoes. This weekend we finished our first: Mount Hood. It was a pretty smooth summit – we camped halfway up for kicks, started just before sunrise on Sunday, and skied back down to the cars by 10am. The weather was great for the most part, except for increasing wind and clouds on Sunday. Now that we have the easiest volcano out of the way, only 5 more to go 🙂

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