Mt. Hood Oregon
Sunny, light winds temperatures around 50 at Timberline and upper 20`s on summit.
Perfect spring corn at Timberline and ice crust from Crater Rock to summit.
This was my second summit of Mt. Hood. The week prior, I used my split board. This week, I was leading a party of who had not climbed the mountain but were advanced snowboarders. Since they did not have split boards, I chose to take the Heritage and boot up. Our day began with a couple of warm up runs on Palmer. At around 1:00 PM, we began our climb from the top of Palmer at 8540 feet. It took us approximately 4 hours to reach the summit. The snow on the ascent was spring corn down low to a form of crushed ice above. Due to the timing of our summit, the sun was setting at the temperature at the summit had dropped like a rock down a well. It was well below freezing and the snow was becoming treacherous bullet proof ice. With cliffs and 60 degree pitches on all sides, it was a good feeling to have a board with good edges strapped back on.
The upper section from the summit down to the Hogs back is pushing 55 degrees and was now a churned up, frozen hell. This was not even remotely anything approaching fun but was a great extreme test for the board. The keen edge and overall dampness of the board made for a safe, steady descent. While I was doing much traversing with a hop turn at each end, this board held its edge at all times and no once did I have a loss of control. The overall dampness of the board made riding over this mess possible.
Once down below 10,000 near the Bergshrund Crevasse, the snow was softening up to a carvable consistency and I was able to make some really smooth, decent dynamic skidded turns on this 50 degree pitch. The agility of the board truly shines when making tight turns on a pitch of this magnitude. Once below Crater Rock at the 9500 foot level, it was clear sailing but the snow was a bizarre mix of wet, sticky corn snow beneath a frozen crust. If you broke through the crust, it was like hitting Velcro. Once again, the rocker of the board enabled me to ride this and keep the nose from breaking through the crust. A rockered nose here would have been better, but this board worked. I would not have wanted to be on a traditional cambered deck here.