Our First Ski Mountaineering Camp Summits Mt. Hood!
On July 1st, 2019 we held our first ever Intro to Ski Mountaineering Camp for Girls on Mt. Hood. We had an amazing camp! Thank you to Guides Lindsay Mann and Erica Engle for making this camp a huge success. Read on for Guide Lindsay’s recap!
July 1st: the team assembled for the first time, enjoying a great dinner, going over goals and expectations, getting to know one another and doing a thorough gear check.
The 3 goals of our camp were: 1) Safety, 2) Learning/Good Mountain Style, 3) Reaching the summit/personal high point. The entire team agreed to these goals and to working together as a team.
July 2nd: we woke up with a mixed weather forecast. We headed up the Palmer lift and were in and out of the fog for the majority of the day. The team experienced all types of weather from sunshine and great views to full white out conditions and rain.
We were able to make good use of our time and spent the day learning about our gear that we would use for the climb. The day began with the guides teaching skinning technique, learning to use AT bindings and boots, putting on skins and how to use ski crampons. From there we covered cramponing, ice axe self arrest and rope travel.
Throughout the day all of the girls were helping each other out and starting to form a true team. After a good day on the mountain we returned to government camp to dry out our gear, debrief the day and talk about the goals/expectations for summit day.
July 3rd: we woke up to a damp Government Camp after a night of rain in town. We headed up the lift and were very happy when we broke through the clouds halfway up the Palmer lift. At 8am we started skinning up in difficult skinning conditions. The girls handled this extremely well and were very happy to have ski crampons. Around 9,500′ we transitioned from skinning to cramponing with our skis on our back. Before we knew it, it was hot and we reached our next break at 10,400′ by Crater Rock. We decided to leave our skis at this point. The team headed up with slightly lighter packs, which was a nice treat!
At 10,800′ Lindsay and one athlete turned around due to some boot issues. She decided that it was the best decision for the team to make sure she would be strong on the decent.
Erica and three other athletes continued up and summited at 12:50pm. All the athletes were very strong on the descent and we had some great corn skiing on the upper mountain.
At the Palmer lift we were again met with mixed visibility. We enjoyed some fun skiing on the decent and reached our goal of all returning safely to the parking lot in good spirits!
It was a very special group of athletes who participated in this camp. All of the girls were extremely supportive of one another and Erica and I were very proud and impressed with the way that they handled all of these new skills and new challenges.
A big thank you to Timberline Mountain Guides for allowing us to run this trip through them!
Congratulations to all the girls who participated in this camp!