Old Chute Ski Descent

Skiing off Hood's summit ridge via the classic Old Chute route.

Ski Touring Severe

Distance
750 m
Ascent
0 m
Descent
450 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
3 km
High Point
3.4 km
Gradient
39˚
Old Chute Ski Descent Map

This is one of the typical ski descents on Mount Hood. It's reached by walking west from the summit and across a short section of moderate knife edge. The entrance is obvious as a narrow, somewhat sheltered chute that tends to hold good snow. It's also a popular climbers route however, so it's often kicked out.

Description

Putting on skis at the very top requires some super committing moves for the first hundred feet or so. The chute is guarded by rocks on either side and the snow is likely to be variable. The fall line leads straight down to bare rock in sulfurous vents a few hundred feet below.

The terrain gets easier as you go down, though the snow may not get better. You can usually pass the vents with a wide margin on skier's right (as mapped here), but slide and rockfall hazard exists along the right side beneath the cliffs. In good conditions you can easily follow this canyon down, to a spot between Crater Rock and Illumination Saddle where you'll then decide where to go next. An alternative to following the canyon is to traverse skier's left well above the fumaroles and go back to the Hogsback instead.

Difficulty

Severe

Steep skiing at 38-45 degrees. This requires very good technique and the risk of falling has serious consequences.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, December

Features

  • Bowl
  • Alpine
  • Single Descent
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons