Illumination Rock

Length:1 day
Price:1 climber $475
2 $300 per climber
Dates:Custom dates are available in May, June and early July
Location:South Side of Mt Hood

At 9,543 feet, Illumination Rock is one of the most technical alpine summits in the Pacific Northwest. It features snow, rock and ice climbing ranging in difficulty from 5.4 to WI5 to M4+.  The base of the formation also features sport routes up to 5.11 in difficulty. Not only is Illumination Rock one of the most recognizable rock features on Mt. Hood, it is also one of the least trodden summits in all of Oregon. Our guides can help you achieve the summit and build alpine climbing skills in a stunning mountain environment.

The standard route to the summit of Illumination Rock is the Southwest Chamber. In late spring and early summer it features steep snow climbing and potentially some low-angle alpine ice. The final pitches to the summit feature exposed climbing on a sharp rock-ridge. Later in the summer it features more 4th class scrambling leading to the technical rock pitches. Your climb begins with meeting your guide at the Timberline Lodge to gear up. You may need crampons for the approach along the Zig Zag Glacier and mountaineering boots or rock shoes depending on the season and conditions. Then you’ll ride the ski-lift up to the top of the Timberline Ski Resort and begin the hour long hike to the base of the rock. On the approach you’ll traverse below Crater Rock and have excellent views of the iconic South Side of Mt. Hood and the West Crater Rim. If you choose to climb a more advanced route you may find yourself swinging technical ice tools, or jamming your rock shoes into the high-quality basalt cracks that are uncharacteristically solid for rock on Mt. Hood.

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Interested in a trip? Call us today to get started on your trip reservation. We will take the time to place you on the expedition that is a fit for you.

(541) 312-9242

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Illumination Rock

South Side of Mt Hood

This is a well-known but little climbed alpine rock peak. The approach includes a lift-ride up the Palmer, and a casual walk to the formation. This single-day climbing objective is an excellent place to build your alpine resume. Whether you’re looking for an introductory alpine route on steep snow and excellent and exposed rock climbing at an easy grade, or you’re looking to build your multipitch ice and mixed climbing experience, Illumination Rock offers it. The climbing is challenging, and the summit is rewarded by a unique position. I-Rock is perched among beautiful surroundings. While climbing you’ll enjoy views down onto the heavily crevassed Reid Glacier, and towards classic moderate Mt. Hood routes like the Yokum Ridge, Leuthold’s Couloir and the Reid Glacier Headwall.

Elevation:9,543 feet
Style:Alpine rock and some snow
Skill Level:Difficult

"I am very happy with my TMG experience. The guides were professional, personable, and extremely concerned about safety. . . I absolutely give highest marks to these guys. If you don't have much Alpine experience, or just want the security of seasoned veterans guiding you up this mountain, then I strongly recommend you sign up with them. Thanks, guys, for a great experience!!"

George C
Highland, UT

"What a fantastic experience gaining the summit of a mountain we've gazed on from Portland for 25 years! . . . We learned a great deal, had a ton of fun, felt in very capable hands, and had the reward of summiting on a beautiful clear day. The value of being with a professional, certified, guide and guiding organization was evident throughout. Kudos to the TMG team who were responsive, supportive, and fun to work with every step of the way."

Malcolm C
Portland, OR

"We booked 2-day overnight program on Mt. Hood with Timberline Mountain Guides. Our guides were great, . . super friendly and reputable. The program did not go as planned due to inclement weather but we still had fun and good experience. The guides were definitely flexible and provided guidance during the trip. I would recommend going with them if it's your first climbing trip on Mt. Hood for sure."

Portland, OR

Skill Series

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Know Before You Go

  • Climbers should have previous alpine rock climbing experience prior to this trip
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