The Leuthold’s Couloir snakes its way up the west side of Mt. Hood. The climb will begin on the South Side of Mt. Hood at the Timberline Lodge, trending west towards Illumination Rock. Once we’ve gained the Illumination Saddle, we drop down onto the Reid Glacier, bypassing the gullies above until we arrive at the broad fan of snow below Leuthold’s Couloir.
We’ll climb several pitches of steep snow or firm alpine ice, depending on what conditions we find. As we continue up the mountain we’ll eventually gain a beautiful feature called the Queen’s Chair, a large plateau of sorts up high on Mt. Hood. The narrow, steep, and exposed summit ridge guards the mountains true summit from us. This can be a true mental and physical challenge after an already long day of steep climbing.
The Leuthold’s Couloir can also make a fantastic ski descent for the truly advanced and experienced ski mountaineer. Most folks descend on foot down the standard South Side route with the Timberline Lodge as our final destination. Previous steep snow climbing experience and a high degree of physical fitness is required to join us on this route.