The Summit Program is our most popular and our most successful program. We gear this program for folks with little to no previous mountaineering experience, although a high degree of physical fitness is needed for this climb. Much of the information in the media and on the internet is misleading on the technical description of the Southside Route on Mt Hood. The Southside route is best described as an entry-level technical climb. It is not a walk-up or nontechnical climb. This is an important distinction to make when deciding about whether to attempt this mountain.
On the first day, after meeting your group and your guide, you can expect to spend a few minutes sorting and issuing gear, fitting boots and crampons, and going through logistics for the climb. If after reviewing the equipment list you still have questions about what to wear or bring on the climb, this is the time to ask, so please bring all of your gear with you. During this session, your guide will brief you on the current mountain and route conditions, weather, and the schedule for the rest of the climb.
Once everyone in your group has all the gear they need and all of the pre-climb logistics have been sorted, you’ll head out to begin the Steep Snow Climbing Course. Usually this involves just a short hike from the lodge, but you’ll want to come prepared for a day out on the snow. If the weather is fair, you often won’t need to bring all of the layers you’re planning on climbing in, but you will need waterproof shells, gloves, food, water and all of the technical climbing equipment for the climb. Please arrive at the office prepared for the day’s weather.