Hiking the White River Glacier in the slush


Saturday, 17-Apr-2021

After backpacking out at Twin Lakes, I wasn’t quite feeling ready to go home yet.

I’d seen Mt. Hood in the distance, both as I drove and while I was camping out, but that still left me feeling a bit of a pang of distance from the mountain. I needed to get closer, and to get further up on the snowfields… I can’t tell if I just missed the mountain, if I wanted a bit more snow adventure before the summer came along, or… if I was just feeling the restlessness of spring.

Regardless of the reason, I packed my gear into the car and set my boots right under the air vent to dry out as much as possible on the drive up to the White River sno-park.

It was a nice drive, you know? I’ve gotten to know the way pretty well in the last few months, but coming toward the park from the South was definitely a slightly different experience. Nothing hugely different, mind you, but… just enough of a change that it felt interesting.

I arrived, I parked, I slipped into my mostly-dry boots and clipped on my crampons, found a pretty painted rock (interestingly similar to the one I found at Twin Lakes…) and headed up.

It sucked.

I mean, I could talk about how beautiful it was, and how the sky was a glorious shade of bright blue. I could talk about how the White River had carved a beautiful slash through the glacier, and how the sun was sparkling off the pristine snowfields in the distance.

But truth be told, I wasn’t having a good time. The snow had softened up quite a bit as the Sun had traversed the sky, and every step was a struggle. No one beside me had been up this way, it seemed, so I was breaking trail with every step.

I really wished that I’d brought along my cross country skis… But you know. If wishes were fishes, and all that jazz.

I forged onward and upward.

Up to the foot of the glacier, where the sun sparkled against the outline of Mt. Hood.

And there, I saw “screw it, the snow stinks and I’ve been up there before. I want dinner” and turned around, and went home.

Sometimes, that’s the best course of action… and even then, it brings beautiful views and great pictures.

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