Oregon, various activity. On Mt. Hood’s Illumination Rock, on April 24 Mike Layton and Marcus Donaldson climbed a route that starts to the left of the south chamber on the south face of the southwest ridge. It follows a series of chimneys and crack systems for 800 feet of sustained dry-tooling on andesite rock and rime gargoyles to a point west of the main summit. They believe the line to be new (Bitchin’ Camero, M6 AI4), and say it’s one of the best mixed lines in the Cascades.
The winter of 2005-06 produced rare cold snaps in December and February, allowing several significant ascents of ice in the Columbia River Gorge outside of Portland. Though the Journal rarely reports on ice routes this short, we note these routes for their rare nature and the world-class potential of the Columbia River Gorge as an ice-climbing destination. Granted, the ice hardly ever forms, but we read that climate change might actually make some areas colder, so who knows?
Many routes in the Gorge saw repeats, and in addition to several new single-pitch lines being established, the oft-tried, north-facing Ainsworth Falls (600', WI5) received its first complete ascent on December 16, by Hal Burton and Marcus Donaldson. The next day, Lane Brown and Wayne Wallace established Black Dagger (600', M4 WI5+), located two miles east of Multnomah Falls. The impressive line (some had dubbed it “Black Diamond”) has reportedly never connected, and the pair started from the rock on the right.