I first got into climbing back in 1998, a year or so after we moved to Portland. Amy and I made our way up Mount St. Helens first, then I took a mountaineering course and climbed Mount Hood in 1999. Over the next few years, I ticked off most of the major Cascades, including Shasta, McLoughlin, Thielsen, Diamond Peak, South Sister, Middle Sister, Washington, Adams, and, in 2003, Mount Rainier. I never considered myself a technical climber by any means, just someone who loved — and still loves — to slog up the big boys and see the world from their summits every so often.
But with jobs and houses and, eventually, kids, my climbing slimmed down to a fraction of what it once was. Still, I do my best to tackle at least one of the major Cascades every year. Two years ago, we did St. Helens and Adams; last year, I returned to the top of Mount Hood for the first time in far too many years.
This year, I’m hoping to visit Hood yet again. With On Mount Hood officially coming out in just a few weeks, it only makes sense.
To help get the old mountain legs ready for a heave up the south side of Hood this spring, I’ve been running with Oliver, hiking here and there — a couple miles along Suttle Lake in April and a trip up Angel’s Rest on Easter weekend — and this morning, I joined a few thousand runners for the annual Lake Run around Oswego Lake. I’m not such I runner that I could tackle the whole 12k around the lake, but the 5k, now that I can do.