Climbing Douglas firs – Mt Hood

On the slopes of Mt Hood west of Portalnd, is an old growth grove of truly magnificent Douglas firs, standing on top of a ridge overlooking a huge valley. Will Koomijan of Ascending the Giants insisted I join him after he heard about the climbing we were doing in South Africa. So I joined Brian French and a bunch of climbers from other parts of the USA for a three day climbing trip after the tree conference. This was an opportunity to learn all kinds of stuff, as well as the chance to sleep 80m up at the top of a douglas fir – not to be missed! Climbing these ancient trees and being able to sleep up in them was unbelievable!

Not having much experience in SRT, I used my trusty old school technique of ascending using a shunt with a back up prussic..and footlocked the whole 80m, much to the amazement of the others. Actually, I think they thought I was a bit crazy.


 Our camp about 80m off the ground. Notice how high above the valley floor this is.


 My spot. You don’t want to be dropping your boots or any other gear from up here.


Notice all the climbing lines – there was space for 7 tree boats, all in one tree


We had to have some fun traversing between the trees. Tree boats to the right.


Looking down – this was a LONG footlock on a single line, but a great abseil


 Some of the group at the end of the trip

Me bottom left. Will Koomijan in the blue shirt on the right