The Black Spider

The Center Drip, Black Spider, Mt Hood


Over the last 23 or so years, I developed an interest (read: obsession) with the ice climbs up an obscure volcanic wall on the East Face of mt Hood. Jeff Thomas’ Oregon High book had some questions looking for any information on the Eiger like wall. I became very curious.

I first viewed the face while doing a solo ski traverse around the upper Mt. Hood in in May of 1987.  After  seeing ice on it even this late in the season, the hook was very set. It was basically untouched and offered 6-10 big climbs around 1000′ feet tall. Without any info, I started a campaign of exploration up its many ice routes with great results. Steve Elder and I did the first ascent of the main wall in feb-94, followed by a couple other routes that were nothing less than astounding alpine climbs of the highest order.

Then I began a long series of attempts on the “Center Drip”‘ that took the best line on the entire face. Finding never-ending setbacks with weather and conditions, my patience wore thin after more than a dozen attempts.

It finally came together this March with reports of Ice on the wall from 2 great sources. My local Pullman partner , Beau- accompanied me on our successful bid. The climb went so very well.We did it in blocks with 4 total pitches , the final crux one was a full 60 m of airy positioning. The route was an instant classic and deserves many ascents in the future. Besides incredible ambience, It is a very doable route as well.We had a great time on this wonderful classic climb. Enjoy the pictures and video, It felt really great to wrap up such a project. I will do a blow-by blow if wanted and I must promote the new Climbing Guide to Mt. Hood expected out this fall!

As always, looking forward to your trip report, Wayne

Climbing on the Black Spider

Crux, Center Drip

The Video Of the Center Drip

Alpinist article

Beaus Trip Report

Great photo of the wall from the right side.

OPB Special: Climbing Mt. Hood

Update! The left “Unclimbed Ice” was just ascended!  Fric/Amos Route



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