Todd, Donovan & Shelby's
Climbing Page
Were Hitting New High's
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"Most people wont attempt this climb in their middle age; these two climbers are making it before middle school".
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Our e-mail   todd_thurman@backpacker.com
At the ages of three and five Donovan & Shelby Thurman began developing their Rock-Climbing skills at the Crux Rock Gym in Eugene OR. Three years later, several day treks (that progressively challenged our skills) a few overnights through out the summers and we were ready to hit MT Hoods North Face.

On October 1st, 1999 Donovan, Shelby & I started our trek on the Cooper Spur Trail. Departing from the Tilly Jane Camp Ground we proceeded through thick stands of fir and ferns. Following along the deep glacial cut this portion of the trail is very scenic, there are several great viewpoints looking down into the great canyon and beyond to the surrounding countryside.

Just beyond the timberline lays a stone shelter for climbers to rest themselves and seek shelter when needed. This proved great place to change socks and eat a healthy snack. We also got our first real good look at the Spur. Although the Cooper Spur Trail is only three miles from start to finish, the extreme gain in elevation makes for a formidable climb at any age. Most people won’t attempt this climb in their middle age; these two climbers are making it before middle school.

The trudge up the remainder of the trail is comprised of numerous switchbacks and differing sized rocks great for stumbling over and around. About mid way up the trail a venture to the ridge over looking Elliott Glassier is a must. At this time of year the exposed crevasses are nothing but impressive. Nearing the top quarter of the climb we found the trail blocked by ice flows, from this point on it was a free for all rock climb up the near 40 degree slope.
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Cooper Spur and MT Hoods North Face      October, 1999
Both Donovan and Shelby put to good use the skills they learned in the safe confines of the rock gym, in short order we found our selves on the summit reading an inscription carved on a rock by Japanese climbers in 1910. Donovan looked up to the main summit and pronounced “I want to go up there, dad”. And with that said we began our decent following a quicker return route straight down the ridge that follows Elliott Glassier.

 
Returning to the Tilly Jane Camp Ground our trek all told took us 9 hours and 40 min. Not a bad days work for this trio.
Crevice's on Elliott Glassier
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