Newton Clark Glacier

The Newton Clark Glacier sits on the east side of Mt Hood and is one of the larger glaciers on the mountain. It is a fun place to score turns well into the spring, and the headwall is an extra special treat. The starting elevation of the glacier as shown on the topo maps is around 10,400 feet, although photographic images from the past few years indicate that the headwall has or nearly has melted out and the actual glacier now starts around 9500 feet. The terminus elevation is in the vicinity of 7500 feet.

Skiing the Newton Clark Headwall, June 2017
Newton Clark Glacier, Photo coutresy of John Scurlock, August 2007

The glacier has lost a substantial amount of volume, especially near the terminus and the icefall, which is evident when looking at photographs from the turn of the century. The photos below were taken in July of 1901 by Harry Felding Reid.

Newton Clark Icefall, photo by Harry Felding Reid, July 1901
Newton Clark Icefall, photo by Harry Felding Reid, July 1901

The photo below, courtesy of John Scurlock, was taken in August of 2007. Note the cliffs in the lower left of the photo are completely devoid of ice, as opposed to the photos above.

Newton Clark Glacier, Photo courtesy of John Scurlock, August 2007

The Newton Clark has an interesting history with respect to skiing, with a notable and well documented first descent by the famous skier Sylvain Saudan in 1971. It is a steep, worthy line, but deserves respect. Objective hazards include significant avalanche danger, crevasse falls, rockfall and exposure. When conditions are right however, it is one of the better lines on Mt Hood and definitely worth the effort.

Turns on the Newton Clark Headwall