Cerebral Dream

Cerebral Dream

This route climbs the prominent buttress between the star-shaped snowfield (left) and the Arachnophobia drainage (right). It was first climbed on rock in late summer by Steve Elder and Kevin Russell, a frightening feat that has likely not been repeated. It’s difficult to determine the precise route and details of the original climb, and many of its distinguishing features have probably since fallen off the mountain. In 2022’s extremely icy conditions Aaron Nelson and I climbed a thin vein of ice up the same buttress, more or less following the Cerebral Dream line from the topo in the Mt Hood Climber’s Guide, though part way up we “bailed” out right into the Arachnophobia second snowfield seeking a quick exit.

Overview:

In 2022’s extremely icy conditions Aaron Nelson and I climbed a thin vein of ice up the same buttress, more or less following the Cerebral Dream line from the topo in the Mt Hood Climber’s Guide, though part way up we “bailed” out right into the Arachnophobia second snowfield seeking a quick exit.

Stats

Elder and Russell’s original grade was 5.9 A2. The winter variation goes at WI3, probably with some slightly harder climbing if you truly stick to the buttress all the way to the top.

Description

Photo #1: Getting established on the narrow ice flow.

I can only describe the winter variation that I’ve done, though I imagine these are the only conditions in which most parties will want to climb the route. Begin by gaining the star-shaped snowfield using the notch on the right side (as described for the Fric-Amos route). Then traverse right several meters to reach an aesthetic, narrow (1m wide) ice flow (WI3). Follow the ice up for around 80 meters. The narrowness of this feature makes it challenging to protect the second from falling ice - ideally the leader is able to climb very gently.

Scrambling through the bowl above the prominent ice flow.

Eventually the ice leads into a shaded notch to the right of a large rock. Above this is a several-meter-wide bowl/snowfield which perhaps feeds the ice below. Climb through the bowl and up a weakness on the right. This leads to a prominent prow of snow we followed up and left. From atop the prow you’re able to look out right/down onto the second cliff band of Arachnophobia. This section is likely more difficult in low-snow conditions and may involve some rock climbing.

Photo #1: Aaron coming up the prow.

From here we traversed right to gain the Arachnophobia second snowfield. Alternatively you can search for a way straight up the steeper rock above, which I believe may be more in the spirit of the original Cerebral Dream route (despite the line in the book which goes right). You should also be able to traverse far left on lower-angle terrain to reach the upper snowfield of the Fric-Amos route or the final meandering pitch of Three Little Monkeys.