Bouldering at the Sugar Cubes near Mt Hood

 photo 2


I got out yesterday and was bouldering at the Sugar Cubes, a newish bouldering area near Mt Hood.  The area is a short way from the West Fork bouldering area, an area that is a bit more popular and a little better known.  I’m fairly certain that this will be one of the last days out before the snow falls–there was already some rime ice on the boulders–but surprisingly, the weather was really good.  I managed to boulder with just a long-sleeve shirt but winters cold bite was in the air.

It was about noon in Portland and I decided that the weather was just too good to pass up because, let’s face it, it’s not going to last long here in Northwest. Mt Hood Boulders I had a week long stint of being sick but am finally on the mend and was fortunate to get out and boulder.  The rock was a tad cold but where the sun was hitting on the west facing sides was warm and soothing.  I’ve been exploring 7 new areas near here and near West Fork and have been pleasantly surprised at all of them.  It’s been about a year since I visited this area and I’d like to point out that there is still a little room for development at this area so if your the adventurous type and don’t mind a little cold, get in touch with me and check this spot out.   If the weather holds out a few more days I’m hoping to take some climbers out to explore and help develop this unique little area again next week.

Whats to Enjoy about the Sugar Cubes?

There are lots of boulders nestled in a reasonably concentrated area with perfect, soft landings and a sheltered valley lined with pines and grasses.

Perfect White Cube

Perfect White Cube

Almost all of the 15 boulders I climbed on (there are lots more than 15) had problems V4 and harder with a decent amount of problems that are V6, V7, and V8.  The slick, rounded sides of these massive blocks yeild terrain that dictates very powerfil moves off micro crimps that involve large throws with desperate slaps.  Even some of the smaller boulders feel long because evey move is tough from the sit start to finish.

Some of the classics here include Blood Sugar Sex Magic V7, Force of Gravity V8, and Worlds Fastest Car V8.  Force of Gravity was a hard challenge due to a tad of rime ice on the one key hold.  The problem is really short but really powerful and involves slapping up a near-blank stone belly that is very overhung and smooth.  The hardest part is the nonexistant feet for the first move and the long shot to the finish holds.

I got on a few other substantially easier lines on the way out before dark and headed back to Portland.  I stopped by the Circuit for a  little over an hour to get a little more sending in since I had such a late start getting up to the Parkdale vicinity and I’m trying to get my strenght back after being ill.  I really hope to get back while this weather holds our over the weekend.

Sugar Cubes Hood River

Awesome Quality Boulder

Hood Bouldering

Tiny Sugar Cube

If anyone wants information on these boulders feel free to contact me.  See you out there.


Rob Holzman


Posted in Pacific Northwest Bouldering Blog.


  1. Hi Rob, I live near Hood river and need to find more spots that have solid rock. If you dont mind i would love to check this spot out.

    Wes B

    • Thanks for the email and interest in this area. I just emailed you the details but It’s basically just off Lawerence Lake near Mt Hood. Might be snow there still though. Cheers, Rob

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