The Pearly Gates was the most heavily used route to the summit of Mt. Hood until 2006 when a dramatic shift in the Hogsback and the increased steepness of the this route made the Old Chute the more typical ascent route. The left chute of the Pearly Gates offers a short "step" of steeper snow/ice climbing, while the right chute of the Gates can offer several steps of steeper snow/ice. You cross over the bergschrund to get into the Gates. You can descend by rappelling or downclimbing the route, or by traversing over to the Old Chute. A weekday climb during prime season (early May - late June) can avoid most of the crowds. Staying at Mazama Lodge the night before can get you off to an early and well rested start. A wind tip: If you encounter high winds down low, AND you have clear weather above, the winds almost always stop at around 10K feet. Unless the wind is really flattening you, or visibility is very low, consider pushing through lower elevation winds on the South Side of the mountain.