Ilumination Saddle on Mount Hood is a classic ski tour destination for backcountry skiers. It's safe enough to do solo, mellow enough for beginners, it and provides great views for everyone.
Start by taking the climbers trail to the looker's right of Timberline Ski Area and ascend to the top of Palmer. From there follow a heading of 354 degrees, cutting crossslope to ascend to Illumination Saddle, to the looker's right of Illumination Rock.
Zig Zag Glacier offers some fantastic skiing. Venturing higher into the Hot Rocks area gives skiers better views and more thrills. On the return, be sure to cut back to the Palmer area before catching the fall line.
Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.