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2013 Backcountry Trip Reports => June 2013 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: thatoneguydave on 06/24/13, 10:28 PM

Title: June 22-23, 2013, Mt. Adams, Pikers Peak
Post by: thatoneguydave on 06/24/13, 10:28 PM
There is always a plan, but usually you never follow the plan.  This was an instance where the alternate plan turned out to be the best plan.  This past Saturday I teamed up with my buddies Erik and Jason to head South and go ski Mt. Adams.  For me it would the last volcano to climb in Washington and for my buddies a return trip.  The original plan was to camp at Lunch Counter Saturday night and get up really early to avoid the AM rain that was en route and ski the SW Chutes.  That plan changed when Erik showed up in my Kitchen Saturday morning, after diligently scoping out the weather again, with the idea to summit and ski Adams that evening around 1am.  This was because the weather had changed and it looked like it would start raining around 2-3am. 

After Jason arrived at the apartment we were off.  After the always incredibly drive down South to Oregon we were at the ranger station trying to explain to the ranger that we were going to summit that evening and not the next morning.  The ranger let us know to expect up to about 150 people at the TH.  When we showed up around 3pm we were able to drive right up to TH sign and park directly in front of it.  Front door service.  After stripping our bags of anything that was needed to camp over night we were off around 4pm?.  We made quick work of the first few thousand feet to the Lunch Counter and ate dinner and melted some snow. 

Pikers Peak showed itself at times during our climb, but for the most part it was always in the clouds.  We did get some awesome views of the shadow of Mt. Adams on the land beyond with the moon rising.  Once around 10k feet we essentially were in the clouds the whole time.  We pushed on up to Pikers Peak and the weather continued to deteriorate...wind, little to no visibility, chilly.  Once on top of Pikers Peak (10:30pm) we debated for a while if we should try and Summit.  We pushed on for the summit in the weather and in short time found ourselves bouncing around edges, cracks, and vastness in 30 feet of visibility with head lamps and not making any real progress.  We pulled out the compass and GPS and made our way back to Pikers Peak after asking ourselves 'why?'. 

The skiing for the first 500 ft was pretty solid, but soon as we were below the clouds 10k? the snow and skiing was really great.  We were able to ski about 5500 feet before we had to put the skis back on our packs.  We arrived at the TH around 1:30, quickly pitched a tent, had a beer, and passed out.  Woke up to the sounds of rain, hikers getting ready in the rain, and the sounds of cars pulling up. 

It was my first time climbing and skiing in the middle of the night and I hope it's not my last.  I truly found it enjoyable to be out in the dark and all by ourselves on the mountain.  Skiing by headlamp is also something that should be done by everyone.  I've posted a few photos...Adams shadow, "you could be here ladies", and us on Pikers Peak around 11:30pm.

Car to Car was just short of nine hours. 

Title: Re: June 22-23, 2013, Mt. Adams, Pikers Peak
Post by: jesski on 06/25/13, 02:05 PM
Bet the timing made for a really nice alternative to the regular "summit at 1 pm" schtick. Sometimes skiing in the dark is really fun!

Title: Re: June 22-23, 2013, Mt. Adams, Pikers Peak
Post by: Charlie Hagedorn on 06/25/13, 02:15 PM

Title: Re: June 22-23, 2013, Mt. Adams, Pikers Peak
Post by: Erik Henne on 06/25/13, 02:37 PM
Additional benefit was we had the entire mountain to ourselves, minus a few parties sleeping in their tents. The best nighttime corn I have ever skied.

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