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2014 Backcountry Trip Reports => May 2014 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: garrettww on 05/25/14, 05:13 PM

Title: May 24-25, 2014, Mount Adams
Post by: garrettww on 05/25/14, 05:13 PM
Eric and I took off from Seattle at around 6:30pm Friday night to drive to and camp somewhere near the Cold Creek TH, in an effort to maximize time during the weather window on Saturday. It was near midnight when we finally got to sleep. The road is passable to 4800' where a 300' stretch of deep snow stopped all vehicles. Unfortunately, after that point is around 1 mile of dry road walking to continuous snow just below Cold Springs TH.

With clear skies overnight, the snow even at lower elevations had frozen quite firm. A later start than we had hoped for Saturday morning had us at the Lunch Counter (9100') by noon. Up to that point, we experienced warm, sunny weather without any wind.  By noon, the snow at 9000' was soft, with 1-2" ski penetration, and great for skinning and skiing alike. Things were about to change though.

We headed up the steep face below Piker's Peak and encountered gradually firming snow and a breeze that seemed to increase incrementally with elevation. By 10,000' we had put on ski crampons as high clouds overhead made the snow even firmer. At 10,800' we decided to turn back in the face of very firm snow and winds in the 25-35 mph range.  We figured that the skiing above us was not going to be much fun. Plus, we were planning on camping at the Lunch Counter with some friends who were joining us later that afternoon. We hoped that the next day would reveal better conditions.

We had a very breezy night, and were awoken often by the tent walls slapping us in the face. FYI - the BD Mega Light is horrible in the wind. By 6am Sunday, things were not looking any better. The upper mountain was hidden by clouds and the winds were persistent. We deliberated for an hour or so while witnessing several groups turn around below Piker's. Ultimately, we decided to save the summit push for another day.

We began our descent at 9am and found fun, carveable, but firm snow from 9100' down to around 7500', where it quickly changed over to softer corn-like snow, then got sticky at 6500' or so.

We spoke to some folks who had made it to the summit on Saturday, and reported very firm, icy conditions up high, even during the warmest part of the day.

Title: Re: May 24-25, 2014, Mount Adams
Post by: Norseman on 05/25/14, 11:51 PM
Thanks for the report, man. Been thinking about this one recently.

Title: Re: May 24-25, 2014, Mount Adams
Post by: OlympicMtnBoy on 05/27/14, 07:58 PM
Thanks for the report, planning on heading up there soon too!

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