Title: May 10, 2015, Mt. Adams south face corn
Post by: bbrelje on 05/11/15, 07:33 PM
Headed up Adams from the parking lot to take advantage of the beautiful weather window and no permit fees yet. Arrived from Seattle ~9:30 and crashed for a few hours. No snow and plenty of room to park at the TH even with a crazy busy weekend.
We headed out at around 3am thinking things would get sloppy early in the morning given the warm night. We hit continuous snow at 6000' and found that the snow froze harder under the clear skies than we were expecting; a breakable glaze covered everything and made skinning a bit challenging, especially on the steeper sections. As we skinned up Suksdorf Ridge we got pulled a little bit too high below South Butte in the dark and had to backtrack a bit to regain the line.
Wish we had our boot crampons for the very firm conditions on the climb up to Piker's - it was a bit tenuous trying to kick steps. Probably 80% of skiers were booting up. The snow began to barely soften as we arrived at the top of Piker's at around 11am. It was sunny and warm at the summit - virtually no wind. Many napped waiting for the South face to corn up while others skinned up to tag the summit - we probably saw around 30 skiers and numerous climbers. As a terrible son who chooses to ski a volcano instead of calling his mom on Mother's day (no reception on top!), I appreciate the person who hauled the fun sign ("We <3 our moms") to the summit and let me use it for a photo op.
The snow below the summit skied pretty well. It was nice corn but not as smooth as what awaited below. After surveying the globs of water ice hanging around the top of the SW chutes we elected to enjoy the South face instead (didn't see anyone drop the chutes but I could easily have missed it). We rested until a bit after 1pm and headed straight down. As a first-season BC skier I had no idea corn would be this much fun. The descent from Pikers was absolutely perfect: great pitch, smooth texture. The Suksdorf Ridge approach actually skied pretty well on the way down even this late in the day and didn't get sloppy until well below treeline. While the drive and ascent are a real slog for a day trip, skiing more continuous vert than any resort in N. America is hard to beat.
[This is my first TaY TR - thanks to all of you regulars! This community has been a huge resource]
Title: Re: May 10, 2015, Mt. Adams south face corn
Post by: Amar Andalkar on 05/11/15, 07:40 PM
Nice first TR! Thanks for the conditions update. It's been an amazing spring to ski Adams given the unusually early road access to the trailhead.