Turns All Year Trip Reports

2016 Backcountry Trip Reports => May 2016 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: toddball on 05/31/16, 12:45 PM



Title: May 29-30, 2016, Mt. Adams SW Chutes
Post by: toddball on 05/31/16, 12:45 PM
David, Julia and I Did the winter route up the south side of Adams to the Lunch Counter on the 29th.  The road is open to Cold Springs.  We left the parking lot around 3pm, and hiked maybe a mile of dirt before we were able to skin.  I didn't turn on GPS on my phone in order to save battery for photos, but David took a waypoint at the hike-skin transition so I could figure out exactly where that was if anyone's interested.  Anyway, good skinning up to the LC.  We were pretty late getting up there (7-7:30 pm), so most of the established stone forts were taken.  We eventually found one pretty high up that had a perfectly level dirt floor that someone had chopped out recently, which was great.

On Memorial Day we left the Lunch Counter just after 8 am, summited around 12:30, and dropped into the eastern-most entrance to the SW Chutes around 1:20.  We had several hundred feet of quite firm, but not scary-icy, turns; then pretty much perfect corn almost all the way down, concluding with the predicted slop at the base of the chutes.  Best spring/summer ski descent in WA?

Gear note: ski crampons are wonderful, but probably not sufficient for LC->Piker's.  I was able to get within 200-300 ft of Piker's with ski crampons (thanks Andrew) and Montana nylon skins on 75mm skis, but decided a precarious transition to booting was preferable than finishing up the steep and increasingly icy pitch.  Boot crampons would have been really nice here; the top of the steeps was firm enough that the previous million booters hadn't established a friendly staircase.  That said, the only fall I saw was another fellow who tried to skin to the top and slipped, probably above where I transitioned.  He arrested after a few hundred feet, but his ski went ~1000ft into some rocks on climber's left, where it was recovered by a descending climber.

[img width=800]http://imgur.com/475TR0r.jpg[/img]

[img width=800]http://imgur.com/WMompVi.jpg[/img]

[img width=800]http://imgur.com/XD7H3HJ.jpg[/img]


Title: Re: May 29-30, 2016, Mt. Adams SW Chutes
Post by: Andrew Carey on 05/31/16, 07:31 PM
Quote from: toddball on 05/31/16, 12:45 PM
Gear note: ski crampons are wonderful, but probably not sufficient for LC->Piker's.  I was able to get within 200-300 ft of Piker's with ski crampons (thanks Andrew) and Montana nylon skins on 75mm skis, but decided a precarious transition to booting was preferable than finishing up the steep and increasingly icy pitch.  Boot crampons would have been really nice here; the top of the steeps was firm enough that the previous million booters hadn't established a friendly staircase. 


after a couple of years of knee/hip injury, I finally got to try out my tech crampons early this morning booting up Pan face to near McClure Rock above Paradise.  These are really nice if you are not planning on doing some really serious stuff, but might encounter something less than comfortable with ski crampons; mine fit right inside my nested ski crampons and they don't weight nearly as much or take up nearly as much space as boot crampons and they go on really fast; they help in kicking steps and provide a fair amount of grip.  Tech Toe crampons (http://www.proskiservice.com/tech-crampon.html)


Title: Re: May 29-30, 2016, Mt. Adams SW Chutes
Post by: toddball on 05/31/16, 08:45 PM
Quote from: Andrew Carey on 05/31/16, 07:31 PM
Tech Toe crampons (http://www.proskiservice.com/tech-crampon.html)


I read a review of these on Earn Your Turns last week, and all I could think of during the whole hairy bootpack was, "damn, I wish I had some of those neat tech toe crampons".

Earn Your Turns review (http://www.proskiservice.com/tech-crampon.html)


Title: Re: May 29-30, 2016, Mt. Adams SW Chutes
Post by: GoodVibesOnly on 06/01/16, 05:14 PM
I haven't been up there in almost two weeks. Is the majority of climbing traffic still on the winter route or as it moved to the summer route? Also is the Cold Springs campground fully melted out?


Title: Re: May 29-30, 2016, Mt. Adams SW Chutes
Post by: toddball on 06/01/16, 10:36 PM
I think almost everyone was on the winter route.  There were some reasonably large cornices looming over bits of the summer route.

There were patches of snow in the Cold Springs campground, but I don't think any were in actual campsites or parking spaces.  So, I would consider it fully melted out.  I didn't inspect the campground too carefully, though.


Title: Re: May 29-30, 2016, Mt. Adams SW Chutes
Post by: kamtron on 06/02/16, 06:44 AM
Good snow even as late as 2:30 pm up there on Tuesday. I was able to skin to the top of Pikers, my group's high point. Summit slope looked smooth, and others reported it skied well. We skied the near entrance of the Avalanche headwall. The lower exit from the chutes (traversing a bit above 7000') was still pretty good, but not many people took it.


Title: Re: May 29-30, 2016, Mt. Adams SW Chutes
Post by: water on 06/03/16, 01:30 PM
kamtron, where were people going if not doing the lower exit at 7000? Were folks stopping shy of that or you mean going on down further?? little confused there.


Title: Re: May 29-30, 2016, Mt. Adams SW Chutes
Post by: kamtron on 06/03/16, 01:41 PM
Some people were doing a very steep high traverse to get over the dividing ridge. I did not investigate very thoroughly


Title: Re: May 29-30, 2016, Mt. Adams SW Chutes
Post by: toddball on 06/03/16, 02:45 PM
We saw some people do the first 1/2 mile or so of traverse at the base of the chutes, then boot straight up over the ridge.  Not sure what that gets you; presumably you could get onto the summer route above the big cornice.  We just followed the traverse all the way, which rejoins the ascent route at treeline.


Title: Re: May 29-30, 2016, Mt. Adams SW Chutes
Post by: water on 06/03/16, 04:25 PM
that's what I've always done. boot or reskin in a traversing arc shape up around semi-bowl and over to the copses of trees somewhat above/west the summer route, normally can find a spot to drop into the bowl below the crescent glacier without going off cornice..

I've heard the high route, going back to LC or climbing again for another run at de(s)chutes

thanks
cheers


Title: Re: May 29-30, 2016, Mt. Adams SW Chutes
Post by: DG on 06/03/16, 08:46 PM
We skied the SW chutes today and the normal traverse out of the obvious gap at the bottom of the runout was pretty straightforward with a hard turn left and holding as much elevation as possible.  It was almost-all snow covered over to the south climb route, given an uphillish traverse around the first big drainage.  Cloud cover kept the heat in check until mid-day and the chutes skied great at 2:15, a bit baked at the bottom, but super fun!


Title: Re: May 29-30, 2016, Mt. Adams SW Chutes
Post by: Jonathan_S. on 06/05/16, 05:34 AM
My favorite return route is to affix skins at ~7,800' to ascend a steep snowfield to the skinner's right of the SW Chutes runout.
After ~1,000' vertical of skinning, a portage of ~300' vertical returns you to Lunch Counter.
Branch right if you want to finish up the day from there to ski down, or branch left if you want to keep skinning some more (for even more more more skiing!).


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