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Author Topic: June 4, 2004, Mt. Adams northside antics  (Read 11361 times)
Sam Avaiusini
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June 4, 2004, Mt. Adams northside antics
« on: 06/05/04, 07:47 AM »

Mt. Adams:  North Ridge climb and ski descent of the Lyman Glacier (south portion)*first descent

Who:  Corey Bloom, Cyril Benda, Amar Andalkar, Sky Sjue, Jason Hummel, Sam Avaiusini

After Bill Frans and I finally skied the North Face of the NW Ridge (NFNWR) last year, I knew there would always be a reason to come back to the north side of Adams...

When the weather forecast screws you 3 out of the last 4 weekends, it can make you a bit edgy.  Steps must me taken to ensure a high quality trip even if it means skipping work.  The usual mid-week email and phone exchanges hinted at such debauchery and the scene was set.  I set off from Seattle just after midnight to pick up Jason at his house in Tacoma at 1pm.  The full moon guided us to the road to Killen Creek where we found Amar's Pathfinder parked roughly a mile short of the trailhead at the creek proper.  A few patches of snow weren't going to stop us from getting to the trailhead.  I motored full speed through the first 3 drifts, but the 4th and final one needed "a little off the top" in order to open the road for the season.  Leaving the trailhead (4,600ft.) by 5am, the ambient light negated the need for headlamps.  

Jason and I felt the need to hurry to the lake at the base of the north ridge (7,505ft.) as we didn't want to be chasing the rest of the gang up the mountain all day.  Jason and I made short work of the approach and at 7:30, we were relieved to find the crew still at the lake making breakfast.  Our crew was now six.  The previous afternoon, Sky and Cyril climbed to about 11,000ft. on the North Ridge and skied a route between the "WFNR" and Stormy Monday Couloir.  Corey and Amar skied a tasty line from about 10,000ft. down the east side of the ridge ("EFNR"?) onto the Lava Glacier.  At last, we set off to climb the chossy but direct North Ridge.  Our final decision for a ski line didn't come until we reached the summit plateau.  We had numerous choices, but one floated to the top:  the south portion of the Lyman glacier.  Sky, Corey and Jason along with Ben Manfredi had skied the north portion of the Lyman in late June of 2003, so it seemed only logical to move things over one notch and ski the south portion.  

The rest of us sensed a little intimidation in Amar.  He was a little concerned, having never seen the route, much less a photo of it.  We assured him he was in good company and if worse came to worse we could always climb out and ski a different route.  He was contemplating skiing the Adams Glacier solo.  And if he was insistent on doing that, I would have offered to partner with him as I didn't think it was a good idea to let him go it alone...Strength in numbers, right?  

Skiing down to the entrance of the route, the snow was very water-ice feathered, this made me wonder what the rest of the route was going to be like.  Actually, as the slope fell away, the fruits of the last few storms became evident:  not powder, not really corn, just nicely consolidated new snow, no ice.  The route was very clean and continuous, never really over 40°.  There were several nice and long pitches of fantastic fall-line, interspersed with a few weaves around seracs.  Next to one such serac, Jason and Amar were standing, looking down the slope directly below.  I was getting ready to put away my camera when suddenly the serac broke and began tumbling down slope towards where Sky had just skied.  I couldn't see Sky and thought he was in the debris path.  Sky had barely enough time to react and get out of the way.  I was in such awe, I didn't snap the photo in time.

In the end, Amar loved every serac-riddled inch of the Lyman route...and so did the rest of us.  In fact, we were actually expecting it to be quite a bit more gnarly than it was.  I think the substantial amount of snowfall above 7,000ft. over the past few weeks had something to do with that!  We contoured across the N. Lyman and Lava Glaciers, then over the north ridge back to the lake.  Quickly, we were cruising the meadows, heading for the woods...thinking we were home-free.  Due to the firm snow on the approach, we had no tracks to follow out.  Instincts got us out to the road within a quarter mile of the cars, but not without the requisite Cascade 'schwackage.  Jason and I did the trip in about 14.5 hours car-to-car...on no sleep.  On the drive back to Tacoma, I appreciated Jason's conversation to keep me awake.  For the final push back to my house, its a wonder I made it...I was beat.

Complete TR with photos: http://www.alpineslider.com/AdamsLymanSouth.htm
« Last Edit: 06/07/04, 04:08 AM by savaiusini » Logged

Sam Avaiusini
philfort
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Re: June 4, 2004, Mt. Adams northside antics
« Reply #1 on: 06/05/04, 08:49 AM »

Nice job! - looks like fun  Cheesy

Wondered what conditions were going to be like on Adams what with the reports of water ice, and all the new snow - looks like it worked out though...
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Amar Andalkar
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Re: June 4, 2004, Mt. Adams northside antics
« Reply #2 on: 06/05/04, 10:35 AM »

I have to admit that I was the only one of the 6 of us that didn't want to ski such a heavily crevassed glacier sight-unseen, but I don't mind being the voice of caution in such a gung ho group. In the end, the others turned out to be right and the route not only went, but it was fantastic. In fact, the south Lyman Glacier turned out to be an easier ski descent than the Adams Glacier would have been (there's already one sketchy looking bergschrund crossing up high on the Adams).

Anyway, some additional info which might be useful for others:

Snow Coverage: There's lots of patchy snow on the first part of the Killen Creek Trail, but continuous skiable snow doesn't begin until 5200 ft, about 1.2 miles from the TH. On the North Ridge, we skinned up to about 8300 ft, and continuous snow went higher to maybe 8500 ft. The ridge is mostly bare from there until 9700 ft, but then mostly snow-covered above. The previous day, Cyril was able to skin the flatter upper portion of the ridge above about 10400 ft. The North Ridge appears to be continuously skiable right now from the summit down to 9700 ft, and perhaps continuously skiable below that by angling down a gully on its NW side.

Gear Notes: We wore helmets and harnesses for the descent, and two ropes were carried in the party, but not needed or used. We brought crampons, but the snow on the upper North Ridge was soft enough that they were not needed either.

Road Notes: As Sam says, Road 2329 is now open to Killen Creek TH, but only via the back way (FR 23 to 21 to 56 to 5603 to 2329). The standard way (FR 23 to 2329) is still blocked by snow before Takhlakh Lake. More importantly, FR 23 is now completely open from Randle to Trout Lake, as of 1AM on June 3. We spent nearly 2 hrs that night digging out the road and Cyril's car, he had come from Trout Lake heading north on 23 and gotten blocked by a 1-2 ft thick snowdrift about 1/4 mile before the junction with 2329. All the shoveling plus a single pass with my Pathfinder opened up the road for the season. After that, we tried to go up 2329 directly, but it was still blocked by snow. Given our efforts digging out the other road, we didn't want to get stuck again, so we made the lengthy drive around to the other end of 2329 and parked at Killen Creek CG about 1/2 mile before the TH.
« Last Edit: 06/05/04, 11:19 AM by andalkar » Logged

ron j
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Re: June 4, 2004, Mt. Adams northside antics
« Reply #3 on: 06/05/04, 10:45 AM »

Great trip and a great report, guys.
Keep up the awsome work.
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"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future.” - Niels Bohr
"If a given person makes it a priority not to die in an avalanche, he or she stands a very good chance of living a long, happy life in the mountains." - Jill Fredston
Amar Andalkar
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Re: June 4, 2004, Mt. Adams northside antics
« Reply #4 on: 06/05/04, 10:55 AM »

I guess I'll go ahead and add the single allowed image to this thread, it was really hard to pick from nearly 100 photos I shot during the descent. The upper half shows Jason getting airborne below a truly massive overhanging serac, while the lower half shows Sam arcing past a gnarly serac with two small windows in it.


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alpentalcorey
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Re: June 4, 2004, Mt. Adams northside antics
« Reply #5 on: 06/05/04, 11:08 AM »

La vida es bella y milagrosa.

Nice report & photos Sam.  They look great.  What with 4 cameras in action I doubt I've ever been on a descent with more photographic coverage.  I ate a late breakfast with Sky this morning and he was about to go drop off his slides.  I can't wait to see all the rest of the photos.  Amar, since Sam put a link to his photos, maybe you could post one in the thread?  Better yet, make me a CD.

Que nunca se olviden los dias como ayer.

Edited to add:  I guess you were one step ahead of me   Smiley
« Last Edit: 06/05/04, 11:09 AM by alpentalcorey » Logged
ash_j
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Re: June 4, 2004, Mt. Adams northside antics
« Reply #6 on: 06/05/04, 12:35 PM »

Sweet.  You guys are so Cool.  I wish we'd had ski gear for getting off of the North Ridge (of Baker I mean)...

How close can you get to the alternative northside Adams trail, I believe it is called "Divide Camp Trail?"  It should be a lot closer to vehicle access and looks like it's pretty much the twin of the Killen Creek Trail.  Might be a simpler alternative coming from Randle(?).

Puede ser que hicieron algo que tal vez, no me sacaria la madre? Wink  No lo puedo creer!  Y que lo perdi... que pena. Angry
« Last Edit: 06/05/04, 12:36 PM by username » Logged
David_Coleman
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Re: June 4, 2004, Mt. Adams northside antics
« Reply #7 on: 06/05/04, 02:36 PM »

nice...too bad I had a meeting on Thursday!  Ben, Paul and Jeff...where were you guys??
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Paul Belitz
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Re: June 4, 2004, Mt. Adams northside antics
« Reply #8 on: 06/05/04, 02:46 PM »

Right here, studying for finals!  Angry
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Sam Avaiusini
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Re: June 4, 2004, Mt. Adams northside antics
« Reply #9 on: 06/06/04, 05:45 AM »

I added a terraserver satellite image of our approximate route to the TR on my site if anyone is interested.
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Sam Avaiusini
Jeff Huber
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Re: June 4, 2004, Mt. Adams northside antics
« Reply #10 on: 06/06/04, 09:35 AM »

Amazing and very motivitational, thanks!


And, if anyone has other overview shots of the Lyman glacier I'd love to see them!
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