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Author Topic: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR  (Read 17142 times)
David_Coleman
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July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« on: 07/06/04, 05:02 AM »

Knowing that the weather window wouldn't hold long, I had been hounding Ben Kaufman to ski and asked Paul Belitz if he'd be interested in revisiting this route after the ordeal his party had on their trip there 2 weeks prior.  Paul was for sure in, while the one remark that sticks in my mind that Ben made was "is it a worthy ski?".  auuhhhh.  He then said, if we see him, it would be later in the evening on the 4th - no Ben.

As we entered the parking lot, 2 skiers were preparing for the haul up.  We had the great pleasure of being joined by Bob Plumb, a Washingtonian who has lived in Juneau, AK now for many years.  As an avid climber/skier, he had been eyeing the NFNWR for some time with a picture on his refrigerator as a constant reminder to go ski the face.  As he indicated, part of his inspiration came from the pioneering skiers of this route, the Cascade Classics gang.  He has visited their website frequently over the years from his home in Juneau.

Anyway, next day the 3 of us headed up the N. Ridge.  After several breaks and the sharing of climbing stories, we approached the summit plateau close to 1:30.  After a ski traverse, we topped out on the Pinnacle close to 2pm with a fairly strong breeze.  By 2:20 we started down under some direction from Paul, who was just up there 2 weeks prior.  Snow conditions off the top consisted of a mild sastrugi that was soft enough to carve some turns.  After the 2nd roll off the top it got interesting.  We found ourselves on the steepest section of the upper part of the route with a nasty, frozen sastrugi-type snow condition.  After a very careful traverse to the west, we found snow where we were able to link a few more turns.  We decided to break at the west edge rock band to let things soften up a bit.  By now we were close to half way down and on the steepest part of the face.  The corn in places was amazing, making for hero snow conditions on the steep face.  The night before we had eyed a single protruding rock as our bearing for where to cut through the gap to ski the last section of the face before the traverse (exit) over to the Adams Glacier.  By now we were on the steepest, most exposed section of the route.

Eyeing the exit onto the Adams from the N. Face looked like it went just fine.  Bob lead the exit while Paul and I followed quickly due to the overhanging serac above it.

The final section down the Adams was by far the most impressive, being surrounding by huge seracs.  At the base of the Adams the 3 of us had to stop and absorb what we had just skied.  For the select few that have skied this route, given the combination of steeps and exposure, you know how spectacular it is.

This was by far the most intense ski descent ever for me personally.  Yeah Ben, it was worth it...wish you were there!  Paul...I know you're still stoked....And once again Bob, it was great to meet you, share stories and it was a pleasure to ski this spectacular line with you.  Wink  
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Paul Belitz
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Re: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« Reply #1 on: 07/06/04, 05:09 AM »

I'll get the zip file to the pics up tonight, guys, I ran out of server space and jeopardized my email-recieving capabilities. Oops.

The 'snow' on the first roll at the top was actually a nice cross between sastrugi, neve penitentes, and rime ice. Possibly the worst surface I have ever attempted to ski. Traversing it was the nastiest part of the route. But the rest was really nice corn, becoming a tad bit slushy at the bottom. But it wasn't horrendously sticky, we figure-11'ed back to the lake sans difficulty.

Meanwhile, here's a pic of Dave coming down the Adams Glacier exit:



I wasn't comfortable enough on 45 degree corn to document the steep sections with photos. Oh, well, I'll be back next year.

Great meeting you guys, John and Bob!  Grin
« Last Edit: 07/06/04, 05:34 AM by pbelitz » Logged
Jason_H.
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Re: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« Reply #2 on: 07/06/04, 05:26 AM »

Man, awesome. I wish I could've been there. You should've sent me an e-mail fools Smiley

I was up on Baker on the 4th and it was amazing! I've rarely had that good've a time. We skied Sherman Peak (a sattelite of baker), 10,140ft. We decided to climb the talum glacier and descend the east face. It was a great descent with a nice schrund to jump at the bottom.

Hey, Bob, I'm glad you could enjoy some washington goods. If you are down in the states again in the future, let us know or if I'm in alaska I know who to call Smiley .
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Paul Belitz
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Re: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« Reply #3 on: 07/06/04, 05:30 AM »

Write some TRs, foo!  Wink

Sending you an email crossed my mind, but I figured that you had to study. Next year.  Cool
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Jason_H.
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Re: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« Reply #4 on: 07/06/04, 05:33 AM »

Yea, I did (have to study), but it is sooo hard when it's nice. I have some TR's ready to go. They'll be up by weeks end  Grin.
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philfort
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Re: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« Reply #5 on: 07/06/04, 05:35 AM »

Jason, we saw your tracks on Sherman Pk yesterday (we were on the Boulder).  Nice line coming down the ridge/face of Sherman - that looked like a huge 'shrund jump!
Did you guys rap off a cliff down lower where the snow ran out?  We saw tracks going right up to the edge of a 100ft cliff, then continuing in the snow at the bottom.
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Sam Avaiusini
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Re: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« Reply #6 on: 07/06/04, 05:48 AM »

I knew those were Hummel tracks!!!! Grin
Park HW was in excellent shape yesterday.  We had a bit of a 'schrund hop' at bottom too...man I'm tired now!  Over 8,100vft in a single push like that has to be one of my bigger days in the mountains.

Nice job Dave and Paul.  Sounds like you survived 'less-than ideal' conditions on the face...and no one rag dolled! Grin
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Sam Avaiusini
Jason_H.
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Re: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« Reply #7 on: 07/06/04, 06:13 AM »

Yep that was us and yea that was a fun line (know of anyone who has done it?). As for the schrund, it was nearly too big! Josh barely cleared it and Cyril had a nice straight run that gave him an inch or two. As for the cliff, Cyril and I were forced to rap off a small tree while Josh was able to find a way around the lower buttress via some ledges further down the ridge. Neither option was great but the rap was fun. My rope ended up getting cut somehow. Now it's gonna be shorter Smiley  Huh.  
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David_Coleman
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Re: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« Reply #8 on: 07/06/04, 08:33 AM »

Aggghhh, that dude needs to work on his form...I know I looked better higher up on the face  Cool

Thanks Sam...sounds like you guys had some fun on Baker.  That's a committing ski after 8k+ of vertical in a day.  Who did you ski it with?  I know Ben's been eyeing a return to the headwall since his stint there May '03 with Sky.
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David_Coleman
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Re: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« Reply #9 on: 07/06/04, 08:41 AM »

BTW, Jason...too bad Paul didn't tell you, you should have come along.  We needed some style points for the camera  Wink
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Sam Avaiusini
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Re: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« Reply #10 on: 07/06/04, 09:00 AM »

Quote

Thanks Sam...sounds like you guys had some fun on Baker.  That's a committing ski after 8k+ of vertical in a day.  Who did you ski it with?  I know Ben's been eyeing a return to the headwall since his stint there May '03 with Sky.


We were a group of 7.  Dale Ramquist, Bill Frans and I skied the HW, while the others descended the Boulder.  I think I would rather go back in May as well...the snout of the glacier was pretty melted out yesterday and so we had to scramble up this stupid cliffy section to get to the ridge.  There is even a hand line in place there.
« Last Edit: 07/06/04, 09:03 AM by savaiusini » Logged

Sam Avaiusini
Paul Belitz
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Re: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« Reply #11 on: 07/06/04, 09:07 AM »

Yep, I've read about that fixed line. Do the B-P Cleaver instead, and avoid the cliffs altogether.

Still gotta do the Headwall...... Angry
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curmudgeon
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Re: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« Reply #12 on: 07/06/04, 09:52 AM »

I figured those were probably Hummel tracks I saw on Sherman from the Baker summit.  Congrats.  I have not heard of that line being done before, or any line on Sherman for that matter. Master Skoog will have to pronounce on that one.

And, yes, to all of you on Baker on the 4-5th -- wasn't that some "candy" corn?!
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Sam Avaiusini
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Re: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« Reply #13 on: 07/06/04, 10:18 AM »

Quote
Yep, I've read about that fixed line. Do the B-P Cleaver instead, and avoid the cliffs altogether.


Actually, the handline I'm talking about is way below the B/P cleaver.  Yesterday it was definitlely the way to go as there was no longer continuous snow to gain the ridge further up the snout. Taking the hand line, we were on continuous skinnable snow much sooner (right at the top of the fixed line) than if we would have walked up the snout.
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Sam Avaiusini
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Re: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« Reply #14 on: 07/06/04, 10:42 AM »

My red Beckey recommends ski descents of Sherman Peak, which seems suggestive that the summit has seen the edges of some skis.  

I'd also be willing to bet that nobody has jumped that bergschrund quite like a Hummel, or better yet, a Benda!

Regarding Paul's comments, what fixed line is there on Mt Baker at any elevation coinciding with the cleaver?  I'd be interested to hear about such a fixed line.  I thought I had heard of one to get out of the cliffy terrain above Boulder Creek, that people frequently used on the approach to climb the cleaver.
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Sam Avaiusini
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Re: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« Reply #15 on: 07/06/04, 10:58 AM »

the fixed line I am talking about is just below and left of where Paul took this photo:


I wish there was this much snow yesterday.  This is pretty much where we began skinning.
« Last Edit: 07/06/04, 11:01 AM by savaiusini » Logged

Sam Avaiusini
Jason_H.
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Re: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« Reply #16 on: 07/06/04, 11:05 AM »

There are several easier ways down Sherman, the talum for instance offers a great ski!!! and one I'm sure others have done before and you can access the west side from the easton. I'd be surprised if that east face has seen other tracks though but who knows. Other than the schrund jump it probably wasn't much over 40-45. You need to go get it Sky!  Cool You should try the talum Tim. It looks like a great ski! There are some BIG cracks right now though. We had to climb the cleaver to avoid them...
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Paul Belitz
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Re: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« Reply #17 on: 07/06/04, 01:54 PM »

I wrote a TR
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kam
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Re: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« Reply #18 on: 07/06/04, 03:59 PM »

Paul,

i like the photo of Dave skiing back to camp!  Grin

-kam
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What do you mean you didn't bring skis?
David_Coleman
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Re: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« Reply #19 on: 07/07/04, 04:50 AM »

Hey Kam - I should have called you...I know you would have torn this route up!  Wink
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Plumbbob
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Re: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« Reply #20 on: 07/07/04, 09:29 AM »

Thanks for posting the trip report Paul.  John and I enjoyed meeting you and Dave last weekend and I had a great day with you on the NFNWR!  It 'made' my trip south this year.  John and I had two days on the Snow Dome on Mt. Hood the 27th and 28th.  Then hiked up the south side of Mt. Adams and skied from the top and down the SW Chutes on the 30th.  Did a trip up to Wenatchee to visit family for three days and then met you and Dave in the parking lot at Killen Creek on the N. side of Adams.  After we went our seprate ways Monday evening John and I went to Timberline and rode the lift Tuesday morning for some turns and then flew north out of Portland that evening making it home late last night.  The days of sking are flashing into my head and I'm thinking about what to do next year.  This was the third year of coming down to ski on the Volcanos.  Each trip I have learned about more places I want to go and I hope to meet more TAY folks in the future.  If you make it to Juneau give me a heads up and we may be able to get some turns in.  
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Paul Belitz
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Re: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« Reply #21 on: 07/07/04, 09:48 AM »

Check your private messages!  Grin
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toby_tortorelli
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Re: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« Reply #22 on: 07/07/04, 03:53 PM »

Regarding the hand line, we skied the Boulder on June 27th and it was the best way to access the ridge. But I'm gathering from posts (as this was my first time on route) that one can by-pass the rope and climb snow up to the ridge near the toe of the glacier earlier in the season??? That sure would be nice, as we had overnight packs with skis on our backs, and duckbills on our feet.
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toby_tortorelli
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Re: July 4-5, 2004, Mt. Adams, NFNWR
« Reply #23 on: 07/08/04, 12:55 PM »

Mmmm, from the pic, it looks like snow covers the cliffs well. A picture is worth a thousand words...or more.
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