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Author Topic: July 11, 2004, Adams SW Chutes  (Read 6324 times)
alpentalcorey
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July 11, 2004, Adams SW Chutes
« on: 07/12/04, 10:03 AM »

It seems like a lot has changed in a week looking at the photos & TRs.  We had a lot of fun and the turns were very nice on the upper section but the snow started to get worse by the bottom in my opinion.

Leaving Seattle in the late afternoon, I was actually happy to have the windshield wipers working as I hoped that some showers would smooth out the slopes.  It didn't seem like the showers made it to Adams, maybe up north to Baker?  Anyways we (myself & Scott) arrived late to the TH where we found Cyril sleeping by his car.  Didn't end up getting much sleep because the SAR crews were using loudspeakers.  They were heading up to help bring down a climber with a broken/injured ankle.

The climb & descent were pretty straightforward.  As I said earlier the snow was pretty good at the top but I was hoping for even better.  We found the round the mountain trail without incident.  I'm really glad I got out this weekend as I sorely needed the exercise after several weeks of slothitude & inactivity.

BTW - Bud & GregSimon, is it possible you guys had the date wrong on your TRs?
« Last Edit: 07/12/04, 10:07 AM by alpentalcorey » Logged
Pete A
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Re: July 11, 2004, Adams SW Chutes
« Reply #1 on: 07/12/04, 10:31 AM »

oops, thanks Corey for pointing out I had the wrong date on the TR...guess I shouldn't try writing trip reports before my morning coffee...what day is it?

sorry to hear about the loudspeakers at the parking lot...sounds like there were more than 40 SAR folks involved down there, guess its kind of a big group to organize without a little noise pollution.
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alpentalcorey
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Re: July 11, 2004, Adams SW Chutes
« Reply #2 on: 07/12/04, 11:08 AM »

It is pretty impressive how quickly the SAR team got together & mobilized.  Hats off to all the folks that volunteered their time, even if they were waking me up.  Later in the day we crossed paths with the rescuers as they were lowering the injured climber down on a sled with belays.  They seemed very well prepared and had a lot of people power.  It did get me wondering if skis could be used ski patrol style to get someone out faster in those types of situations.  Are there any SAR folks on this board that might be able to comment?

Also, I forgot to mention that I ran into sag in the parking lot at the end of the day, which was cool.  He was up there with Ron J, Mad Dog, JW and others (?) to ski the chutes on Monday.  I didn't get to meet Ron  or the others because they had already sacked out for an early start but hopefully they had a good day today.
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philfort
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Re: July 11, 2004, Adams SW Chutes
« Reply #3 on: 07/12/04, 01:23 PM »

I was with TMRU for a few years, and they were very against anyone using skis on missions - I guess due to maneuverability issues around rescue scenes.  It was snowshoes only.  For searches and hasty teams you'd think it would be a good idea though.


I found the bumpy snow in the SW chutes pretty difficult on my snowboard  Angry   shoulda brought skis...

Also saw sag and snoslut in the parking lot after (and heard a jarvis laugh coming from the trees somewhere), and ran into photomatt (or whatever name he uses on this board) on the summit.  Sure was a nice day out - not too hot, not too cold, not too windy.
« Last Edit: 07/12/04, 01:23 PM by philfort » Logged
powscraper
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Re: July 11, 2004, Adams SW Chutes
« Reply #4 on: 07/12/04, 04:55 PM »

Jeez I would feel A LOT better if I knew ski patrol was coming to save my butt rather than a bunch of slowshoers! Huh

re: Phil--I hear you on the bumpiness factor in the chutes.  I couldn't believe how tracked out they were when I was there.  My edges were getting airborne pretty consistently. Angry  Nevertheless, a good "ski."  I can only imagine how nice it would be with untracked corn snow...
« Last Edit: 07/12/04, 05:50 PM by username » Logged
philfort
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Re: July 11, 2004, Adams SW Chutes
« Reply #5 on: 07/12/04, 05:16 PM »

In the midst of getting my ass kicked by the moguls and sun cups, I was fantasizing about how awesome it would be crusing down that line in powder... snowmobile in there in mid-winter, and if the stars aligned and you got good safe conditions in the chutes - yowsa, that would be a run of a lifetime...
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snoslut
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Re: July 11, 2004, Adams SW Chutes
« Reply #6 on: 07/13/04, 12:40 AM »

Philfort like you said it was pretty bumpy.  Some sections were better than others for sure.  Every now and then I was reminded with ass checks everytime I tried to open up.  Was still enjoyable doing hop turns down though.  Even though conditions weren't what we had hoped for it was still a blast cause there was nobody else around and I got to share the chute with 4 friends.
« Last Edit: 07/13/04, 01:06 AM by boarddude » Logged

You will know when Americas in trouble when the Mexicans stop coming...Carlos Mencia
ski_photomatt
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Re: July 11, 2004, Adams SW Chutes
« Reply #7 on: 07/13/04, 05:30 AM »

Phil, it was nice running into you and Vincent.  I had the exact same thought looking up at the chutes from the bottom, "Wow, that would be some run in untracked powder."

It seemed to me as though all the tracks in the chutes Sunday afternoon helped to smooth out the snow.  This didn't help much in the bottom parts though.

Running shoes were quite nice on the climb - I wore them to the summit.  Back at the car, my partner John remarked how this was the first time all season he hadn't used his skins.  Perhaps that's the signal to hang up them up until next fall, when you only use your skis and boots for the descent.  This was probably my last run of the season.
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Paul Belitz
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Re: July 11, 2004, Adams SW Chutes
« Reply #8 on: 07/13/04, 06:15 AM »

We need to send more boarders up there. If they sideslip the chutes, they'll smooth it out.  Grin
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snoslut
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Re: July 11, 2004, Adams SW Chutes
« Reply #9 on: 07/13/04, 06:45 AM »

Whatever Grin
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You will know when Americas in trouble when the Mexicans stop coming...Carlos Mencia
philfort
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Re: July 11, 2004, Adams SW Chutes
« Reply #10 on: 07/13/04, 07:07 AM »

Quote
We need to send more boarders up there. If they sideslip the chutes, they'll smooth it out.  Grin


I certainly did my part  Cool

I feel good that I made the run a little smoother for everyone.
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snoslut
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Re: July 11, 2004, Adams SW Chutes
« Reply #11 on: 07/13/04, 07:28 AM »

A human snowscraper would have been nice on Monday. Grin
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You will know when Americas in trouble when the Mexicans stop coming...Carlos Mencia
labrador
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Re: July 11, 2004, Adams SW Chutes
« Reply #12 on: 07/15/04, 03:31 AM »

Hello - I was one of the Mtn Rescue personnel on Adams for the evacuation Sunday of a 25 yr old female with an injured lower leg, which she sustained near the false summit while glissading (with crampons on).  I'm a member of Central Washington Mountain Rescue, based in Yakima.  We were the unit in charge of the mission, and were assisted by Tacoma Mtn Rescue, Portland Mtn Rescue, Crag Rats (Hood River), and Klickitat County SAR.  All personnel are volunteers.

I wanted to clarify a couple things I see on this message board.  First, you didn't hear any loudspeakers or bullhorns - what you heard was probably radio traffic.  We had about 35 personnel broken into at least 6 different teams that needed to communicate to one another and to base.  Noise travels far in the high mountain air, I guess.  Our unit had just driven busted down to Adams from Mt Rainier, where we were training on the Nisqually Glacier on Saturday - so we went 48 hours on mountain and without sleep (so forgive my lack of sympathy for the nighttime interruption).  Second, on the issue of using skis and toboggans like ski patrol for a quicker evac:  unfortunately, it is not normally practical to do that in a mountaineering situation.  For example, what would the team do for uphill sections or when rock bands needed to be crossed?  It is simply not practical to deal with ski gear in those situations.  Also, in many mountaineering rescues, we are dealing with crevasses, vertical or high-angle ice, rock, roped team travel, and other situations where skis are impractical or dangerous.  In addition, we must haul all our gear, which typically includes at least 600' of rope on Mt Adams, several thousand feet up the mountain.  Ski toboggans are heavier and bulkier than the litter we normally use.  Add ski gear to that list and our heavy packs become ever heavier and ungainly.  A walking evac is often just as fast, or sometimes faster, than a ski evac.  In short, Mt Adams is not a ski resort with manicured slopes and marked obstacles that makes for prudent ski evac.  However, our unit does encourage the use of skis for searches and rescues whenever practical.  It's nonsense to think that a good mountain rescue unit wouldn't use any tools possible.  It is true that not all mountain rescue personnel are skiers, but many are.  I have personally used my skis and skins on missions, primarily in winter or spring when snow cover is soft and continuous.  I also know several mtn rescue folks who log some big verticals on a year-round basis. So if you see us 'slo-shoeing' instead of skiing, there's probably a very good reason for it.

On the July 11 mission, the snow below Lunch Counter at 9300' in the morning was still frozen, so a running belay with 4-5 litter attendants was used.  The team moved the subject in the litter down to the upper Crescent Glacier at 7700' in short order.  At the Crescent, slopes are too steep for a safe lower of a loaded litter without a belay, so three pitches of an anchored belay were set up in advance and ready for the litter when it arrived.  Below the Crescent, a team was ready with "the wheel" (a unicycle with a large ATV tire that attaches to the litter) and the subject was wheeled down the trail to the parking lot at Cold Springs by 3:30 pm.  Teams had first arrived at the subject at Lunch Counter at about 6:00 a.m.  So the evac was accomplished in a little less than 10 hrs.  Big credit must be given to 2 US Forest Service wilderness rangers and some recreational climbers who helped bring the subject safely to Lunch Counter on Saturday from near the false summit.  

On a side note, we had a nearly identical rescue mission on July 11, 2003 - that time a woman with a broken ankle that we evacuated from Lunch Counter.  Any volunteers for July 11, 2005?
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alpentalcorey
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Re: July 11, 2004, Adams SW Chutes
« Reply #13 on: 07/15/04, 09:50 AM »

Thanks for posting the info labrador.  Noone thinks it will happen to them, but it cool that there are so many people willing to help an injured climber when they really need it.  You can wake me up anytime you need to.  I should probably wear ear plugs at busy trailheads anyways as I can be a light sleeper.

Hearing about similar incidents (and I'm sure there have probably been plenty) I wonder if something could be added to the signage at the TH warning folks to take their crampons off before glissading.  The South side of Adams is so many people's first big mountain climb (it was my first trip after I first got randonee gear) and lots of folks probably haven't yet read or been told to take them off.  

Anyways, thanks to you and all the other volunteers out there.  It's probably high time that I tithed at least a small donation to a mountain rescue unit.
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powscraper
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Re: July 11, 2004, Adams SW Chutes
« Reply #14 on: 07/15/04, 11:58 AM »

Yeah good job on the rescue.  10 hours seems really fast!

My comment on the use of skis is based on this: in situation where one would find it necessary to use snowshoes (i.e. deep/soft snow) I believe that skis will always be faster and peform at least as well in precarious situations, both on the ascent and descent (assuming competent ability, which it sounds like many rescue volunteers have).  But then again it's not like just anyone can just throw on a pair of skis, like they can with snowshoes.  Of course we're biased here because almost everyone on TAY is an experienced BC skier, and very proficient on skis.

That aside, I do believe that with the June/July snow cover, a team of rescuers on skis could lower someone from the false summit of Adams faster than a team on foot.  But from the injuries described it doesn't sound like absolute speed was a priority.  I'm sure if it were a life-threatening injury then a heli rescue would be considered.

So don't take our comments too seriously, a lot of hot air gets blown around on web forums, and of course we're not the one's doing the rescues...
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ron j
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Re: July 11, 2004, Adams SW Chutes
« Reply #15 on: 07/16/04, 02:06 AM »

I, too find it refreshing to hear from our SAR bretheren.
Nice report, Corey, I would have willingly hopped out of the sack to meet you had I known you were lurking about  Smiley
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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
Jim Oker
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Re: July 11, 2004, Adams SW Chutes
« Reply #16 on: 07/16/04, 07:11 AM »

Yay on the rescuers (and thanks for being there labrador), and even w/o a SAR scenario that camp is pretty noisy at night, but there are plenty of other spots to camp short of the road end for those of us who will trade a short drive in the early AM for a little quiet...
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