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| | |-+  August 5, 2010. Mt. Adams Washington
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Author Topic: August 5, 2010. Mt. Adams Washington  (Read 24110 times)

Posts: 91

August 5, 2010. Mt. Adams Washington
« on: 01/01/11, 03:34 PM »

A bit late, but here is the trip report:

Had to get some summer shred on and wanted some back country. Since Mt. Adams in Washington kicked my ass from altitude sickness last time, I decided that was my target. Drove up to Cold Springs where the South Climb Route Trail number 183 begins. There is a very pleasant primitive campground there and I set up up camp for the afternoon. The weather was almost ideal with the exception of afternoon cloud buildups which obscured the top of the mountain and smoke from regional forest fires limiting visibility.

Enjoyed a very pleasant evening around the fire and turned in early as to get a dawn start. Was on the trail by 6:30 AM. I hiked about two miles when I began to run into the first patches of snow and at the 3 mile mark, I was at the terminus of Crescent Glacier. From this point, the trail becomes a "route" and the pitch really increases. Found a glacial fed stream to replenish my water supply and headed up to Lunch Counter; a relatively flat shelf at the 9,500 foot level.

I made Lunch Counter around noon and appropriately enough, ate lunch there before starting up the 50 degree south face up to Pikers Peak. At about 10,000 I began to really feel the altitude and my pace slowed considerably. I made Pikers Peak around 2:30 PM in total white out as the afternoon cloud buildup has once again obscured the summit. At this point, I dropped the pack and snowboard and walked the final 1/2 mile and 600 feet to the summit. The visibility and lack of consistent cover caused me to decide to just walk this stretch. As it was, I had to navigate most of the way by GPS. Sadly, it never cleared enough to get any kind of view from the top and light snow flurries were developing.

At 3:30 PM, I was back at Pikers and strapped in ready for the 5,000 vertical foot and nearly 4 mile ride down to the bottom of Crescent Glacier. The first 500 feet was horrendous with suncups large enough to hive a Volkswagen and glisade paths that were 3 and 4 feet deep from the climbers. This was nothing more than a faster mode of transport than walking. Below this, the snow got really decent with smaller suncups and ruts and great summer corn. I had a fine ride to the top of the Crescent Glacier where I got my last super steep ride down a 55 degree pitch. From here it was s navigational exercise to follow the snow path through the rocks as far as I could go.

Back at the creek, I refilled my water bottle and began a pleasant 2 mile hike back to camp where I again spent a pleasant evening by the fire. Got up this morning and just hung out until noon before packing up and driving home. Got a bit of a nasty sunburn even with sunblock and am a little sore, but not bad. All in all, the round trip was about 12 miles with a 7,000 foot elevation gain going up and 7,000 feet back down. I managed to ride about 5,000 vertical feet and nearly 4 miles! Not the best snow a person can ride, but hey for August it was pretty good!


Base Camp at Cold Springs:

First view of the mountain from the trail:

The first snow fields around the 7,000 foot level:

At the stream looking up at Crescent Glacier and Lunch Counter:

Climbing up Crescent Glacier to Lunch Counter at 9,500 feet:

Mt St. Helens to the west through the smoke:

Looking toward Mt. Hood hidden in smoke:

One of many climbers bivouacs for camping on Lunch Counter:

On Lunch Counter looking up toward the summit:

Top of Lunch Counter looking up the South Climbing Route:

Now for the hard part of the climb:

My destination Pikers Peak:

Looking back down on Lunch Counter from the 10,500 foot level.

The clouds were really building up fast:

Looking down over the west side through the clouds and light snow:

Weather really starting to close in:

Summit of Mt. Adams in foul weather:

End of the ride:

Back down at the creek below Crescent Glacier:

Late afternoon sun and clouds:

Sitting by the fire with a cold PBR after the hike:

Here is the video of the ride down the south face to Lunch Counter:


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