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NWAC Avalanche
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
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| |-+  May 2012 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  May 26-27, Mt. Adams SW Chutes
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Author Topic: May 26-27, Mt. Adams SW Chutes  (Read 3443 times)

Posts: 52

May 26-27, Mt. Adams SW Chutes
« on: 05/30/12, 08:44 PM »

I've been slow to put together a trip report for Mt Adams, but as I checked TAY I didnt notice any other threads on it this week so I thought I'd post.

Probably what most people are wondering about are road conditions... Road is clear till about 5 miles to TH, with a 4wd or high clearance you can probably get another mile in.  From there it is about .5 miles to continuous snow.

We started hiking at 4pm on Saturday and hiked till about 7:30-8pm and set up camp around 6,000ft.  We elected for the low camp site for a combination of wanting to get the tent up before the coming rain and not wanting to hike up again after skiing the SW chutes.

Day 2 we started around 7am or so, we were able to skin about 2/3rds the way up the South Spur.  We transitioned to crampons the last third of the way to the false summit, too much ice and Zastrugi up there to skin. 

We made the false summit around 2pm, but elected to drop immediately into the SW chutes rather than push on to summit.  The texture of the snow all the way up looked consistent with what we where cramponning through, and I had no desire to ski that.  If you are good skiing rock hard zastrugi the summit is in.  Being my 3rd trip to Adams in as many years, I was less interested in summit, and more interested in the chutes, so we elected to forego the summit and head directly to the chutes.

1st 50 feet was horrible zastrugi, so we just side slid that, to the far skiers left there was a soft  funnel of snow, so we were able to ski that down about 100 vertical feet.  The snow then became breakable crust for about 500 vertical feet.  Difficult turns through that, but then it softened up.  The bottom 2/3rds were a heavy corn snow.  I couldnt quite pop my turns, but then again I am not a great skier, but it was still a lot of fun all the way down the bottom of the chutes. 

The traverse was fair, sticky snow prevented it being an easy traverse back to the south spur route. 

Once back on route, we picked up our gear from camp and skied out and drove back to Seattle.  All in it was 18miles round trip from car to false summit and back. 

I think this route will only get better over the next month as the snow melts out and the upper mountain softens up.  Will probably go back again for the 4th of July run which have been pretty stellar the last couple years.

I put together a little vid of the trip where you can see the ski conditions,


« Last Edit: 05/30/12, 08:49 PM by Pierce » Logged
ron j

Posts: 2602

Re: May 26-27, Mt. Adams SW Chutes
« Reply #1 on: 05/30/12, 09:50 PM »

Nice report, Pierce, and a nice way to manage the trip on that route.
The dog appears to be a great ski dog... seemed to be mightful of staying clear of moving skis.

"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

Posts: 52

Re: May 26-27, Mt. Adams SW Chutes
« Reply #2 on: 05/30/12, 10:19 PM »

The dog appears to be a great ski dog... seemed to be mightful of staying clear of moving skis.

Ski dogs dont get much better than her Smiley  Stays away from moving skis, has the heart to keep pluggin when she is tired.  Stays close by.  Tries to crawl into your sleeping bag at night, but you cant blame her there.  I was kind of worried the last little bit before the false summit.  Thought she'd slip and slide all the way down.  But I guess doggie 4WD are the same as crampons.

Best thing about taking your pooch on a trip like this is she sleeps by your feet for the next 4 days = low maintenance for the next week Smiley
Splitboard Graham

Posts: 150

Re: May 26-27, Mt. Adams SW Chutes
« Reply #3 on: 05/31/12, 10:11 PM »

Thanks! Been wondering about that road.
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