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| | |-+  July 15, 2016, Mt. Adams, Southwest Chutes
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Author Topic: July 15, 2016, Mt. Adams, Southwest Chutes  (Read 2631 times)
GoodVibesOnly
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July 15, 2016, Mt. Adams, Southwest Chutes
« on: 07/18/16, 08:34 PM »

     We camped at Morrison Creek Thursday night to avoid the Cold Springs mayhem and drove up the final couple miles in the morning. I'm surprised more people don't do this on busy nights as the camping is soooo much nicer below. Not to mention much less car traffic rolling through at night. We hit the trail just before 5am and began the slog... It took quite a while to encounter our first snow, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it had set up well over night and we would be in no hurry to chase the corn. There appeared to be tracks ascending and descending all over between the standard winter and summer routes. Although there seemed to be a couple of ribbons of skinable snow beginning around the 7,000' level we elected to follow the standard summer route and kept our shoes on till we reached the flats above Crescent Glacier where we transitioned to skins (around 8400'). Easy skinning up to the ever growing rock islands at Lunch counter led to a nice break before the never-ending ascent to the false summit.

    I usually skin as much of Pikers Peak as possible, but we opted to throw the skis on the packs and boot pack the entire way to the false summit. The snow was just beginning to soften as we started up the face but remained in great shape for boot packing with crampons all the way to the top. It was a pretty busy day on the mountain and we got the usual show of descending Jerry's on the verge of disaster as they careened down the fairly frozen glissade chutes with little to no braking technique. The false summit was its usual windy self and with reports of a fairly frozen ascent to the true summit we opted to continue on with crampons rather than attempt to skin. In my multiple summits of Adams this is by far the least I have skinned but honestly it was a nice change to boot pack as much as we did. We reached the summit around 1:45 and took a nice long break up top to rest our legs, refuel and get some photos.

   We ended up leaving the summit around 2:45, which normally would be iffy but we had favorable winds and temps and hit the descent perfectly. The skiing was surprisingly good between the summit and top of the southwest chutes compared to average. After another short break atop the chutes we began our descent around 3:30. PSA: The skiing in the Southwest Chutes is still amazing!!! The recent storms have helped to keep them incredibly smooth and the corn was amazing top to bottom. The snow became much rougher once the chutes start to flatten out and you veer left but still provided fun skiing all the way down. With one or two short carries right at the obvious notch you always aim for there are still ribbons of snow skiable to around 6500'. A short downhike to the Round the Mountain trail gave us a mostly shaded hike back to the junction with the climbers trail and eventually the car. Another amazing day on Mt Adams! It's particularly pretty right now with lots of wildflowers and bear grass coming out between 5500' and 7000'. I'd imagine the chutes themselves should be great for another two or three weeks with the down hike getting progressively longer.

* The climbing route did not look like a fun ski as it was becoming quite suncupped and pocked with random ascent/descent tracks. You probably could still ski it without any carries to the 7500' level.
Ill add pics later!

« Last Edit: 07/21/16, 10:35 PM by GoodVibesOnly » Logged
dfhkvs
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Re: July 15, 2016, Mt. Adams, Southwest Chutes
« Reply #1 on: 07/19/16, 09:51 AM »

     We camped at Morrison Creek Thursday night to avoid the Cold Springs mayhem and drove up the final couple miles in the morning. I'm surprised more people don't do this on busy nights as the camping is soooo much nicer below. Not to mention much less car traffic rolling through at night.


I've wondered about that, too. But, I've been concerned that there would be no parking early in the morning at CS. I recall it being a very small parking area.

Thanks for the update,
D.
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telemack
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Re: July 15, 2016, Mt. Adams, Southwest Chutes
« Reply #2 on: 07/19/16, 11:28 AM »

Excellent news.  Did you ascend directly from Morrison Creek, through the campground, or drive in the morning to Cold Springs?  Cheers
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