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Author Topic: June 1-2, 2019, Mt Adams, North side  (Read 1687 times)
timmyfitz
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June 1-2, 2019, Mt Adams, North side
« on: 06/04/19, 03:54 PM »

Was finally able to tackle the north side of Mt Adams this past weekend, was joined by my two sons and one of their friends (Russell, Brian & Griffin).  Left the Quah at 7:20am Saturday, hit the Cowlitz Ranger station in Randle and drove to Killen Creek TH, departing the car at about 1pm.  Hiked for an hour or so before putting skins on, followed the route the 5 climbers had set in front of us to high camp where we found an awesome flat spot in the sand/dirt.  Enjoyed a mellow evening before heading up the next morning at 6:20am, tackling the north ridge, following tracks put down that morning by 2 climbers who had followed goat tracks most of the way up the ridge...awesome.  It is an awesome route all the way around, mixed mountaineering style with snow and rock sections in the middle and skinable snow fields on the top 3rd.  Griffin turned back with some descending climbers due to feeling sick about 2/3 of the way up (bummer).  At the top we skirted the true summit and cut over to the Pinnacle, starting our descent at about 2:30pm.  The top is mellow, but rolls over so you cannot see what is coming, the snow was not quite corn, but easy skiing nonetheless.  The rest of the run is very intense, harrowing at times really even though it was good corn.  It is a huge face, and it is tough to determine your position on it. About 1/3 of the way down, there is a rock island and after that the slope gets quite a bit steeper and the slope below you drops down to either cliffs or various rock features that all looks the same.  I have skied a lot of very steep stuff and this had my heart absolutely pounding, dry mouth etc.  I had some tense moments where I had to pull out my phone and relook at the photos of the route I had taken for the 100th time, just to make sure we did not stray too far skiers left and get into a spot where a rappel would be required at the bottom, although we were prepared for that if needed.  We found the right spot through the rocks and afterwards you then need to find a reasonable way onto the Adams glacier.  The route we had scoped on the way up was not easy to find and we ended up cutting over on an earlier entrance that was spicy but the crew managed it well.  Once onto the glacier proper, big soft turns down trending a bit right to the end of it.  A small hike up a small rise, skis back on all the way to camp and a nice break from the action.    2 hours later we departed camp with heavy packs again, a short hike puts you on the top of a nub where you can then ski for the most part, with use of poles here and there type deal.  Without a GPS, we would have had zero chance of finding our way back to the car as our tracks up were melted back to smooth and everything looks the same when in the trees.  Big burgers at the Randle cafe, drove back to the Quah over Cayuse pass and was home by 10:30pm.  An adventure we will not soon forget!!


* IMG_20190602_092450.jpg (177.69 KB, 800x450 - viewed 1387 times.)

* IMG_20190602_105202.jpg (188.35 KB, 800x450 - viewed 1385 times.)

* IMG_20190602_150300.jpg (139.13 KB, 800x450 - viewed 1390 times.)
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timmyfitz
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Re: June 1-2, 2019, Mt Adams, North side
« Reply #1 on: 06/04/19, 03:57 PM »

more shots..


* IMG_20190601_194034.jpg (409.93 KB, 1000x562 - viewed 1390 times.)

* IMG_20190601_130856.jpg (175.1 KB, 800x450 - viewed 1397 times.)

* IMG_20190601_113821.jpg (216.88 KB, 746x420 - viewed 1385 times.)
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bigeo
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Re: June 1-2, 2019, Mt Adams, North side
« Reply #2 on: 06/04/19, 11:03 PM »

That is exceptionally cool!
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Zap
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Re: June 1-2, 2019, Mt Adams, North side
« Reply #3 on: 06/05/19, 08:03 AM »

Nice TR with photos. The writing portion was GREAT. We all have similar feelings at different times in the mountains but you mention the "feeling" inside.  Wink
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kamtron
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Re: June 1-2, 2019, Mt Adams, North side
« Reply #4 on: 06/05/19, 10:18 AM »

Nice work, but points deducted for having a fire in the prohibited area (and one of the most beautiful campsites around, if we can keep it...)
I'm curious how you feel, given the consequential nature of that line, about bringing your sons?
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rlsg
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Re: June 1-2, 2019, Mt Adams, North side
« Reply #5 on: 06/06/19, 09:41 AM »

Nice write up and photos...thanks..btw how were the mosquitoes?
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timmyfitz
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Re: June 1-2, 2019, Mt Adams, North side
« Reply #6 on: 06/06/19, 10:14 AM »

Nice work, but points deducted for having a fire in the prohibited area (and one of the most beautiful campsites around, if we can keep it...)
I'm curious how you feel, given the consequential nature of that line, about bringing your sons?

I brought my sons as they are very capable climbers and skiers with lots of experience across the ski-mountaineering spectrum.  If they were lacking in any aspect, particularly the skiing part, I would not have brought them along.  I would be very wary of brining folks along on this one unless you know their skills very well and feel very comfortable with their capabilities.  Regarding the fire, I thought it was above 7k limit, so screwed that up for sure.  Cheers
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timmyfitz
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Re: June 1-2, 2019, Mt Adams, North side
« Reply #7 on: 06/06/19, 10:15 AM »

Nice write up and photos...thanks..btw how were the mosquitoes?


there were absolutely NO bugs of any kind (OK, maybe one bee here or there)
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rlsg
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Re: June 1-2, 2019, Mt Adams, North side
« Reply #8 on: 06/06/19, 05:41 PM »

If you have other photos ..would love to see them too... video?
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MW88888888
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Re: June 1-2, 2019, Mt Adams, North side
« Reply #9 on: 06/06/19, 06:30 PM »

Gripping write up, I very much enjoyed reading it. 

Even deeper thoughts on family skiing.  So true - some day, and that day will be soon, I will ask myself if i should go as my daughters will follow - and do I want that?

I thought of that as I skied the north face of Shonshoni, solo, 8 miles from a car and people last weekend...I probably wouldn't ski something like that with the kiddos...

Or will I?
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kamtron
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Re: June 1-2, 2019, Mt Adams, North side
« Reply #10 on: 06/07/19, 07:13 AM »

Thanks for responses Tim and MW8, wasn’t trying to be critical about the kid thing, just curious about the thinking.
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Roger Strong
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Re: June 1-2, 2019, Mt Adams, North side
« Reply #11 on: 06/09/19, 09:23 AM »

Nice work Tim in a beautiful committing position and relatively more remote than the standard S.Ridge and the next level of adventure ski mountaineering for you and your boys. Kamtron, thanks for bringing up thoughts questioning Tim's feelings on this as it's a process for sure on varying commitment levels skiing in the backcountry with kids/teenagers. 
This topic is super interesting to me as our daughter Maya is about to turn 10, a very accomplished skier, loves touring and hiking for her turns. We want her backcountry exposure to develop as slow and thoroughly as possible, as she's truly in love with it and talks about her big mountain climbing and skiing dreams constantly.   Anytime she see's and gets allured to images of routes that i've done littered with no falls zones and sensitive to conditions it opens the conversation to making sure that her goals in the mountains are her own and feel free to question ours and the inspiration for it.   

I so thank my parents for starting me skiing and climbing in mountains right when i started walking, but my dad got me my first pair of skins when i was 11 without knowing anything about snow science, terrain assessment and god forbid group dynamics and communication!  It wasn't until I was 19 when I took my first Level 1 avi course from the Colorado Mtn School and learned how lucky i was my father didn't get us killed!! Obviously we have way more resources, tools and equipment to make better decisions about everything, But i feel that can also leads to quicker access and the human desire for immediacy and perception of goal satisfaction.   

Tim, what i'm most curious about is how Griffin is doing given his turning around and how you and the boys showed support in the journey being more important than the summit.   I feel this is so paramount in all levels of mountain play; "Not getting to the summit, some people call it 'failing' just means you get to go back some day and do it again! how cool is that?!"  With increasing pressure on youth having more immediate avenues to social media, cell phones, screen time, etc, our goals with Maya are to feel comfortable with sharing her dreams, fears and opinions with us and ultimately her partners at a time in her life when she starts to climb and ski without us.   Geez how time flies as this is just around the corner and any advice Tim as what to expect is VERY welcomed!!  See you on the water or in the mountains soon!!!
« Last Edit: 06/09/19, 09:28 AM by Roger Strong » Logged
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