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NWAC Avalanche
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| | |-+  July 20, 2003, Mt. Adams, SW Chutes
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Author Topic: July 20, 2003, Mt. Adams, SW Chutes  (Read 4906 times)

Posts: 121

July 20, 2003, Mt. Adams, SW Chutes
« on: 07/21/03, 07:29 AM »

Summary:  Great route to ski, we hit it a little late, but still got 4700' in.

Long Version:  We drove down from Seattle on Saturday morning and packed into timberline.  After an evening spent stuffing our faces with pasta, cheesecake, red wine and cold beer we hit the bivi.  Up at 4, hiking at 5. We stayed in running shoes to about 8k, then on with the boots and boot packed it up to 11,500.  We didn't need axes or crampons.  It was quite warm, some of the the group was in t-shirts until the top.  We found some shelter just below the false summit and waited for the corn to ripen.  At noon we pushed off for the SW Chutes.  We skied the central chute.  It was pretty good, soft and buttery, but has some cups and runnels.  (Can't wait to ski it earlier next year.)  Down to the tarn (isn't that what melt ponds are called?), then down to 6800 and the end of the snow.  A bit of bushwacking to the RTM trail and out to our camp.

Note to RonJ:  Thanks for the map and waypoints, as I'm sure you saw from the weather we didn't need it, but thanks for the beta....
ron j
TAY Moderator

Posts: 2602

Re: July 20, 2003, Mt. Adams, SW Chutes
« Reply #1 on: 07/21/03, 08:02 AM »

Glad you had a good trip and it went of "as advertised".

"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: 617

Re: July 20, 2003, Mt. Adams, SW Chutes
« Reply #2 on: 07/21/03, 04:13 PM »

Mt Adams and the SW chutes are such fun, if you have the weather window and the timing are right you can nail that fantastic ski just perfectly!  Grin  Glad you did the tour.  Ron's on target with those way points.  Cool

There is nothing worse than refusing to learn: this is where old age begins.


Posts: 200

Re: July 20, 2003, Mt. Adams, SW Chutes
« Reply #3 on: 07/22/03, 05:14 PM »

I'm headed to Adams for the first time on Friday. I've been following all the reports here & elsewhere & I'm stumped as what to do. The consensus from the reports is that the SW chutes has the best snow but in order to commit to them, you basically have to camp low on the mountain.

I'm not a superhuman climbing machine so that's too much vert in a day for me. 4-5000' vert is reasonable for me so I was thinking of setting up camp just below the Lunch Counter at 9000. Besides, I'd like to enjoy the sunset & view. Anyways, is it unrealistic to commit to the SW Chutes & then laterally traverse out in the 8000' range?

I'd like to enjoy the SW Chutes but not at the expense of hurting or torturing myself. Any comments, please.  Huh



Posts: 622

Re: July 20, 2003, Mt. Adams, SW Chutes
« Reply #4 on: 07/22/03, 06:17 PM »

You're in luck: you can camp out near the intersection of the South Climb trail and the Around the Mountain trail at something like 6600 feet, climb the following morning to the false summit at about 11,500 feet, ski down and follow the Around the Mountain trail back to your camp.  5000 vertical feet.  No problem.  The options for higher traverses look unmitigatedly ugly: loose, steep, unconsolidated pumice ribs.  You're not going to save any energy that way.  

Personally, I prefer to sleep in relative comfort at the trailhead and carry a light pack an extra thousand feet, doing the whole thing as a daytrip.  It doesn't sound like this would be beyond you.  Despite what Mad Dog would have you believe, I'm not terribly speedy on the uphills, and it only takes me five hours or so to the false summit.  

It'll be hot this weekend, so you might want to aim for an early descent.  Have fun and write us a report.


Posts: 14

Re: July 20, 2003, Mt. Adams, SW Chutes
« Reply #5 on: 07/24/03, 08:51 AM »

CAN SOMEBODY TELL ME WHERE SOME GOOD SNOW IS?  I've read a lot of reports and I live over in Spokane and I really want to go snowboarding again.  I just got back from Skyline Divide and I want to try and avoid ice picks and all that.  Please Help Me!  I really want to try Adams or Rainier, but anything would be good.
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