Long Day on South Spur

Page Type
Trip Report
Location:
Washington, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
May 28, 2004
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Created On: Aug 11, 2004
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My climbing buddy and I tried for a "late" start one-day summit attempt of Adams. Since the trailhead was snowed in, we slogged five miles from our car to the timberline and made the Crescent Glacier by 11:30 a.m. We met earlier summit attempts coming back who turned back before the Lunch Counter. The cloud cover was breaking up and the false summit was visible so we tried for it. Halfway to the Counter during a sock change I noticed a lenticular cloud forming at the top. I explained to Mark that this doesn't look good. The snow was borderline avalanche material and the scree field ice was "iffy". We made the Lunch Counter by 2:30 p.m. The lenticular cloud was replaced by a mass of wildly circulating clouds, increasing winds, and whiteout conditions. The Columbia River Gorge was becoming more obscured. As I was explaining to Mark my hesitancy to get myself killed, the wind picked up to 30-40 mph. I could hear the mountain tell me "Get the #@%$* off me, NOW!!" We were engulfed by the cloud bank, and it was decided this was as high as we were going. The peak conditions got worse the more we descended until we hit the muddy slush and timberline slog. Needless to say, we were smoked and disappointed all the way back to Olympia.

Adams is a tough one day shot during the Spring. The extended approach hike and return trip really socks it to you. If the weather had been clear, we could have made it, but would have still been exhausted. I'm hoping to return in the July-August timeframe. A two-day trip would be more enjoyable

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