"You’re going to climb Mt Adams in ONE DAY?" was the response we received whenever we told anyone about our plan to summit Washington’s 12,276’ mountain in one push. Maybe it should have seemed a little crazier to us but the idea of packing sleeping bags, pads, water, and food up to the 9,400’ lunch counter and finishing the climb the next day seemed even crazier. So, we let our climbing friends know that we would meet them at their campsite sometime around 6am, pitched a tent at the trailhead, crawled into bed around 8:30pm, and set an alarm for 1:30am. Doing Adams in one day makes for one, long, day. BUT! It’s worth it to avoid the crowds, to carry super light packs, and to move quickly and freely along the trails. For reference, we summited in around 6.5 hours, and with approximately an hour of rest breaks, this ended up being about a 12 hour day. If this climb is split over two days, the lunch counter is the typical spot to pitch a tent.
Although we did this climb in late summer, there was still a fair amount of snow on the trail once we hit about 8,000 feet, making crampons and an ice axe extremely helpful for safe and efficient travel. Late summer makes for the least amount of snow travel but many of the glissade chutes are still in good condition. Although the snow pack is typically at its shallowest depth during this time of year, caution should still be exercised when attempting this summit; Mt Adams is a challenging, long climb and should not be considered without adequate research and preparation beforehand.
For more detailed information on this trip, including more photos, stats, and our equipment list, check out this post.