Mt. Adams, WA

Page Type
Trip Report
Washington, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Jul 23, 2011
Hiking, Mountaineering
2684 Hits
74.01% Score
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Mt. Adams, WA
Created On: Jul 27, 2011
Last Edited On: Jul 28, 2011

Getting There

So I am pretty much a rookie at this still but I do have some summer ascents of Hood and Shasta but both were single day trips. So I figured I better see if I could survive the night on a mountain at a reasonable altitude. So I decided Mt. Adams would be a good novice run in the middle of the summer to get some more experience under the hip-belt. Posted on Facebook I need to brosky to mash with me and my buddy Gavin signed up.

Started off by going to the station and getting the 15 dollar pass to climb (cash only). One of the forestry folks went into excessive detail on post-holing and made it sound like the snow turned to quicksand by 10am. lol anyhow I nodded my head and we took off with passes and a topo map I picked up from there (cash or debit, weird). She told us it would be a busy weekend and as of Friday (this day) there were about 80 valid passes.

So the road up was clear. Stopped at the last outhouse on the way up. Opened the hand sanitizer bottle (courtesy of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals) forgetting about the pressure differential and sprayed some in my face. Anyhow....

Got there, parked better than most people (4wd may have helped) and took off. About 10-16 cars peppered along the road. Not bad, just 100 yards from the trailhead. Put on the cloths, zipped off the legs, finished off the packs, chugged some water and we were on our way.

On Foot

The trail started off mostly dirt with small drifts remaining. After about 200 yards Gavin complained of being hot so we stopped to let him get out of his thermals that he really didn't need to be wearing. Hence why I didn't put any more than a single layer on. It was probably in the low 60°'s ƒ.

So we followed the trail for a half mile or so until it was snowed over completely then the tracks start breaking off. We decided to just go toward the lunch counter rather than follow the apparent trail off west. Shave some time off. Not sure where we were at this point, still below the 7500 ft mark. But this is what it looked like.

Lunch Counter

We continued up. Snow wasn't bad, no crampons needed. At a little above the South Butte rock we passed a group of people. Then we got the do the step massaging. lol It was around this time that it occurred to us that our legs just may be getting burn. I thought I wore shorts enough and it was no biggie, yeah no. Dumb shit. Doh! Thats what I get for buying zip off pants. Luckily I had a thing long sleeve on so my upper was ok.

Around 8500 Gavin seemed to be having a tough time. Kept complaining about his backpack bothering him and something about his knees and angle. Fortunately for me I have no idea how much it sucks. Saw a Gregory Baltoro 70 on SAC 6 months ago and the reviews rocked so I snagged it and have had no issues the handful of times I've used it. I've been a regular weight lifter for a few years so maybe my body doesn't care about the weight. Hell I was the one with the tent! But yeah we lulled up to around 9k, where the Lunch Counter started. For some reason I expected it to be a smaller region in area. Uhhh no. The camp sites (well flat spots with barriers) span over about a half mile and I have no clue how wide. Sure I was kinda tired at 9100, but I would have trudged on up to near the base of the morning climb at 93-9400. We found a decent site at about 9100 ft and opted to stay there. I felt kinda bad for him. lol Couldn't help but to wonder if he regretted letting me drag him along. ahahaa But yeah this is the camp. We got here first and then some neighbors rolled in. Being mid 20's guys, we were a little, uhh unpleasant in some of our conversations. KAA'ing at birds (yeah, there were a few), quoting Arnold Schwartzeneggar weight lifting commentary, bad movie lines. Etc. Eh. We didn't snore. They did. lol Didn't make a diff, we slept like shit anyway. For no real reason either.

A few months ago my dad took a small part in sponsoring my goal in being a competent mountaineer. No pressure-fueled stove for me! White gas is where it's at. In Spring term I took a mountaineering class at Oregon State; the white gas stoves we used were a little different to light than this 10 year old SIGG stove my dad passed on to me. He claimed a grunt like me wouldn't figure out how to light it. I did, but it took a little while for me to figure out why it was spitting fuel intermittently. The gas tube heating worked differently, but I think I like the SIGG more than the MSR I used in the past. Definitely like the stand more. This is in memory of my dad. Heheh what up old man?! Used probably 300 cc's of fuel over 2 hours or so boiling 3-4 liters and making some noodly madness. Winco bulk food. Oh yeah.

It just was rather amusing how thoughtlessly Gavin packed his food. Opened some dried noodle package. Directions: 2 tbsp butter, 2 cups milk...heh he said it was edible with water.

Morning Climb

So I know it is generally recommended to start at dark. There wasn't any reason to for us. Talked to a trio of ladies the day before and they said if you want to save an hour on the face, glissade after 11 or so and it'd be awesome. So we did.

We left camp about 7.15 and there was probably not even 2 dozen ahead of us. Our neighbors left after us too. Packed light. Shells, about 2L of water each and some munchables. Not much else beside most of the ten essentials.

Nothing special on the way up. Lots of good and bad steps. Snow was good. Passed a few, got passed by a few. Got the the false summit around 10.00 and was somewhat annoyed with the 150 ft or so drop in altitude that followed. But yeah, kept on. This is a little above the false summit. Probably only a few hundred yards (distance) from he summit. May be able to see the ants in a line formation.

It was also a little before this that I realized I had left my sunscreen bottle in the snow on toward the top of the face at around 11k. White on white. Shit. Have to search for it on the way down. Not worth missing to glissade a few hundred more feet.

The summit came. What's retarded is I workout all the time. Ok, so I slack on cardio, but Gavin does jack shit. He's just naturally in shape, although not higher weight capable like me; ok, so I have vanity muscles. WHatever. Yeah he probably held about 15% higher speed than me. At least I didn't forget my stove! Hence the 2 hours boiling water.

So some summit photo's. Adams isn't quite as scenic. Partially cause the mountain is just a mountain. Doesn't have much (south side at least) topographic awesomeness. Hood has the half-crater, mountain fart, cliffs, for example. I meant to cruise by the top of the Mazama Glacier on the way down but spaced it in the rush to find my sunscreen.

That pretty much it. Summited at 11, BS'd with a few others and headed down. The glissading was pretty good. While it was not my goal to go unsafe fast, I did record 13.2mph on the way down. Oh I failed to find my sunscreen too. Upon arriving at camp to pack up, I found it in my backpack. lol Better late than never. Got to the truck at 14.30 and enjoyed the AC and Gavins gallon of water in the passenger seat. There was probably another 2-3 dozen cars scattered a ways down the road. You see some pretty interesting park-jobs. Like a Prius near my truck with largish rocks behind the back tires to keep it from rolling in the road. Eeek.

And yes, thats a Johnny Bravo pose on the top.


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Norman - Jul 28, 2011 11:51 am - Voted 10/10


Congrads on a good summit...nice weather too, glad to hear you follow the footsteps of your DAD.


kylenicolls - Jul 29, 2011 12:48 pm - Hasn't voted

To some extent.

Yeah, thanks.

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Mt. Adams, WA

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