South Spur climb
We got to the Ranger Station in Trout Lake at 4:15, just in time before they closed for the day. We bought weekend climbing permits and asked about the route conditions. They were still recommending the winter route, but we ended up taking the summer one because it is easier to follow and already showed decent traffic.
We started the approach hike from the Cold Springs trailhead at 8:30am the next day with light rain and whiteout conditions, but were able to follow the tracks on the snow until the sun finally came out a few hours later.
When we got to Lunch Counter we found two great rock shelters to setup camp, and started the usual snow melting and cooking chores. It was sunny and the wind was nonexistent, so we stayed out in the rocks enjoying the view and planning the summit route until it was time to go to bed at 8pm.
Woke up at 2am and with ice axes in hand started the walk at 3:30. We were the only ones that made an alpine start that day.
The sunrise was gorgeous:
Sunrise on Mount Adams
Once you get to Piker's Peak you can see where the true summit is, 1000 feet up.
View of the summit path from Piker's Peak
When we reached the summit the sun was shining brightly. We stayed there for half an hour, ate some snacks and started our way back. The snow was not ready for a glissade down to Piker’s Peak, but was better from Piker’s Peak to the base.
The hike back to the trailhead was full of glissading, but otherwise uneventful. One just has to be careful at 6200ft, because the trail seems to split in many different directions. Head west for about 50ft and you’ll find the trail again.
Full report and pictures here: http://amazedbylife.com/2014/07/03/mount-adams-south-spur
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