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Ascent of Mount Adams on 2011-09-05

Climber: Erick Reeve

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Monday, September 5, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Adams
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:12276 ft / 3741 m

Ascent Trip Report

What a trip! Left Spokane on Sunday morning, drove to Oregon and did some hiking (too prep my legs a bit) at Multnomah Falls and Eagle Creek, then drove up to the ranger station in Trout Lake, WA to get the climbing permit for Mount Adams. Found the South Climb trailhead just before dark, then slept in my car until around 3:30 AM. Ate breakfast and hit the trail to Mount Adams at 4:20 AM. The stars were out beautifully as I made my way up the trail, until the pre-sunrise around 6 AM. By then it was time to put on my crampons as the trail was gone--I was at the icy snowfields then. The snowfields were (unusually?) continuous all the way to the top (except for one little rocky patch where I didn't bother to take my crampons off), likely due to the extra snow we had this past winter/spring.

The conditions were perfect for a quick climb with crampons (my first climb with crampons). Passed Lunch Counter at around 7:30 AM, then reached Piker's Peak after a grueling climb, by 9:20 AM. Stopped and ate "lunch" and rested a bit. The wind was worse and colder there than at the summit, but not too bad! By 10 AM I was heading to the summit, which I reached at 11 AM. Said hi to some other climbers around too (both going up and down).

Didn't spend too long at the summit, since I wanted to get back to Spokane tonight so I could potentially work tomorrow (my first day at a new job). Thankfully, on my way down when I got to the good glissade runs from Piker's Peak, the noon sun had finally melted the icy snow so that it was great for glissading! Had a nice slide down for around a mile (although I had to stop a couple of times), which saved my knees about 2,000 feet of descent.

When I got back off the snow towards the bottom of the mountain, it was HOT summer weather again. All in all an awesome trip, and I wished I lived closer so I could climb up there more often!
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:6976 ft / 2125 m
    Extra Gain:150 ft / 45 m
    Distance:11.4 mi / 18.3 km
    Route:South Climb route
    Trailhead:South Climb trailhead (Cold Springs Campground)  5600 ft / 1706 m
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Clear
Cool on summit, but actually warm for September! (45° at that elevation!)
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:6 Hours 40 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:3 Hours 10 Minutes



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