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Ascent of Mount Adams on 2013-06-14

Climber: Drew Gajan

Others in Party:Dan Gamache
Date:Friday, June 14, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Adams
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:12276 ft / 3741 m

Ascent Trip Report

After climbing Mount Hood on Wednesday and a rest day Thursday, climbing partner Dan and I decided to make a single day push up Mount Adams Friday morning. We hit the South Climb TH at around 2:00 am and made our way up through the Winter Approach. At around 8000ft, we ran into the only other climbers heading up that morning, which was wonderful. Proceeding up to the Lunch Counter, we took a prolonged break at 9400 ft, fueled up, and headed up the snow field from the Lunch Counter to Pikers Peak. No matter how much beta I had on Mount Adams, the 2400ft ascent to Pikers Peak was a slog. The surface varied between slushy and solid snow, whick made the choice between a straight line up and traverses a regular decision. In the end, Dan chose a more direct approach and I traverses, and in doing so, we found ourselves in synch with our pace.

After crossing Pikers Peak (false summit), we dropped laterally East (right) down to the saddle and began the final climb to the summit. At this point in the mid-afternoon, there was a good deal of soft snow. After letting Dan lead, I decided to take over as my climbing partner was tiring. We made the Summit around 3pm, enjoyed the first view of Mount Ranier and tramped around the summit ridge for a while before heading down.

We initially attempted to glissade down, but the snow had gotten too soft and it was actually an effort to try and push through. At the saddle between the Summit and Pikers PEak, Dan and I had a misunderstanding as to the descent route and it was then I realized he was spent. We moved up past Pikers Peak as quickly as possible and moved fast down to the Lunch Counter. At the Lunch Counter, Dan ate and hydrated, quickly recovering. By this time, tents were popping up all around the Lunch Counter and there were numerous parties (mostly skiers) winding their way up to the Lunch Counter. By the time we got to the TH Parking area, there were cars parked in every open space along and around the access road.

Did not expect a 19 hour day, but after climbing Mount Hood two days prior, the slow and steady approach worked for us. It would have been best to get saddled up 2 hours earlier and started out at midnight. The two hours would have made a good deal of difference ascending up to Pikers Peak.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:6701 ft / 2042 m
    Distance:15 mi / 24.1 km
    Route:Trail #183, Lunch Counter
    Trailhead:South Climb parking  5575 ft / 1699 m
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Ski Poles
    Weather:Cold, Breezy, Clear
Cool and Sunny
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:13 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:5 Hours 30 Minutes



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