Ascent of Mount Adams on 2011-10-10

Climber: Dan Quinlan

Date:Monday, October 10, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Adams
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:5799 ft / 1767 m

Ascent Trip Report

October 10, 2011
Mt. Adams
It is an absolutely gorgeous October day, almost too warm, with the temps reaching the lower 70s in the valley. I read the Summit Forecast from the MWOBS website and they predicted “...summits in the clear with crystal clear skies overhead. Northwest winds will finally begin to slacken through the night, becoming quite light by morning.”
Sounds great to us, so the Red Goat and I set off to NH to climb my final 4,000 footer.
We started up the Airline Trail at 10:20. The trail was mostly dry but had a lot of leaves covering everything, we needed to be careful not to twist anything on hidden roots or rocks.
We reached the “Stop - Turn back now if weather is bad” sign at 12:50, and as I read it I somewhat chuckled. Up until this point we have been hiking in shorts and tee-shirt, and although we could hear the wind, at this point, we were protected enough to not even notice it. But just past the sign we popped out into what I swore was a totally different world. It was amazing to see how massive the presidentials are. We could clearly see Madison, Quincy Adams (which I originally thought was Adams – it was still in the clouds) and Jefferson. The massive Gulf to the right was a bit unnerving. And the wind, oh my God it was howling! We stood there for a bit and then went back down the trail and in the cover of the trees. We took the time to eat lunch and decided I would continue and the Red Goat would wait here. We had Walkie-Talkies so we could keep in touch as I went along. I put on pants, a light coat, hat and gloves and headed for the summit. Although the wind was very strong, it was easy to follow the trail using the blazes and the cairns. The wind definitely caused me to loose my balance every so often, but at least it was blowing ‘up’ the gulf and not down into it! I met a few hikers who had reached the peak of Mt. Adams, one stating “I crawled on all fours, tagged the summit and went back down”.
As I hiked, the summit of Mt. Adams would appear and disappear in the clouds / fog. By the time I reached the summit at 2:05, it was completely in the clear, the views from the top were absolutely gorgeous. I took a few pictures and a short video to try to capture the ‘wind’ and then carefully made my way back down the mountain. I called my son to capture the ‘current conditions’ from the Mt. Washington Observatory web-site. A study of the wind graph showed steady 60 MPH winds with gusts of 75! Yup, it was windy on top today! (Oh, I also noticed in the small print below the graphs that today’s wind forecast was: “NW 60-80 mph”. Now you tell me!)
Once back below tree-line the Red Goat and I returned the same way we came up, reaching the parking lot at just after 5 pm.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4650 ft / 1417 m
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Extremely Windy, Clear
Gorgeous blue sky, but windy above treeline
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4650 ft / 1417 m
    Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Route:Airline Trail
    Start Trailhead:1149 ft / 350 m
    Time:6 Hours 45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Dan Quinlan
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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