Ascent of Mount Adams on 2012-07-15

Climber: Daryn Dodge

Date:Sunday, July 15, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Mount Adams
    Elevation:12276 ft / 3741 m

Ascent Trip Report

The road to Cold Springs campground had just opened making this climb a reasonable dayhike. Helping our decision for a dayhike was the weather report, which called for a clear, but breezy day. The next day had 40% rain and snow in the report. So we (Jen Blackie, Kathy Rich and I) self-registered the night before at the Trout Lake RS and camped the night at primitive Morrison Creek campground. No one else was here.

The next morning, we drove the remaining 2.5 miles to Cold Springs campground. Massive amount of humanity was camped here, many getting ready for the climb. We started at 4:25 am at the trailhead, mostly on trail. However, wothin the first mile we were on almost continuous snow. No matter, there was a trail in the snow and it was well consolidated making for easy climbing.

We reached the Lunch Counter area where many had pitched tents. Some 40+ climbers were already ahead of us going up the South Spur. Although there was a lot of other climbers, they never got in the way. In fact, it was fun to have so many others out there enjoying the good weather and climb. The snow was icy enough for an easy 2000 ft ascent up the Suksdorf Rdige in pre-made footsteps of other climbers. Many had put on crampons by this point, but we thought they were not necessary. Very breezy and cold at Pikers Point but the summit was now in view. Only 700 ft to go. The most astounding sight at the top is seeing Mt. Rainier for the first time on the other side of Mt. Adams. The completely snow-covered summit of Mt. Adams gave it a real alpine feel.

For the descent, the snow on the steep Suksdorf Ridge had softened by around noon time, making for a great sitting glissade descent. We were back at the cars around 2 pm for a 9.5 hour round trip ascent. This is a wonderful climb of a major Cascade Range peak with almost ideal snow conditions.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:6700 ft / 2042 m
    Round-Trip Distance:10 mi / 16.1 km
    Route:South Spur
    Trailhead:Cold Springs trailhead  5576 ft / 1699 m
    Grade/Class:class 2
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Time:6 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 30 Minutes

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