Fadgen's Adventures

Fadgen's Adventures
Green Creek Lake

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mt Adams - 12,276 Feet

The picture of Mount Adams that I had taken three weeks prior has been haunting me.  I don't know if it was done subconsciously, but Dylan's airline ticket to Boise was fully refundable.  After an OK from Tam, I canceled the ticket and communicated through Facebook to Dylan that we would be climbing Adams on the return to Boise.

John Platt gave us some climbing beta and the idea that we should complete the climb in a day rather than spend a night halfway up.  Good call John. 

A car door slamming at 2:30AM woke me from a nice sleep.  As much as I tried, I couldn't get back to sleep.  The plan was to be on the trail by 5:00AM but I was up a little after 3:00 brewing coffee.  It wasn't much longer before I kicked Dylan out of bed for our oatmeal and Hostess Ho-Ho (those things will kill you!) breakfast.  We were walking by 4:00AM in a light breeze.

The best thing I like about hiking in the dark is the lack of awareness of the trail steepness.  Don't know if it was because of the dark or the Ho-Ho's, but we were really cruising.  When it became light enough to see, we were crossing what was left of Crescent Glacier on our way to making the Lunch Counter in about three hours.

At the Lunch Counter we stopped for a quick bite and enjoyed the views.  There were quite a few tents set up all around and some of these folks had just started up Piker's Peak (the big false summit) ahead of us.  At this point we started noticing that the wind was starting to blow some, but we were making great time as we passed several groups of climbers.

Dylan getting ready to pass.

The boot path up Piker's Peak which doesn't look steep in this picture.

 Once we reached the midway point on Piker's Peak the wind really picked up and we took a break to put on our jackets.  This was a little easier said than done in the wind!  In another hour we were at the top of Piker's Peak and looking for a wind block.

Dylan and the only available wind block
 We figured once on Piker's it would be a short stroll to the summit.  Not too sure of the exact distance or elevation gain (I heard 1/2 mile and 600 feet), but we were a little discouraged at the view of the summit.  The wind was starting to beat us down a bit (it must have been blowing 30mph), so after another quick bite to eat we were off for the summit push.  The last bit above the second false summit about killed me.  It was a short easy stroll but I was struggling a bit while Dylan (who had been at sea level for the last three weeks) was pretty strong.
The summit as viewed from Piker's Peak
In another hour we were on the top!  It had taken us 6 1/2 hours to reach the summit of our first Cascade volcano!
Cold but happy climbers.

Mt. Rainier in the haze.
We spent a bit of time on the summit hunkered down out of the wind as we enjoyed a PBJ sandwich and changed into our glissading pants.  If you look closely at the picture showing the boot path up Piker's Peak you will see some glissade paths to the left.  The best part was to begin!  We removed our crampons, sat down in the path and were off!  It was as I would imagine a bobsled track would be - twisting and turning all over the place. In a very short time we were back at the Lunch Counter with wet and cold butts. 
Dylan beginning the glissade.
The rest of the hike down was a mixture of trying to boot ski and walking down through the majorly cupped snow.  It was a long walk that we interspersed with glissading, when the slope would allow, until we were below Crescent Glacier and the snow was gone.

In another 45 minutes we were back at camp where we rolled the tent and sleeping bags into one big ball, shoved them into the back of the Suby and were on our way back to Hood River.  There we enjoyed pizza and a couple of beers at Double Mountain Brewery before hitting the sack at 8:00PM.

BTW - I met up with a guy that responded to my sign about finding a camera on the mountain.  His group had spent the night at the Lunch Counter and he said that the wind was blowing so hard that he didn't sleep a wink.  Like I said at the beginning - good call on the one day trip John.

Trip Stats - 13 miles, 6700 feet gained and didn't feel too bad the next day.


larry szurgot said...

Seems like major elevation gain in one day to me. Congrats to both you and Dylan on a great show of endurance. Hopefully the chukars will never follow your paths.

Karl DeHart said...

You all ROCK.

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A team of adventurers consisting of John, Tamara, Taylor, Dylan, and Shadow Fadgen