Mt. Adams

July 26-28, 1991

On the weekend of July 26-28, a congenial group of climbers made the summit of Mount Adams via the Mazama Glacier route. The group was a mix of Obsidians and others, including members Joyce Baker, Bill Bankston, John Pegg and Sue Sullivan (leader), Mazama Malcolm Johnson, Mountaineers Lynn Postler and Mark White, and also Don McLoughlin, Kathryn Harrington, Marc SanSoucie, Scott and Aaron Ward. Mark Freyens, who is visiting the U.S.A from his native Belgium, made this an international climbing expedition; Mark has climbed in Africa and the Alps. The Mazama Glacier route trailhead is on the Yakima Indian reservation on the southeast side of Mt. Adams; the Indians charge a parking fee, and we speculate that this is the reason that so few people seem to climb this side of the mountain.

We enjoyed a lovely walk through meadows and flowers along a scenic ridge as we traveled to high camp at 8,200' at the foot of the glacier. Weather was sunny, but the top of the mountain was cloud capped and winds were brisk as we arrived at our high camp Saturday afternoon. We ate dinner, enjoyed views of the Klikitat icefall, and prepared for the morning climb.

Two a.m. came entirely too early, but the moon was full, the summit clear, and the winds a bit tamer as we prepared to depart for the top. The trip up was uneventful except for a brief drop into a crevasse by Don McLoughlin (on his very first glacier climb, no less!). Don was able to climb out easily, and put up with a lot of goodnatured kidding afterwards. We merged with the “normal” route just below the false summit, and found a long stream of south side climbers heading for the top — including three dogs! We were on the summit at 10:30 a.m., enjoying the good views of St. Helens, Rainier, Hood, and as far south as the Sisters. We were back at high camp by 1:30 and at the cars by 5:30. Altogether, it was a most enjoyable route and climbing party.

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