Mt. Adams

June 26-28, 1992

On the weekend of June 26-28, a small group of intrepid climbers made an attempt on Mt. Adams via the Adams glacier route. The group included John Pegg, Don McLaughlin, Jon Levy, Janie Thomas, Ken Ball, and Sue Sullivan (leader). We approached the mountain via the Killen Creek trail. It was a dusty hike at the start, but soon turned into a fairyland trail through lush meadows of wildflowers, with scenic views of Rainier to the north and rather sobering views of the Adams glacier ahead. From a distance, the Adams glacier looked very steep and hopelessly impossible, with large crevasses, and stretches of what looked to be nearly vertical bare ice. We hiked in with relatively little conversation about the route, and some apprehension showing on all faces. After a relaxing afternoon at high camp, and a better look at the route through Jon’s binoculars, we became more comfortable with the “doability” of the route, and settled down for some sleep before an early start for the summit. Nightfall brought thundershowers and winds which caused us to delay our start for the top.

We left camp amid brisk winds with distant lightning to the north. Shortly after we left camp, the winds picked up, and we were sandblasted by dust blowing from the moraines. This slowed our progress considerably; by the time we got to the edge of the glacier at first light, there was a large lenticular cloud settled over the summit, which was descending on the route. We decided that this was not the kind of weather to be attempting a glacier that had serious route fording challenges. Nonetheless, we decided to go to the base of the icefall to get a better look at the route. We found that, from the base, the route looks a whole lot friendlier than it looks from a distance, and we decided that NEXT year, we’re going to come back and climb this hummer!

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