Mt. Adams

July 1-2, 2000

The original plan was to climb the Mazama Glacier on the south-east side of Mt. Adams. A call to the Yakima Indian Reservation a week before the climb revealed that the road to Bird Creek Meadows was not yet open, but would certainly be open by the fourth of July. I called to double check the day before the climb, and — alas! The road was still too muddy to open. We ended up changing plans and switched our route to the South Side instead.

 We headed north from the SEHS lot at 6 a.m. on Saturday, met with additional members of the party at the Corvallis Exit Park ’n Ride and at the Troutdale McDonalds, and made it to the Trout Lake Ranger Station by 10 am. We registered for the climb; there is now a $15 fee per person to climb Mt. Adams, so we filled out individual climber’s registrations, a group registration form and a wilderness permit and forked out $135 for the climb. We drove to the trailhead at Cold Springs (5600 ft.) on a winding, unimproved road and were on the trail before noon. We reached high camp at the Lunch Counter, a little shy of 9000 ft., in a blustery breeze at around 4 p.m. Setting up camp in a stiff breeze is a challenge, but we managed to get all tents up without losing anything critical, and built windbreak walls to help protect the tents from sudden gusts. We cooked dinner and melted drinking water in a chilling wind. The summit looked like the classic pictures of Everest, with a plume of condensation on the lee side that indicated that the winds were as bad on the summit as we were feeling in camp. We were settled into tents by a little past 8.

The winds died down a bit overnight, and by 4 a.m. wake-up time there was just a light breeze at camp. We were on our way to the summit at a little after 5 in good crampon conditions. It was cold enough to freeze water in the water bottles on the way up, but we made good time and were on the summit by 9:30. It was a quick turnaround, as no one wanted to linger in the cold breeze on the top. We headed down, and by the time we were 1000 ft. below the false summit the snow was softened enough to take crampons off for an exhilarating glissade to the Lunch Counter. Kathryn noted that a good glissade helped to satisfy her “inner child”. I commented that from my observations, her “inner child” was screaming her lungs out on the ride down. We were back in camp by noon, and decided that we would head out that day instead of camping another night. We were packed up and on the trail before 2 p.m., back at the car by 4, and back in Eugene by 9 that evening.

A great time was had by all - Phil Vaughn, Gene Skinner, Jeff Phillips, Jan True, Don Gilman, Kathryn Harrington, Marc SanSoucie, John Mowat (assistant leader) and Sue Sullivan (leader).

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