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Mt. Adams South Spur Ascent

June 22-23, 2001


These pages contain a trip report from our climb of Mt. Adams in June, 2001.  Our climbing party consisted of Sandra, my brother Gabe, our friends Pat, Tom and Salima, and myself.  The trip report consists of three pages, so click on the arrow on the bottom of the page to read on.  We've also prepared a slide show of our photographs of the trip.  Click here to view the slide show!

At around 1:00pm on Saturday, June 22, we filled up our Ford Explorer and Tom's Toyota 4-Runner for the final stretch up to Cold Creek Campground, where the South Spur climbing route of Mt. Adams commences.  Sandra sat beside me, punching in coordinates for the waypoints I had selected from our USGS Quad map prior to departure.  "Uh oh, the batteries are low on the GPS", Sandra exclaimed.  I then realized that I had forgotten to bring extra batteries on our trip!  We headed over to the Trout Lake, WA general store to pick up some extra batteries.  We had no idea at this time just how important that moment would become...

We signed the climbing register, picked up our blue bags and inquired about the weather forecast at the ranger station before heading up to the campground.  "Maybe a chance of showers tomorrow, but it seems OK", they told us.

We headed up Forest Road 8040500 toward the trailhead.  We'd heard that the road was rough, but so far it seemed OK.  As we passed Morrison Creek Campground, we found out that rough was quite an understatement!  Huge potholes, rocks, roots, and other obstacles awaited us on the narrow, winding one-lane road up to the campground.  We thrashed wildly up the road, thanking the heavens for 4-wheel drive and lots of ground clearance, and hoped against hope that no one would come the other way.

We finally found the campground, and a parking space, packed up all our gear and headed up to the trailhead.  The trailhead is at around 5,600 feet in elevation, which seems high until you realize that your destination is 12,276 feet!  At about 6,200 feet we hit snow, and by 7,000 feet we were on the Crescent Glacier, well past the timber line.  We steered around the glacier to the left, and the route became steep.  The weather was beautiful, and the mountain offered us tremendous views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, and Mt. St. Helens, as well as the Indian Heaven Wilderness and the surrounding valleys and peaks.  Near the top of the glacier, the girls spotted a rocky ridge with pre-built rock walls to block the glacial winds.  They grabbed the campsites and started unpacking.  As it was only 5:30pm at this point, I suggested we continue on to the Lunch Counter, around 9,000 feet, an area known for its good campsites and beautiful sunsets, but majority ruled and we decided to stay at around 8,200 feet instead...

Click the Arrow above to continue to page 2 of 3.
Click here to view the slide show!

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