Climbing Mt Adams, Washington

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles.

My first international trip since start of pandemic was to Nevada, California, Oregon and Washington state.

As part of that, Adlards invited me to join their group climbing the Mt Adams volcano in Washington.

Our base camp was in the deadfall of the 2012 Cascade Creek Fire.

The most popular route is South Climb trail.

I’d climbed Adams with Adlards in 2008.

This time daughter Delaney Adlard joined in the adventure.

In fact, Dave and Lisa were celebrating their 19th wedding anniversary.

We had great weather … on the way up. That’s Mount Hood in the distance.

Dave explained that one difference between hiking and mountaineering is using crampons and/or ice axe.

We set up our tents at the Lunch Counter, a relatively flat portion of Suksdorf Ridge.

Siesta until 3pm. Then we set off towards “Pikers Peak”, the visible false summit that looks close.

It gets steeper.

I loved the clear vistas.

Unfortunately, due to low snow fall and MANY hot days in 2021, Dave had never seen worse snow conditions. We were slow.

In fact, we didn’t quite make the false summit, turning around in time to make it back to camp in daylight.

That night it got very WINDY. None of our 3 tents broke, but we collectively got very little sleep.

Next morning dawned clear again. It was fast and easy downhill on both scree and morning cold ice.

This was Delaney’s personal elevation record.

NEXT TIME we’ll do the middle-of-the-night start with harder snow and ice for the crampons.

Overall, an EXCELLENT adventure. A lot of fun.

Not making the summit was no big deal.

Pro tip — Society Hotel and Hostel in Bingen, Washington — en route to Adams and Hood — is my favourite hostel in the USA, so far. Very cool, you get a complimentary spa and hot springs visit with each stay. That costs $25 by itself.

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