Skiing Mt Adams
Pat was a little jealous we bagged Mt Rainier two weeks earlier, so he tried to convince us to do it again. Jack and I wanted to ski, however we wanted to try something else. So the only way Pat could top the Rainier trip is if he went and skied two Volcanoes in one weekend. So that was the plan: Mt Adams then Mt Hood, in one weekend.
We hit the road around 7pm on Friday from Jacks house. We grabbed some half decent mexican food with huge mugs of beer on the way down. We kind of underestimated the length of the drive and rolled into camp at Cold Springs around 4:30am on Saturday morning. We set up camp quickly and went to sleep. Two hours later we woke up and started getting ready for the 7000ft climb ahead of us.
We finally hit the trail around 8:40am. We had about an hour of hiking on dirt, but it wasn't that bad since it was a very smooth low angle trail. Once we skinned up we could see the summit and the route directly ahead of us, not to mention a solid line of climbers on the headwall to the false summit. I couldn't believe how many people were actually on this mountain all at once! Not like our good old BC mountains where you're lucky to see one other party in a day. We climbed quickly at the lower elevations before the sun got too hot. At the lunch counter, a flat bench around 9000ft, the sun was getting very hot. To climb the headwall I had to use the ski crampons which proved quite effective to ski up the 2000ft thirty to fourty degree wall. Pat and Jack were not as comfortable climbing with skis on so they decided to hike with their skis on their packs fromabout half way up the wall. I think skiing up was much faster and as a result I got to the false summit about fourty five minutes ahead of them.
Around 3pm they both got to the false summit, I didn't mind waiting since it was a beautiful day and there were lots of climbers passing by to chat with. Pat was starting to feel the altitude at this point and actually puked several times... he felt much better after that. A US Forest Ranger caught up to us at that point, as well as a solo skier. We proceeded to the summit as one big group. Jack, the ranger and I skinned up the wide chutes to the summit; while Pat and the lone skier decide to boot pack up the ridge to our right.
We summitted around 5pm. Not tovantage point. I got a bunch of shots and then we took some group shots, even the Ranger got in the group o bad, 7000ft of climbing in just over 8 hours is very respectable when you're going above 10,000ft. That's my opinion anyway. The view from the top was awesome! We could see Hood and Rainier from this excellent summit shot.
Time to go down! We quickly skied down the gentle chutes from the summit. Then traversed skiers left to get the real prize, the southwest chutes, three 5000ft thirty five degree chutes of perfectly consistent pitch and corn snow.
Jack decided to rail down the middle chute so he could sweep around the bottom to shoot some photos of Pat and I coming down the steeper chute on skier's left. The turns were sweet, the corn was perfect, I just kept wishing I could go faster and that my legs wouldn't get tired. Mind you that one chute has the same vertical as skiing from the top of Blackcomb to the base; it was sweet! I don't think we could have wiped the grins from our faces if we'd tried:) Oh ya, that's what summer skiing is all about.