Trip: Mt. Adams - South Spur

Date: 8/28/2008

Trip Report:
Quick report on climb of Adams on Thursday, August 28th, 2008.

Morrison Creek is running strong and shows no signs of letting up. There's also plenty of running meltwater up around Lunch Counter, and probably even above (didn't need to look).

The trail is free of snow up to about 8000 feet, when you hit the first snowfield, and then a short eastward traverse of Lunch Counter (on rock) brings you to the bottom of the main, continuous snowfield that leads toward Piker's Peak. From Lunch Counter to around 11,000 feet, the snow is consistent, but you have maybe 400 vertical feet below Piker's that is on pretty terrible scree. Once the snow runs out, look for traversing trails, or head over to the left where the boulders are bigger. It looks like the snow is receding pretty quickly, so that 400 feet is going to get much bigger pretty quick.

From Piker's you cross the summit field, climb good snow on the first hump, but cut left around this (about halfway up) to avoid an annoying climb over that hump.
The summit is very snow covered and the lookout cabin is pretty buried, with a thick coating of ice.

All in all, the climb from trailhead to summit took us 7 hours (if you don't count the 3 hours we spent hunkered down at LC to wait for a cloud to lift) and the descent took about 3.5 hours. There was about 1000 vertical feet of glissading above LC, but it was wet, rough, and rocky. Won't last long.

You can see pictures here: http://gallery.mac.com/jlawrence10



Gear Notes:
Crampons necessary, axe probably wasn't given the snow conditions.

Approach Notes:
Easy trail. Look for the cairns. The trickiest part is crossing the Morrison drainage around 7000 feet, where you have to cut way left and gain the ridge. This is easily missable at night. Also easy to miss on the way down to end up on the wrong side of the drainage.