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mike_m

Adams Glacier Road/Approach/Route info?

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I want to hear too.

 

Me three! I have had my eyes on adams glacier for awhile, whats the latest? Someone go climb it dammit!

 

T

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Those pics look tastey. Someone post a more recent trip =)

 

 

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Last thursday evening andrew and I, met our regular partner peter (from Portland) in randle. we drove up fr 23 to milepost 31 where we were stopped by a series of snow drifts with bare road between. we spent the night in our trucks and scouted the road in the am. there were several deep banks and a great deal of tree debris. So it was simple enough, that's where we started hiking. The road was open for significant sections with a lot of snow covered patches impassable to 4x4's, however there was evidence of substantial quad type activity. we hiked 23 to the takhlakh lake turnoff and on to trail 112 which we rather sort of followed overland to our adams's glacier camp at about 7700. The hike wasn't difficult, just long, maybe eight miles. there is tons of snow, but it was firm, we carried snowshoes just to add weight to our packs. The weather was great. Peter took a couple of photos of the mountain and our route. That night called for the possibility of some rain with clearing thru the day on saturday. The reality was very heavy misty crappy windy weather and we all slept very poorly. We booted out at 4:30. we roped up with an 8mmx30m and started up the right side of the glacier. the snow was soft, no ice, great for steps.The visibiltiy was horrible. At best we could all see each other on that 30 meter rope, at worst there was a darkish shape 15 meters in front or behind you. At 9600 we were forced left around, up and over a large serac which required a couple easy ice moves. We were back toward the right a little and at 10600 we were stopped by a huge crevasse. There wasn't an end run option or a climb down and in, and up and out. After we scouted a bit more we found a very narrow snowbridge below the lower lip which lead part way across, enough though to get our picks into the face of the upper side. It was only 12 to 15 feet of climbing on good glacier ice, a little overhung, but the exposure to either side into the crevasse was significant. just after we all cleared the lip something VERY BIG broke off to our right and crashed down the glacier. we couldn't see it at all in the fog/mist, but it shook the glacier. We saw the next day the slide of the icefall. It appeared to be about 50 meters wide and had slid directly down our ascent route. In fact we could see our tracks and the slide path crossed three times. If not for 45 minutes this would have been a very different trip report. Nevertheless, we continued our climb encountering a number of crevasses, but the crux(of the ascent) was behind us. As we topped out at 11400 in the zero visibility, we expected to find a broad flat ice cap. Sadly, we found a snow covered ridge running east and west and peering over we found a bottomless cloud. The wind was howling and we were wet and about one step from being lost and screwed. Each of us had summited adams before and at this point searching in that weather would have been the dumbest thing in the world. Our plan was to get down the north ridge and we thought we had a bearing and a possible sighting to we headed off down the ridge. As it steepened we quickly realized we were off route descending toward an 11000 foot cliffout. I took a slide, tore my pants, but arrested before oblivion. We climbed back up and eventually found the real ridge. The going was tough primarily because we were tired. The weather finally forced me to take off my glasses which did not make the downclimb easier. At 9600 Peter slipped on an icy patch at the side of a snow patch he was crossing. His ice tool pulled through the snow, his foot caught (thankfully no crampons at this point)and cartwheeled toward the lava glacier. He ended up on his back slidding head first. I lost sight of him, but could hear his profane shouts as i yelled 'arrest! arrest!' i replaced my glasses and took out both ice tools and made it over to where he had slipped. fifty or sixty feet below peter had crashed into a small outcropping of rock and stopped his slide. he called up he had hurt his arm but was grossly ok. he was able to climb back up to us and i looked him over. some scrapes and bumps with a large contussion over the right radius, but nothing broken. Lucky and then some. We were extra slow and cautious following that near disaster, but the remainder of the trip back to camp was uneventful. We crashed hard saturday night, but by sunday am we packed up and cleared out with a nice 8 mile hike out. The road had cleared quite a bit, by now it may be possible to get to the lake, but not much more. we took a couple screws and a picket each and didn't use them. clearly need ice tools. maybe a GPS would have been helpful. We have only three pictures which i will try to get peter to post.

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Wow, what a TR. Glad Peter was ok and awesome effort!

Last time I slid on a patch of snow/ice, I went feet first into a rock outcropping and broke my ankle. That was 4 years ago.

 

Looking forward to the pics.

 

 

 

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From the forest service web site it looks like road approach to the Killian Creek trailhead is melted out if you are coming from the east. This approach usually melts out much quicker that the approach from the west. Here are directions to approach from the east -

 

Directions -

 

Leave Randle south on Forest Service Road 23.

 

After a long stretch there will be a Y intersection with FS 21 going left and road FS 23 going right. Take FS 21.

 

You will stay on FS 21 for a little over 4 ½ miles, and then you will reach another Y intersection, Here FS 21 goes left and FS 56 goes right. A problem is that I couldn’t see any marker for FS 56. However at the Y there is a sign pointing to the right that says “Cody Horse Camp 5 Mi”

Take FS 56.

 

Another check is shortly after you get on FS 56 you will pass the Adams Fork Campground.

 

Shortly after that there is another Y with FS 56 going left and FS 5601 going right. Stay left on FS 56.

 

In 4 ½ miles at a 90 degree angle to the right is FS 5603. It is marked on a small sign halfway in the bushes on the right of the road. Take FS 5603.

 

In about 5 miles you will reach a four way intersection. FS 5603 continues on and the cross road is FS 2329. FS 2329 is a rough dirt road. Turn right on FS 2329.

 

You will then drive on this road until you either are stopped by snow or reach the trailhead.

 

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Thanks. I just checked the USFS web site. It says #23 is open to 1/2 mile of Takhlakh lake.

 

Your way might be better.

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Summitted up the North Cleaver from Killen Creek on Saturday the 19th. Snow on the trail from the Meadow to the pond at 7505, but then nominal snow from there to the summit. Here is a shot from the pond. Roads were clear coming down from Randal. Bring lots of bug spray, they were eating us alive up the trail.

-Marc

 

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Marc...do have any pictures of the route from when you were up there recently. And what was the snow like near the summit? If our party's pretty comfortable on steep snow w/axe/crampons, will that do? Is there even snow at the top of the route? Sounds like it doesn't matter because the bugs may take us down before we have a chance to get up there!

 

amy

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I called the ranger office today and got some news on the roads. If you are coming from Randle you should be fine. If you don't have a high clearance vehicle they said the best route is to take #23 to #21 to #56 to #5603 and finally to #2329. If you are coming from the south you are out of luck. #23 is closed and #25 is closed near Saint Helens. This makes the most direct route coming into Randle from I-5 via 12.

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Amy,

I have loads of shots, I'm out of town but will be back tonight. I will post some or find away to get you what you would like to see. I have some maps too. THere are some key points to turn if you are headed up the cleaver....

-Marc

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