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[TR] ADAMS - Stormy Monday Couloir - standard 7/18/2010

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Trip: ADAMS - Stormy Monday Couloir - standard


Date: 7/18/2010


Trip Report:

After summitting Rainier via Kautz 6 days before this trip, I wanted to climb something mellow for a change, to recover. Phil (LowLife on here) was recovering too, from the Liberty Ridge, when we bumped into each other on the summit.


The recovery took place on Adams. Mount Adams is known to be a major tourist attraction with the most outstanding dog routes in the Pacific Northwest. We choose a much less visited NW side of the mountain that is accessible via Killen Creek TH from Randle. Getting to the said TH for individuals like myself with the routefinding skills which leave much to be desired was challenging and obviously took longer than expected.


After 6 mile approach through the beautiful Killen creek alpine meadows, we find a sweet camping spot at 8000’ on the lower Adams glacier:




The upper Adams glacier looks like another dog route transplanted from the south side and is currently in great shape:




But we are not dogs and so we pick up a different line - “Stormy Monday Couloir” - to the left of the Adams glacier HW. Books define it as one of the hardest routes on Adams with “rock/ice/steep snow to 60 deg” for 4000’.

At this point we don’t see much water ice on it though.


Stormy Monday Couloir:



Next morning, after my usual struggle with getting my ass out of the tent early, we reach the base of the climb only at 5 a.m. The expected war zone is right there on the glacier but rockfall is not very distracting.


Adams' Mordor and a war zone:



At the base of the climb:




After passing the shrund on the left, we head up straight to the notch and the rock band. Snow/ice are solid and we quickly simul solo the couloir.


The rock band (at about 11000’) has a not very inviting rotten ice runnel that we go through next. The best thing was in order to get on the runnel, one needs to jump across the icy moat with the tools ready to hook on ice or volcanic rock and to be really hoping they will stick.

It is when we got to explore a new fascinating sport of wet-tooling on verglassed rock without pro for 30’ or so.


The CRUX - Running runnel in action which we soloed:



The icy moat at base of the runnel:



Phil topping out on the easy ground after the crux. Do you hear water running?



The rest is two-tooling through the sustained 50-60 deg couloir all way to the crater rim and that goes well.


Higher up in the couloir:



3000' exposure:



Almost on the crater rim:




We eat and take a casual walk along the summit ridge. The smell of sulfur on the west side is unbearable and we feel great.


Phil notices a steep serac (on the opposite side of the dog route) and suggests we take a harder variation of reaching the summit. When we finally top out on the summit, everyone wonders where did we come from and take us for some weirdos with metal tubes (screws):



On the summit with Rainier on the horizon:




We take North ridge to descent back to the camp and those 4000’ took forever and turned out to be the worst sufferfest I ever had.


North Ridge Bitch:




Gear Notes:

Screws, pickets, nuts - none used


Approach Notes:

Killen Creek TH

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Great TR. :) Wow that crux section looks like some volcanosketch for sure. I hear ya on the north ridge, I had the horrid idea to go up that thing once, it is really a pile for sure...

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haha - great TR!

sounds like a great recovery route: sustained snow for thousands of vertical feet, icy moats and flying rocks to watch out for, and of course - pro-free wettooling on rock that looks like compressed mud. rad.


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Nastia, as usual, a superior climb! I like your obse/passion with a zero-margin climbing. Free climbing in its purest form. Do not slip.




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Geez, Mito! Your t.r.'s gimme nightmares! I know you prolly hear this alot, but fer chrissakes be careful!!!

(and thanx for sharing an amazing story...) :tup: :tup: :tup:

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Has anyone done the Adams' Glacier route? Any beta on the general line would be great, doing it this weekend (this TR sounds to hairball for my dog route ass).

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As per current conditions, these would be your two best bets for the Adams glacier:





If I were you, I would try the more interesting icefall variation on the left though.

Nothing was coming down when we were there.



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Cool! Nice work! Looks like a great route.


It looked quite a bit dirtier from the nfnwr yesterday, there were frequent cannonballs and rock storms fireing down that wall.

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Dan, we saw your car leaving on FS23 around 10 am on Sunday and had a sneaking suspicion you must have been shredding the couloir but after seeing this,




realized you moved on something else.

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