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BanjoSHOES

Want to summit Mt. Hood or Mt. Adams.. Questions

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I am very interested in summiting either Mt. Adams or Mt. Hood this spring. I am fairly new to mountaineering, but not to outdoor adventure/backpacking/camping/hunting/canoeing/ect. Our only real expierience with the mountaineering aspect is last year in late June my brother and I climbed paintbrush divide last year in the Tetons and it was completely snow covered from 8500 feet on up (to 10720 feet) and ice axes were certainly required. We were both boy scouts, and my brother has through hiked the Appalachian Trail and he also does rock climbing. (Just a little background to give you an idea of our expierience level)

 

I loved the trip despite the mushy snow (that you sank up to your hips in) and I want to do something similar again this year, but I would like to go at a time of year where the snow isn't in the process of melting away.. I have to work around my brothers busy schedule adnd so my options are either 3/17/2011 or 7/9/2011 ... I am afraid that the middle of July will be too late to go and have an enjoyable time, but what do you all think of mid March? I am expecting a 3 day trip including plane flights.. any thoughts on this?

 

I was also debating between Mt. Hood or Mt. Adams... most likley the south route on either one.. I am sure either one would be fantastic, but is there one that you guys prefer?

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whats your bro's trail name/year on the AT?

 

Not that things haven't happened contrary to this, but here are your options:

March 17th = Hood

July 9th = Adams

 

Though truth be told sometimes the road to Adams isn't open by the 9th requiring a longer approach and much more likely to want to camp at Lunch Counter, turning it into a two day affair. Probably would crunch your time unless you've got really early arrival/late departures on both ends.

 

And March 17th you're probably got a less than 50% chance of having a functional day on hood, ie: fairly consolidated snow and tenable weather. You may have bluebird after a storm, or more likely, it is a storming/raining/misting/whiteout/in a cloud with lousy visibility.

 

Personally I think July 9th on Adams is your best bet, hope the road is melted out/your flight times work if you need to make an over-night of it. July 9th, yes the snow will be melting away but there will be plenty of it on Adams and probably some incredible glissading.

Edited by Water

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Thanks for the reply.

 

My brothers trail name was Little Moose and I cant remember the exact year I think it must have been around 2002, but it was from Maine to Georgia (reverse direction than most take).

 

How is the snow usually around July 9th? I think possibly one of our errors was that we got a late start (7:30) in the morning last year in the Tetons compared to an "Alpine Start" that I keep reading about.. Does the alpine start make a huge difference with the snow consistency? You will have to forgive me for my ignorance.. I live out in Michigan and unfortunately we don't have many (any) mountains here to practice on.

 

So from what I gather from your response is that weather conditions are not the best or are unpredictable in mid-March?

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Also wondering what mountaineering equiptment would be good to rent, and any good rental places in the area. We have backpacking gear taken care of, but I assume we will need ice axes, crampons, boots. What other gear is necessary for the 2 mentioned hikes? Are helmets, ropes, climbing harnesses required, or maybe something I might be overlooking?

 

Just thought I would throw this picture of me in the Tetons..

 

Tetons1.JPG

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July 9th is a great time to climb Adams. Its a long one and if you don't have great endurance I would recommend camping on the Lunch Counter. Its worth it just for the sunset behind St. Helens and the stars at night, if its clear.

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Also wondering what mountaineering equiptment would be good to rent, and any good rental places in the area. We have backpacking gear taken care of, but I assume we will need ice axes, crampons, boots. What other gear is necessary for the 2 mentioned hikes? Are helmets, ropes, climbing harnesses required, or maybe something I might be overlooking?

 

'pons and an ax are all you need for Adams. Its super non-technical, just long. And a GREAT ski decent. Or Glissade off Piker's Peak; 2 hrs up, 2 min down :crosseye:

 

You might need slowshoes to start, but the snow should be hard enough. Bring them to the start and if you don't need them there you can probably leave them in the car.

 

For Hood, haven't been yet. I still want to get up on the S Side this winter and avoid the Conga Line.

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Originally from MI myself. SE of the state like most.

 

Yes an alpine start CAN make a huge difference in the snow consistency in summer. On your average day the temps go up and sun comes out, snowpack softens and then as night fall comes and temperatures drop (and they not necessarily need to be to 32 at all), but the snowpack firms/freezes back up and becomes potentially hard and slick (thats what she said) but also maybe just firm enough that you only sink a little bit--just the same if it is a cloudy night with high temps, the snow may not firm up at all in which case postholing continues. All depends on the state of the snowpack and the weather. Around July 9th is a good time when the highest trailheads start to become accessible and snow above them is still plentiful and deep.

 

From what I hear from your guys experience level, I would probably say just focus on July 9 for Adams. The weeks right after 4th of july are consistently some of the driest weeks in the entire NW summer so that is the best predicted weather window for planning far out. The road is probably melted out (just be prepared if it wasn't melted all the way--longer approach.)

 

Ax and crampons for adams. Rent from REI. I am disinclined to recommend boot rental as all most places have are plastic boots, which to me, are overkill for Adams in July -- and the chance of a poor boot fit/blisters seems high to me, and Adams is probably not going to be nearly as fun if your feet are bloody by the time you arrive at lunch counter (half way). Technically you can throw strap-on crampons on tennis shoes not that I am recommending this (I'm not!), but if you have a burly boot, you can probably be fine with such crampon use on Adams.

 

You have a lot more research to do and some reading and probably a bit of gear oogling in-store, but Adams July 9th is viable and probably great fun for you and your brother.

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Mt Adams is a much better (and safer) bet for an introductory volcano climb. Hood takes a bit more experience than most people think.

You can definitely get away without plastic boots on Adams. A good pair of hiking boots with strap on 10 pt crampons will work just fine.

As for an alpine start, it might help with the snow conditions, but is also nice to cut down on the crowds (not to mention the sunrise is beautiful from the top!)

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I agree that Adams in July is your best bet. Hood in March can be nice, or fatal, and if you don't have a ton of mountain experience, you can quickly get in over your head if weather rolls in. You should have great weather in July, or if anything, just some drizzle.

 

If we had a heavy snow-pack like last year, I would recommend Hood in July, but with the rather pathetic snow so far this year, it might be fairly sloppy by then, and the lower part might be a lot of ash. It is still very doable though, so either peak would work, but Adams would be my suggestion.

 

Take two days. Spend the night at Lunch Counter. I think this would really expand your knowledge and experience by spending the night on the mountain. Also, it doesn't require the midnight start that a 1-day ascent would. (and a 1 day ascent of Adams without skis is a very very long day.)

 

REI, Marmot Mountain works, Outdoor Research are all places in Seattle where you can rent gear. As the previous posters stated, bring ice axe and crampons. Strap-on crampons that will fit with decent leather boots will be fine.

 

 

Here is the forest service website for climbing Adams: http://www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/recreation/mount-adams/ You are interested in the "South Climb."

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Agreed, Adams in July would be your best bet. With your limited schedule I would suggest making it to the campground by the night before your climb. 6,000 ft.of elev.gain and 8 mi. each way can be done in a day if you start an hour or two before sunup. You should be back to camp by dark.I did it at age 50 and i'm not near as fit as many posters on this site. You youngsters should be alright. Make sure you're ready to bail if you're taking too long. Really though, you'd be better off if you allowed more time.Don't forget your camera and keep moving steady.

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Thanks so much for all the suggestions... I fell much better about going in July now. We are going to be camping (most liklet at lunch counter as suggested) the first night, and attempting to summit the second day. Depending on how many days we stay.. is there any good day hikes, or maybe alternate routes from the summit that would put us in a different camping area for a possible day 3, but ultimately bring us back to our vehicle?

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No additional route to the summit for you guys. There are great day-hikes around Mt. Adams though they could be a little snowy/mushy for day hiking around.

 

If you have a full 3 days, spend the two climbing Adams, for incredible sunsets and sunrises from lunch counter/summit. I'd probably spend day 3 enjoying the microbreweries of the gorge and doing a hike or two there to enjoy some waterfalls maybe. If you haven't been out here before, the gorge is worth a day.

Columbia-River-Gorge-at-Sunset.jpg

eagle-creek-wilderness-area_columbia-river-gorge-oregon.jpg

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Thanks for starting the thread Banjo and thanks for the info everyone else. My brothers and I were looking to summit Hood as well. We were looking to go early May but now I'm starting to second guess that time. Would July be better on Hood as well?

 

Thanks

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Could be. I think early May is much better than July. July is probably too late on Hood. May the weather is more iffy but better snow conditions probably.

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Could be. I think early May is much better than July. July is probably too late on Hood. May the weather is more iffy but better snow conditions probably.

 

I'd be scared of the falling rocks in July as well.

 

 

Banjo- If I am free on 9 July, I'll head up there with you and can hook you, and your buddy, up with gear. I'd love to ski that thing this time :moondance:

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neither are mine so I can take no credit. the first is from crown point state park taken from the womens forum of the crown point vista house. the second i couldn't tell you, just a googleimages search

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The second photo is of Punch Bowl Falls on the Eagle creek trail. Just up the trail from Punch bowl is tunnel falls. You hike through a tunnel under the falls. 12 + miles rt.

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Eagle Creek is a great hike. I would recommend Table Mtn for the third day if it is clear; Eagle Creek otherwise. Both facilitate camping very nicely.

 

FULL SAIL BREWERY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :rocken::brew::tup:

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