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samw51

Adams south spur

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ability to self arrest on steep slope. knowledge of how/when to use crampons. how to stay warm. when to turn around if weather is coming in.

 

i wouldn't count on following too much of a track up there yet.... though there have been reports, and I could be wrong, but it's a little early yet for the masses to have stamped out a large staircase.

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Should be comfortable with using crampons & ice axe. Experience snow camping if you haven't had that. Getting onto the spur can be steep and Suksdorf ridge (going up toward the Piker's Peak summit) can be steep - especially if it's frozen.

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It's good to be comfortable with an ice axe and crampons, but don't construe that advice into thinking that the climb is more technical than it really is. Most people slide down most of the way on purpose, and while accidents do happen and you could fall out of control and hurt yourself (especially if it's icy), it's still a very basic, simple climb and if conditions are good then a pair of boots and trekking poles will be enough.

 

In other words, don't be scared away just because you don't think you're an expert with an ice axe.

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Robs advice is good. You have to listen to your gut with the weather and conditions. Camping at LC in July.. if you are going up the main slope to pikers before sunrise or right after on a clear night when the temp drops a bit, its going to be icy and need an ice ax and crampons to begin with probably. If you wait until the sun has been on the slope for two hours/if the temp is higher over night, it will be softer to the point of maybe getting by fine with just hiking poles. I've done both ways. Once the road gets opened up (a week or two or so) and the masses get in, there is often a true staircase up from Lunch Counter--your foot, flat, in steps, closely spaced.

 

It is a longer climb (elevation gain wise) so endurance is something to consider (just, are you pretty fit or not..that will play a role).

 

My wife will reluctantly use an ice ax and microspikes but defers when it gets to anything that would require crampons. That line may be different for different people, anyways Adams is one of her favorites for being around the edge of her abilities with a great reward for the challenge (2000ft glissade).

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Thanks for the feedback. I am comfortable with an ice ax (not so much my buddy) but not with crampons. We're both in very good shape and have experience camping in the cold/snow. It sounds like later in the year it might be doable.

 

I appreciate the feedback.

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If the weather is nice, and you don't wait until too late in the season, by midday the snow will probably be soft enough you don't need crampons. Also, that route is not the worst place you could try to use crampons for the first time. Be careful while you are walking with them, and absolutely never glissade with them on.

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Just make sure you have the ability to melt enough water and stay warm at night. Super dumb mistake me and my friend made last year. We had a lot of camping experience but not much experience "up in the mountains" (It felt that way for us because we were the only ones with permits to go up that night). It is not technical but can be made super miserable if you do not have the right equipment. For the south side the right equipment would be a decent insulating layer at night, enough food, and water. Other than that, just make sure you stay on the trail and you should be okay. Just be safe and have fun. It is really pretty there!

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The 19th and 20th of last week I went in too the south spur for the first time. Theres lots of snow still blocking the road too the trail head, I 4x4 breaking trail about 1 mile past the gate, still leaveing about 2 extra miles too hike in too the trail head. Keep a very sharp lookout for trail markers and tracks. On 19th it was almost white out with 2-3 inches of new snow and it would have been very easy too get off trail luckly for me the sun came out later on up the route.I started in at about 11am and the snow was very soft , got too elv 7500 and set up bevy. Clear skys that nite, woke up at 4am and was out bye 5 made it too 1100ft and had to give up was spent and very dehydrated. Theses still lots of snow on the spur and other climbers were going up the on the left side too the summit. Hiked back too my bevy site and melted snow and sloged out take extra h2o

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