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metal4lyf

Route recommendation Hood or Adams late season

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Hi,

 

Posted this a few other places but haven't heard back yet.

 

I'm looking for a route recommendation for Hood or Adams (flying into Portland) over Labor Day weekend. Steep snow and easy-to-moderate ice. Would prefer a glacier route and will not be bringing rock pro.

 

Did Fuhrer Finger on Rainier that time last year and dealt with rockfall (mostly due to a late start), rotten snow, and messy glaciers. I figure that's par for the course by September.

 

Anyone find a good time on the snow late August?

 

 

Thanks!

michael

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I think they'll both be pretty ugly then, and anything steep will provide plenty of rockfall. I'd pick a different sort of objective if it were me, even if it was just hiking and picking huckleberries it would be better than those two volcanoes.

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If you don't want to travel to the North Cascades (you really should consider it!), I think scrambling some peaks in the Goat Rocks would be much more enjoyable. Backpack the Snowgrass Flats loop and tag a few peaks.

 

I would second avoiding Hood and Adams after July. Much, much too ugly, and possibly dangerous depending on the route choice.

As far as steep volcano routes that time of year, Kurt pretty much nailed it.

 

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Thanks for the fast replies.

 

Are you speaking from experience? Last Labor Day weekend on Rainier we had a few big ones come down the Finger because we were late. It was manageable. The worst rockfall was encountered descending DC due to hundreds of people dragging ropes above us. Even then we didn't come away feeling that we'd taken a risk climbing it so late. I'll admit it got me thinking the late-season hazards are exaggerated.

 

Are Adams and Hood that much worse than Rainier?

 

 

Thanks again

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adams and hood are of course much lower, and much less extensively glaciated, than rainier

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2011 was not a normal year. We had a huge snowpack and a very cool summer, meaning conditions late in the year on the volcanos were much, much better than normal. Night and day really.

 

We have a decent snowpack this year, but it all depends on how warm August is. That said, I'm still betting that Hood and Adams will be bony and unpleasant come September.

 

And yes, everyone posting on this thread speaks from experience. Late season hazards are real on the volcanos.

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Thanks for the fast replies.

 

Are you speaking from experience? Last Labor Day weekend on Rainier we had a few big ones come down the Finger because we were late. It was manageable. The worst rockfall was encountered descending DC due to hundreds of people dragging ropes above us. Even then we didn't come away feeling that we'd taken a risk climbing it so late. I'll admit it got me thinking the late-season hazards are exaggerated.

 

Are Adams and Hood that much worse than Rainier?

 

 

Thanks again

 

I climbed Adams in 2003 on Labor Day weekend via the walkup and it was mostly safe/fine, however, there were several hundred feet of trudging up scree below Piker's and on the final push to the summit. This was on the dog route, and you wanted a steep snow climb or ice climb.

 

Last year the Kautz was still in great shape in September and I went up it on the 11th. You may luck out this year on that route depending on how things go between now and then.

 

But, generally, Hood and Adams will not be much good when you plan to visit as others have indicated.

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Thanks everyone. I'm ruling out Hood at this point. Last year Adams looked pretty good, but I've been digging up photos from prior years in which the glaciers look awful. Hope it cools off out there.

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I think they'll both be pretty ugly then, and anything steep will provide plenty of rockfall. I'd pick a different sort of objective if it were me, even if it was just hiking and picking huckleberries it would be better than those two volcanoes.

I agree, also with Kurt Hicks, alough the approach to NR Baker may be broken up. One approach is to camp below the Black Buttes (pretty short approach to this point) and scout the traverse to the North Ridge and add wands as needed. Get an early start and folllow your previously established route (GPS works too). IF the approach is too broken up you can do the Coleman Demming route.

 

My personal recommendation would be Fisher Chimneys on Mt Shuksan. Should be in good shape, although icy, bring a few screws and a sceond tool, just in case, as well as a small rock rack and a v-thread kit. Nice mix of moderate/easy rock and ice climbing on the most photogenic face of this truly classic Cascade peak.

 

I'll admit it got me thinking the late-season hazards are exaggerated.

 

Are Adams and Hood that much worse than Rainier?

 

Nobody here is exagerating the late season hazards. Rainier is a different beast than anything else in the Cascades. You are getting good advice. The only route I would consider doing that time of year on Adams or Hood is SS Adams which would be a scree hike.

 

If you haven't been to the North Cascades, you should treat yourself and go. Several good suggestions in additions to mine already posted.

Edited by DPS

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I think they'll both be pretty ugly then, and anything steep will provide plenty of rockfall. I'd pick a different sort of objective if it were me, even if it was just hiking and picking huckleberries it would be better than those two volcanoes.

I agree, also with Kurt Hicks, alough the approach to NR Baker may be broken up. One approach is to camp below the Black Buttes (pretty short approach to this point) and scout the traverse to the North Ridge and add wands as needed. Get an early start and folllow your previously established route (GPS works too). IF the approach is too broken up you can do the Coleman Demming route.

 

My personal recommendation would be Fisher Chimneys on Mt Shuksan. Should be in good shape, although icy, bring a few scres and a sceond tool, just in case. Nice mix of moderate/easy rock and ice climbing on the most photogenic face of this truly classic Cascade peak.

 

If taking the trouble to navigate the crevasses to the N ridge, might as well just go for the Coleman Headwall.

 

 

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If taking the trouble to navigate the crevasses to the N ridge, might as well just go for the Coleman Headwall.

 

That is another good, albiet harder, option. I've done both, and of course both routes change dramatically from year to year. Without knowing the OPs ice/alpine experience Coleman Headwall over Labor Day WE might be a lot to bite off.

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Getting onto the North Ridge in late season:

 

Traverse east onto the Roosevelt Glacier from the Harrison Camp (Mirkwood). Cross the lower Coleman around 5000' (the flats), onto the medial moraine near the righthand waterfall, go up onto the Roosevelt. Cruise up to the route.

 

The Coleman HW has significantly more objective danger than the North Ridge.

 

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Getting onto the North Ridge in late season:

 

Traverse east onto the Roosevelt Glacier from the Harrison Camp (Mirkwood). Cross the lower Coleman around 5000' (the flats), onto the medial moraine near the righthand waterfall, go up onto the Roosevelt. Cruise up to the route.

 

The Coleman HW has significantly more objective danger than the North Ridge.

Good suggestion. Did NR using this apporach one year, but it was so long ago I forgot about it.

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Without knowing the OPs ice/alpine experience Coleman Headwall over Labor Day WE might be a lot to bite off.

 

Not deep, but sufficient I think. Comfortable leading WI3, have led WI4. Rainier last year, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo in Feb, Pisco and Chopicalqui earlier this month. Many, many steep snow lines in Colorado over the past 3 years. My partner is relatively inexperienced but hasn't been intimidated by anything I've thrown at him, including Whitney MR, Rainier FF, Ecuador volcanoes, Mt. Russell E Ridge, etc.

 

I'm on a glacier kick right now, and the Baker and Shuksan routes mentioned are looking like fun alternatives.

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The NR Baker and Shuksan recommendations are solid gold, and far more fun than either Hood or Adams would be that time of year. They're close to each other too, do 'em both and you'll have had a wonderful trip out here.

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I found the Coleman HW to be a bit stressful and not very "fun" compared to the NR, which is a great climb, and relatively safe. Also, Fisher Chimneys on Shuksan is a fantastic outing.

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How is Adams Glacier in late season? I've only looked at it through binocs in Sept.... obviously the N Ridge descent could be a pain in the butt, but if a spouse was willing to drop a car or run shuttle to the south side trailhead... ???

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What about Mazama Glacier on Adams? I was up there once that time of year and it was great but that was a long time ago. If memory serves me, no rock, easy ice, reasonable to navigate over and around cravases. Another one that is within striking distance form from Portland would be Jefferson. I did the Jefferson Park Glacier in October once and really liked it. That too was a while ago but I remember having not too much rock fall, easy ice, and easy rock. The rock was even relatively solid compared to the other local volcanic choss piles.

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What about Mazama Glacier on Adams? I was up there once that time of year and it was great but that was a long time ago. If memory serves me, no rock, easy ice, reasonable to navigate over and around cravases. Another one that is within striking distance form from Portland would be Jefferson. I did the Jefferson Park Glacier in October once and really liked it. That too was a while ago but I remember having not too much rock fall, easy ice, and easy rock. The rock was even relatively solid compared to the other local volcanic choss piles.

 

I believe there is the option for a steep (headwall) finish on the Mazama Glacier as well, if you are into that sort of thing.

 

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How is Adams Glacier in late season? I've only looked at it through binocs in Sept.... obviously the N Ridge descent could be a pain in the butt, but if a spouse was willing to drop a car or run shuttle to the south side trailhead... ???

I've only done it relatively early, early July, as soon as the the trailhead opened. I think route finding would be very difficult and rock fall off the NW Ridge might be a problem. Just a guess though.

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Most years, the Adams Glacier involves difficult ice climbing (in and out of crevasses/seracs) late in the season.

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+1 for the Fischer Chimneys on Shuksan. You can't ask for a better introduction to the North Cascades. Personally, I love this route in the late season. You get a little bit of ice, rock and glacier, not to mention a beautiful approach to a nice lake. It also helps that the route is varied enough to keep your attention. You're never really "slogging" like on the bigger volcanoes. As a plus, you can climb the summit pyramid via the SE Rib. And the views aint bad.

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+1 for the Fischer Chimneys on Shuksan. You can't ask for a better introduction to the North Cascades. Personally, I love this route in the late season. You get a little bit of ice, rock and glacier, not to mention a beautiful approach to a nice lake. It also helps that the route is varied enough to keep your attention. You're never really "slogging" like on the bigger volcanoes. As a plus, you can climb the summit pyramid via the SE Rib. And the views aint bad.

X2 - this route is the principal reason i decided, way back in the halcyon days of the 1st W administration, to move out here to the glorious pacific northwest :rawk:

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