Mt. Adams is the second tallest mountain in Washington, behind Rainier. We took the non-technical South Spur route, gaining 7,000 feet of elevation in a 12-mile, single-day roundtrip. It was a natural stair-climber!
Our start wasn't ideal. Traffic south on I-5 just plain sucked and we didn't get to the campground north of While Salmon, WA, until 11 p.m., a few hours later than we would have liked. We "slept" for a short time through the windy night and woke up for an alpine start at 3:30 a.m., hitting the trail at 4 a.m.
We took breaks every hour for 15 minutes to let our legs rest and eat. You can really blow through calories climbing. I ate four Snickers bars, four Clif Bars, a half-pound of beef jerky and a half-pound of dried mangos and drank three liters of water over the course of the day.
We shed some layers and put on more suntan lotion at sunrise during our third break of the day. Yes, I wore plenty of suntan lotion!
The hardest part of the climb was between the lunch counter, where many climbers camp, and the false summit. We had been climbing for a few hours and those steps just burned, even with crampons. It was also a bit defeating. Once we got to the false summit, we saw we had another 1,000 feet or so to go.
I got a second-wind on the way up to the true summit, and we reached the top in about seven hours. The sky was clear and there was no wind. You really couldn't ask for better conditions.
Of course, the ascent is only half the climb. Walking back down is usually no fun, but Adams had some insane snow slides -- hundreds of feet long -- that made the descent fast and fun...
Scott's GoPro footage edit, as posted at Cascade Gravity Research:
We made good time on the way down, taking half the time. We had a better commute heading north, and I crashed hard when I got home. I had a couple small blisters on my feet, but no sunburn and little soreness. Overall, it was a successful climb!