Mt. Adams Summit in the Bag

Mt Adams Summit View Check Mt. Adams off the list. Now I know what it's like sucking wind at 12,280 feet!

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.

Barely awake: Mt Adams climb

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.

Scott at a break: Mt Adams climb

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!

My shadow at sunrise: Mt Adams climb

Mt. St. Helens in the distance with Mt. Adams' shadow at left: Mt Adams climb

Looking up at the challenge ahead, about one-third of the way up: Mt Adams climb

Break time, again: Mt Adams climb

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.

The view looking up from the false summit: Mt Adams climb

Mt. Hood from the false summit: Mt Adams climb

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.

The summit: Mt Adams climb

Mike was happy to be at the top: Mt Adams climb

So was I, with Rainier in the background: Mt Adams climb

The guys peeing at the top, Rainier at left: Mt Adams climb

Mt. St. Helens from the summit: Mt Adams climb

Mt. Hood from the summit: Mt Adams climb

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...

...but not without injury. Scott destroyed his pinky finger on the first glissade. Mt Adams climb

Me with the GoPro before a glissade. Mt Adams climb

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!