Monday, August 9, 2010

Mount Adams

This was an epic weekend... Drew, Josh, Madison, Mollie and I climbed Mount Adams and made it to the top!  Mount Adams, which is part of the Cascade Range, is the 2nd highest mountain in Washington with an elevation of 12,227 ft. I have to admit I was a little nervous about this weekend's climb, but it went smoothly and was a blast!

Our group drove out to the mountain near Trout Lake in South Central Washington on Saturday evening. We set up camp near the trailhead, ate a pasta dinner, then headed of to bed (actually sleeping bag) around 8:00pm. When climbing in snow, you want to start your climb very early in the morning when the snow is frozen and packed as opposed to slushy in the afternoon. So the plan was to get 4 hours of sleep, wake up at midnight, and start climbing around 1:00am.  But I didn't sleep a wink - I wasn't tired, I wasn't too comfortable and I was anxious to get on the mountain.  So after laying awake for 4 hours, it was time to get up, get ready and begin the climb.

It was pitch dark so we used head lamps to light our way up the South Spur Route which starts at 5,600 ft and gains nearly 7,000 ft of elevation over 5.7 miles.  A few hours in, right before we got to the "Lunch Counter", I felt something dragging on my boot.  Surely I didn't step in gum on a snowy mountain!  I looked down to see what was hanging off the bottom of my boot... and it was the sole of my boot!  I'd rented these boots from an outdoor store that I have used before, but these boots had definitely seen better days.  Thankfully Mollie had some duct tape in her bag (you're a lifesaver, Mollie!) so Drew and Josh mended my boot with athletic tape and duct tape and we kept climbing.  Problem solved.  Or so we thought.  Throughout the climb, my shoes continued to fall apart.  Not only did we have to keep mending the right shoe, but on the descent the entire sole of my left shoe came off in my crampon (those spikey boot attachments that provide traction in ice and snow).  By the end of the day, after at least half a dozen repairs with tape, string and rope, I just ripped the soles completely off of the boots - so frustrating, but at least it didn't completely ruin the trip.  Thanks for taking care of me, Big D!

Besides that, everything else was great.  The weather was perfect: sunny and clear skies with just a little wind.  The views were incredible: from the top of Adams you could see Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson and Mount St Helens.  And being on the mountain as the sun was rising was breathtaking.  And the company was the best: I loved getting to spend quality time with each person while on the mountain.  Being out in nature with no distractons and nothing but time is a great way to build relationships with those around you.

I'm so thankful to Drew and Josh for guiding us up Mount Adams.  What a great weekend - one of the best I've had up here in the Great Northwest.  I can't wait for the next big adventure!


  1. Awesome, Mary! Looks like you are working your way up to a fourteener! And I think it's time to invest in some good hiking boots or ask for them for Christmas:)

  2. What's next? How many more til Everest???