Adams: Red Butte

Discussions and Trip Reports for off-trail adventures and rediscovering lost trails
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Chip Down
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Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Adams: Red Butte

Post by Chip Down » October 12th, 2020, 4:29 pm

If you've hiked on the NE side of Adams, you've certainly noticed the striking Red Butte, a satellite cone that's new and prominent enough that it really grabs your attention. Maybe you've wondered about getting to the top. I had a busy day, but enough time at the end to fit this in.

I approached from above, and headed to a high point on surrounding terrain, where the Red Butte cone spills over a pre-existing ridge. Where that ridge meets the cone, it became a simple trudge up loose cinder. It's a hassle, as you would expect, but there's not much elevation, and it goes fast.

At the top, I was reminded that there's a summit ridge. It's a lot like Mt Hood, and many other volcanoes: a crater rim, with a big collapse on one side. A quick easy ridge walk took me to the far side, away from Adams. I think this was the summit, by just a few feet of elevation.

The crater harbored a bit of dry grass, and it looks like maybe there's a tiny seasonal outlet creek, probably just a dribble.

This took very little work, but it wasn't extraordinary. The effort/reward ratio was acceptable. But here's where it sucks: Getting back on trail requires crossing a lava flow, and that's miserable. In retrospect, maybe I should have retraced my route to get back on trail. That would be a lot of work, but might be easier. Overall, Red Butte isn't a great objective. It's better to be enjoyed from a distance, unless you're an obsessive peak bagger.

Oh, almost forgot: It's mostly Yakama Nation, but the most sensible route pretty much follows the boundary, so if you really want to do this, it's legal.

Final note: This was a few days ago. There might be a bit of snow there at the moment.
Attachments
1.jpg
Red Butte at lower left. Crater and breach visible in this view.
2.jpg
X marks pre-existing ridge where it gets overrun by Red Butte. Followed the reservation boundary up.
3.jpg
Adams from top.
4.jpg
Crater (bad pic, kinda blends into lava flow in background).
5.jpg
Goat Butte seen from Red Butte.
6.jpg
I forgot to visit this flat spot at the base of Red Butte, fringed by rock. Not worth going back for it. Goat Rocks in background.

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Don Nelsen
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Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: Adams: Red Butte

Post by Don Nelsen » October 12th, 2020, 7:19 pm

Chip Down wrote:
October 12th, 2020, 4:29 pm

Final note: This was a few days ago. There might be a bit of snow there at the moment.
Yep: Here's Adams today from the south side at 5,300' Snow on the trail in patches from about 5,100' but melting. Continuous from about 5,500'.

Image

Image

I really like your TR's about Adams. I've definitely got to spend some time on the north and east sides.
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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Chip Down
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Re: Adams: Red Butte

Post by Chip Down » October 13th, 2020, 6:54 am

Thanks Don! Big question though: What will it be like after today? (I suspect we'll get more snow 10/13, then dry for a while.) I have my next hike planned out, with a Plan B if snow is low. Plan B is already looking very likely.

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teachpdx
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Location: Hillsboro, OR

Re: Adams: Red Butte

Post by teachpdx » October 13th, 2020, 7:17 am

Most of today's precip should fall as rain, at least below 7000' until the cold front moves in this afternoon. Then there will probably be a few inches of snow accumulating above 5000' through Wednesday. And unfortunately the forecast has shifted, calling for rain showers from Friday morning onward. So if you can get up there Thursday, great!

Unfortunately, I may also be looking at a Plan B. It looks like a couple nights at Island Lake, with some adventures up on the mountain proper, are probably out of the cards for this weekend.
instagram: @robo_remy

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teachpdx
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Location: Hillsboro, OR

Re: Adams: Red Butte

Post by teachpdx » October 13th, 2020, 7:21 am

And actually on topic... (lol)... I have also looked at hitting up Red Butte, but haven't done it. Thanks for the heads-up that it's not really worth it.
instagram: @robo_remy

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retired jerry
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Re: Adams: Red Butte

Post by retired jerry » October 13th, 2020, 8:04 am

the next week is supposed to be nice

maybe one last opportunity for alpine areas before significant snow

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