Dear Oregonians and Tourists,
On Friday of last week, I drove up to the South Trail trailhead on Mt. Adams with a group of friends. We left Portland around 3pm and got to the trailhead around 6:30/7pm. Conditions for August 17th were looking pretty spectacular.
We set up camp in one of the "campsites" in the parking lot area. It was a beautiful night, the sky way clear and it was warm outside. The moon was so big that it felt like dawn as it was rising.
The next morning we departed at 5:30am. We hiked in the darkness for most of the nice gradual sections before the sun began poking out. Around 8:30am we reached the lunch counter.
There we took a 20 minute break before beginning the real climb - scattered with rock scrambles and sloping snowfields. In our group of eight - only two people rented ice axes/crampons and the rest of us made do with microspikes and hiking poles (after receiving some advice from local mountain shops and the permitting conditions). If we had tried this earlier in the year, I definitely would have wanted crampons, an ice axe, and a helmet.
Above the lunch counter, hiking towards the false summit - the sections of loose rock and scree were definitely the most sketchy, and the most concentrated with people because of how slow you move. We experienced some rock fall (yelling rock!) - from folks hiking above us. I really didn't like how people would break below slopes of loose rock and scree - but I understand everyone's capabilities are different. It creates congestion and then you have to work harder to maneuver around folks.
We grinded our way through scree and snow before reaching the false summit. We took another 15 minute break here to catch our breath before sending the next climb. Thankfully the false summit plateaus - so you get to walk maybe a quarter of a mile flat section before the final ascent.
It maybe took us 45mins to an hour for the final climb - arriving at the Summit at 11:30am. The views from the summit were unbelievable - Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood, Helens, and Mt. Jefferson were visible. We hung out at the top for an hour before making our way back down.
The descent is arguably harder than the ascent - I would recommend glissading if you can! We got back to our cars at 4:30pm and made a pit stop in Hood River for burritos.
It was an excellent weekend.
This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
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