Mt Adams: Avalanche Valley

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drm
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Mt Adams: Avalanche Valley

Post by drm » September 9th, 2023, 10:00 am

I have been wanting to get back to Avalanche Valley - I last camped here in 2014. We have had trip reports for Adams loops, but Avalanche Valley has a big rep itself among longtime Adams visitors. There was a wildfire and the area was mostly closed for years, only parts of it burned. This year the Yakama opened the area for six weeks from late July to early September, and I got in right at the end - now you have to wait till next year. The trip started with a visit to upper Killen Creek.

The Muddy Meadows trailhead was socked in with a marine layer, but it burned off quickly. Here I am on the PCT just before Killen Creek.
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Heading above the PCT on a social trail, there is this waterfall.
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A half mile above the PCT is this Shangri La meadow next to my camp.
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With Mt Adams summit just barely sticking out above the ridge.
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That moss is basically floating on water.
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There was a gap in the trees with a perfect framed view of Mt. Rainier.
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Goat Rocks are completely melted out.
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The next morning I am heading up one of my favorite trails on Mt Adams.
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Which goes by this pond.
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The temps were cool - in the 50s, so the crossing of the west fork of the Muddy Fork was an easy step.
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The east fork was just as easy. The lower rock would be under water the next day.
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The multiple arms of the Lyman Glacier dominate as the Highline Trail crosses the pumice field approaching Devils Garden.
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Crossing into Yakama territory at 7700 feet.
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I left a payment envelope there for any other last visitors this season. The Yakama Nation charges a fee to enter their land - payment is an honor system.
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Traversing ground towards the notch right of Goat Butte. The trail is unmaintained here and occasionally disappears. Rock carins help, but not always.
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Little Muddy Creek going in would be my only wet crossing this trip - here is where I waded across.
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The pond with it's dramatic setting in Avalanche Valley, which is really just a small shelf on the side of a larger canyon.
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Here is the one established camp, which I was early enough to get. It is much smaller than when I camped here in 2014.
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I took a little walk that afternoon, following the creek for a ways - it all just pops out of springs on the hillside.
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Sunrise on the mountain after a cold night.
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Light frost on the pack. Good thing I get the sun quickly on the east side of the mountain.
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Heading back, the water was at least 6 inches lower in the Little Muddy and I could step across these rocks.
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It was sunny at dawn, but clouds moved in just in time to shade my climb back up to Devls Garden.
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Clouds at Devils Garden.
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The east fork of the Muddy Fork was again easy to cross.
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I think this is some kind of buckwheat.
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Back at the trailhead, clouds only partly obscuring the view.
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Chip Down
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Re: Mt Adams: Avalanche Valley

Post by Chip Down » September 10th, 2023, 6:45 pm

Nice report on a great route.
Off-topic question: you observed Goat Rocks melted out. I remember a section of PCT through GR that was always under snow, never melted completely. Are those days gone?

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drm
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Re: Mt Adams: Avalanche Valley

Post by drm » September 11th, 2023, 4:56 pm

Chip - I assume you are talking about Goat Lake. My photo doesn't show everything, but we recently had a report which showed it was completely melted out.

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Splintercat
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Re: Mt Adams: Avalanche Valley

Post by Splintercat » September 14th, 2023, 7:23 pm

Nice report, Dean - thanks!

Tom :-)

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