Mt Adams loop

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
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Grannyhiker
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Re: Mt Adams loop

Post by Grannyhiker » June 19th, 2009, 11:36 am

Doug Lorain in the most recent (2007) edition of "Backpacking Washington" states that you should get a permit for hiking "the gap" in the Mt. Adams Highline Trail from a Yakama Nation (note spelling, please, the tribe deliberately changed it--at least use the extra "a" when communicating with the tribe!) ranger at Bird Lake. If you are going around the mountain and coming from Portland, you may start there anyway. He recommends camping in Avalanche Valley (which is on the reservation) but making extra efforts to "leave no trace." Anyway, that is another take on the permit issue.

I've also read accounts of big, fire-hose-like outbursts of water happening up on the glacier. It sounds as though it might get a bit exciting up there on a hot day. I'd love to do the trail, but obviously glacier travel and fording those deep glacial rivers are beyond my skill!

Thanks for the pictures, scrambler2, that's obviously the only way I'll see the place!
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.--E.Abbey

scrambler2
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Re: Mt Adams loop

Post by scrambler2 » June 25th, 2009, 10:34 pm

Grannyhiker wrote:Doug Lorain in the most recent (2007) edition of "Backpacking Washington" states that you should get a permit for hiking "the gap" in the Mt. Adams Highline Trail from a Yakama Nation (note spelling, please, the tribe deliberately changed it--at least use the extra "a" when communicating with the tribe!) ranger at Bird Lake. If you are going around the mountain and coming from Portland, you may start there anyway. He recommends camping in Avalanche Valley (which is on the reservation) but making extra efforts to "leave no trace." Anyway, that is another take on the permit issue.

I've also read accounts of big, fire-hose-like outbursts of water happening up on the glacier. It sounds as though it might get a bit exciting up there on a hot day. I'd love to do the trail, but obviously glacier travel and fording those deep glacial rivers are beyond my skill!

Thanks for the pictures, scrambler2, that's obviously the only way I'll see the place!

Thanks Granny! I am very interested in Doug's description of the route through "the gap" on the east side of Adams. Does he describe it in detail? I have only found the old Ira Spring/Harvey Manning description from 100 hikes in SW Wasington.
PCT class of 2012

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retired jerry
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Re: Mt Adams loop

Post by retired jerry » June 26th, 2009, 5:21 am

I think scrambler2's description on previous page is way more complete that any book I've seen.

Maybe books don't describe the gap in much detail because it's so difficult and so few people would want to do it.

gary_ballou
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Re: Mt Adams loop

Post by gary_ballou » June 26th, 2009, 5:20 pm

First PDX Hikers post folks, so hope this works okay.
I hiked the Adams RTM with a friend in August '06, clockwise starting at Morrison Crk t/head. It was the culmination of a dream I'd had for over twenty years. That was before the big storms that so dramatically changed the landscape.
Add these bits to the thread:
**I also wondered about the permits for travel on the reservation, so I just called the Yakima tribe directly. The word I got was that I could register with a ranger enroute, should I bump into one on the trail. As it turned out, never saw any authorities at all. Had such a great time I sent 'em a donation anyway, to cover trail maintenance costs.
**With all the crossings the earlier you cross the better. We crossed the Rusk and Big Muddy in one day, setting out from Avalanche Valley before first light. Made a big difference. We also had the luxury of an extra day in the Valley, to scout our route across the challenging terrain.
**The advice from a local who grew up there had been to cross the Klickitat Glacier up above, not thru the creek. Sure got our vote. We brought crampons and hiking poles; made that steep climb up to Sunrise Camp no big deal.
**He also said that a lot of the crossings got hit pretty hard from the Winter '06-07 storms. Made 'em more challenging--too bad, most of them were very doable for us.
**We camped at High Camp and crossed to the east up high, more or less on a beeline toward Red Butte. A great day.

Best of luck to you!

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Grannyhiker
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Re: Mt Adams loop

Post by Grannyhiker » June 26th, 2009, 6:51 pm

Lorain doesn't describe the route through the Gap; the hike he describes turns around at Avalanche Valley and exits via one of the north side trailheads. In other words, a rather long 2-car shuttle is required for his version.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.--E.Abbey

merlin33
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Re: Mt Adams loop

Post by merlin33 » August 27th, 2009, 8:24 pm

What is the total distance around Adams? Obviously it will vary a bit depending on a high route or low route choice on the East side, but looking for approximate. Also has any gone around this August? Looking to do it Labor Day weekend.

thanks
cs

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drm
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Re: Mt Adams loop

Post by drm » August 28th, 2009, 6:12 pm

About 40 miles around.

merlin33
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Re: Mt Adams loop

Post by merlin33 » August 30th, 2009, 10:48 am

Thanks drm. Is is about the same difficulty (elevation gain/loss) as Hood, which is 10K'? I have done Hood in a day twice (running) and trying to see if Adams will be about the same. Thanks so much.

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drm
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Re: Mt Adams loop

Post by drm » August 31st, 2009, 1:01 pm

There isn't as much up-and-down on the Adams loop as on Hood. Mainly at two places: Devils Garden, and Ridge of Wonders.

If you're doing the loop, you really should get a good map of the east side, and then you can look all this up. The forest service doesn't cover it so well because it isn't in the national forest. The Green Trails map is good. I just got back from Sunrise Camp, and there really is no trail nor cairns that I could find for an extended section. There's a lot of loose scree and talus.

Jeff
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Re: Mt Adams loop

Post by Jeff » September 23rd, 2009, 9:04 pm

Two companions and I hiked around Mt. Adams 9/7 through 9/12. Took a lay day at Killen Creek Meadows and hike up to the lake above High Camp at 7005' that day. We started at Cold Springs Campground and hiked counterclockwise. The U.S. Forest Service Ranger said we would have to buy a permit if we ran into Yakima Nation tribal members as we passed through Bird Creek Meadows, so we carried money to so do. We did not run int any. The first day saw about 6" of fresh snow on the ground. This was to our advantage as the way trail beyond the end of the maintained trail to Sunrise Camp was much easier with the snow. Having hiked this many times without snow allows me to make this comment. The snow consolidated the cindery part of the trek and filled in gaps between the rocks on the other parts.

In the teens that night at Sunrise Camp. The descent to the Klickitat glacier was facilitated by the fresh snow. It was stuck to the older, harder snow/ice and allowed good purchase without having to break out the crampons. We crossed the Klickitat to the moraine on the north side and then worked our way up onto Battlement Ridge before descending toward Goat Butte. Crevasses were not an issue in crossing the glacier. Lots of minor ups and downs working our way across the moraine, but not any issues. The water levels were low enough that the river/creek crossings were all done dry, as was the case all the way around the mountain. Some could be a real problem with high water flow.

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