After turning around just shy of Mount Rainier in a failed summit bid a couple days prior our team focused on Mount Adams via Adams Glacier with new rejuvenated spirits and enthusiasm. Thanks to fellow HAMS peers we copied their existing trip report and plan to organize our backcountry camping permits quickly while studying our new route.
The drive out to the ranger station and trailhead winds through one of those odd rural areas of Washington. We stayed a night in a campground under a marvelous canopy of large trees. Lush vegetation and large plants all around nothing like we are used to in Colorado. The night in a four season tent with three people was rough, but we survived with both vestibules open for ventilation.
The hike into camp at the lake below Adams Glacier is a long trek from what I remember but we were also pretty heavy with all our glacier and camping gear. The approach is scenic, though, and an enjoyable jaunt. It seemed like misery on the way out though!
We passed the tent sight of the other HAMS team below the lake. A few of their team members were scouting the route above the lake and the others napping.
Our camp at the lake was beautiful and we enjoyed some welcome downtime to set up camp and chow down calories before turning in early for the night. We got some beta from the other group as they made their way down with information about the crevasses on the glacier and our route line.
The three of us slept cozy and snug as a bug in a rug in our palance tent that night. We woke early to the midnight alarm and geared up to head out for our summit bid. The walk across the glacier was mellow and pleasant under the stars. We enjoyed stellar views of sunrise looking back on the crevasse field and camp below.
We took the direct left line rather than navigating through seracs and crevasses on the right. This was a fun classic steep line, the steepest being maybe 70 degrees and definitely had the heart pumping with those front kicks! It was a beautifully aesthetic route I quite enjoyed and would love to return to!
Above the steepest pitch we switchbacked up the entire remaining slope until we topped out at the false summit. From here we had a walk up to the summit itself which was much flatter than anticipated.
The views were incredible despite an impending whiteout and the team spirits were restored! A successful summit after so many hurdles and pivots to our original plan. Now we just needed to get down safely. The weather and clouds began to turn while on the summit and we made quick work starting the descent. The scrambling down the ridge wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t my favorite in places where loose scree dirt made slipping likely after a long alpine day. We slogged back down to camp to get water and snacks while packing up before making an even longer slog back to the trailhead and the van.
A high quality route with a stellar group of people and a fun memorable first experience!