Mt. Adams (South Spur route) - Dec. '85

On December 26, 1985, Dudley, Al and I (Wayne) set out on a 5 day trip to do a Winter ascent of Mt. Adams. We left Seattle at ~1:00 pm. We had dinner in Woodland. From Wayne's "outdoor journal": We drove to White Salmon the day after Christmas, and spent the evening there.  The next day we drove to the 2000' elevation junction a couple of miles past Trout Lake. We parked along the paved road [near the road that goes to Cold Springs]; we had to walk the entire length of the logging road that goes to Cold Springs. We had 1 sled; each of us had a pack also. And we had snow shoes. We had 50 wands. I believe my pack weighed about 50 lbs. The first day of hiking, we traveled about 6 and 1/2 miles. We camped about a mile before Morrison Creek Horse camp (4,500' el.). During the night, and early morning, we heard a coyote howl not far from our camp, On Dec. 28th we picked up camp and were hiking at 9:30 am.We reached our 2nd camp site approximately 1 mile beyond Cold Springs at 2:30 pm; the elevation was ~6,400'. We felt good about being within "striking distance" of the summit of Mt. Adams. The next morning, Dudley wasn't feeling well; however,  Al and I got up at 4:00 am and left camp for the summit at 5:30 am; we saw a cloud cap on Mt. Adams early in the morning. We put our crampons on at the snow field that leads to the "Lunch Counter". We took a break at 10:15 am. I estimated that we had to climb ~2,000' to reach the false summit. We made good time for the next 1,000' elevation gain. I spotted a goat on the route above. I found the last 500' incredibly exhausting, due to high winds near the false summit. I reached the "crater rim" [i.e. false summit, elevation 11,700'] at 1:00 pm.  By that time I was thirsty and I drank some water. Earlier I didn't want to take my pack off, as I was worried about the wind blowing things away.  I used wool gloves w/ wool mittens over them, which provided sufficient insulation from the cold. I also had a stocking cap on, but it blew away when I took my hood off briefly; fortunately I had a thin "poly" balaclava on too when I lost my hat. I took a few photos on the false summit. I decided not to go to the true summit because it was an hour away, I had been there before, and I wanted to get back to camp before dark-especially since it is Winter time!  After a 10 minute break on the crater rim, I headed down. I felt great going down; I was no longer fighting the wind. My legs felt strong, which is how they felt all along. I soon met up with Al. He was waiting for me about 1,000' below the false summit. He said he felt exhausted going up [w/ the wind], so he turned around. We walked into camp at 4:30 pm. Dudley was waiting at the camp site--and he had a warm drink for each of us :-) He said a party of 2 that was nearby didn't go for the summit, as their [white rubber moon (Air Force pressure)] boots didn't have very good traction. Dudley said they had a spotting scope on a tri-pod, and they saw me get to the "crater rim". On Dec. 30th we picked up camp and were hiking at 11:00 am. We reached my truck at 4:45 pm. We averaged 1.5 mph hiking in; we were twice as fast going out. The sled worked fine after we got some center of gravity issues worked out. We got the sled from REI, and modified it so that we could tie things down using a cord (see Washington->Preparing for Mt. McKinley Part 1). The weather pattern is that this area had been in a "cold spell" for the past 3 weeks. 

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