Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 897 | TRs
Location: Pasco, WA
|I found these photos when rummaging for copies of some important papers I'd recently misplaced. Go figure. Since I never trip-reported on this hike, and they seem to do belated hike posts on cc.com all the time, I figured I'd post it now.
About 5 of us went up to Adams for a weekend trip, with a Sunday summit. Don't listen to anyone who tells you to do it in one day: spending the night on the mountain (with clear skies) is totally worth dragging your crap up to lunch counter.
We set out Saturday around 12, after picking up our permits and "Human Waste Recepticles" at the ranger station. The parking lot was, of course, crowded. One of the funny things about this "hike/scramble" is that it attracts people of all persuasions and abilities. There are plenty of Cascade hardpeople just doing it for fun, and lots of people who've never used a crampon in their life. It gets a little hairy sometimes because people end up using dangerous equipment without a clue about how to use it. When we first started the hike there was a dude in front of us with his ax slung through the loop, with the spike pointing down to his heel. I don't believe it just slipped out. I totally figured I'd see a severed tendon on the side of the trail before long, but someone from our party ran up and helped him out. I don't mean to intentionally make fun of people, because it's good people are getting out and enjoying the wilderness, but it can be kind of freaky to see!
The hike to lunch counter is mostly a long snow slog, exposed to the sun. Getting out of the bowl under Crescent Glacier is really the only steep snow to worry about in early season, until you get to lunch counter.
Crescent glacier area
Lunch counter is the real reason it's worth staying over night. As the sun goes down, the whole shadow of this huge mountain just spreads out over the land, then creeps up into the horizon. It's a really neat trick.
We got up the next morning, 4:30, and started the long slog up to piker's peak. This time of year, in good weather, there's enough of a boot track and a general lack of ice (again, depending on weather) to stow the crampons in the tent. However! We got half-way up and there was a dude plopped down in the middle of the track, heaving. We had to cut steps, because the snow was crusty enough we couldn't kick steps with our trail runners, around him and proceed on. Scary for that guy. We ambled up to the false summit, curved around to the real summit, and took all of our poser pictures. The views are distant--being that high up makes a big fatty like Stuart or St. Helens look miniscule. On a nice day, though, you can basically see all the Cascade volcanoes in a row. This trip was no exception. We got super lucky with the weather. It wouldn't be nearly as much fun in a whiteout.
Summit poseur shot
The glisades are, of course, totally sweet. We had uninterrupted snow from piker's peak to lunch counter. I lost my water bottle on the way down, but retrieved it at the feet of some other glissader.
Glissade from summit--note, I am about to lose that water bottle in my pack