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peteK
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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 3:38 pm 
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Might try Mt. Adams this weekend (depending on weather...maybe some other weekend) via the South Climb route.  For those of you who have done this before, any thoughts on whether a dog would be able to make it up and down this time of year?  She's a black lab, used to hiking/backpacking, loves snow.   I've never taken her on an extended snow climb though and haven't done Adams before, so I'm not quite sure what to expect or if it would be smarter to leave her at home (which is currently what I'm leaning towards).  However, Adams seems like an easy enough climb, and I have seen pictures of other people with dogs up there.

I suppose one downside would be that I wouldn't really be able to glissade down if she came along.  And if it was icy enough on the way up to require crampons we'd have to wait for things to soften up.  Anyways, I'm curious what other dog owners/Adams climbers think.
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solohiker
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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 4:32 pm 
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one of the fondest memories I will have forever is summiting Adams with Tika (my golden retriever).  I could go on and on with silly stories of her various antics during that trip with her, but they wouldn't mean much to anyone else - everyone's dog has their own way of showing they're happy. You get the point, though - if your dog is in good hiking shape - go for it. Tika had the time of her life, and so did I. Dogs have built in crampons - so while I used metal ones, she was fine with what nature gave her. And I glissaded all the way down to below the lunch counter with her running beside me. When we finished she was one tired but very happy pup.


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Go Jo
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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 4:46 pm 
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We chose to leave our dogs with Grandma due to the elevation but the dog we saw coming down had bloody socks duct taped over his paw pads which had been shredded on the rocks. The owner chatted with us for a few minutes (he felt awful about his dog's obvious discomfort) and said the pooch hadn't slept very well at the Lunch Counter the night before either. He commented that leaving our four legged family behind had been a good choice. We have seen dogs on other big summits (including St Helens) with no paw pain, it may be breed specific or conditions dependent, and they do make boots for bow-wows too.
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Riverside Laker
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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 4:49 pm 
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Mules used to climb up there when the sulphur mine was running!
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Slugman
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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 5:13 pm 
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Bring enough water for the dog. Check the dog's paws several times on the way up. Be willing to bail if the dog is suffering any sign of paw damage from the snow or rocks. Do those three things, and I see no problem with it.

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joker
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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 5:45 pm 
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Summer snow can be quite abrasive, as can the rocks encountered en route. I never took my dog up there, but we've been on similar terrain with a few dogs that had lots of conditioning and lots of travel on terrain that should toughen paws, and a few have had no problems with the abrasive snow, and one tended to get bloody paws (we called here a "tenderpaw"), so we learned to use booties with her, which we got from a sled dog supply place (the ones you get at Petsmart that are made for fluffie's walks on the salted sidewalk in winter will slip right off and/or wear through quickly). She hated it, but it mostly worked, though you do lose the "built in crampons" that you mention. On that crampon thing - dog's toenails aren't nearly as effective as crampons - better than bare boots to be sure, but I've seen a dog encounter a 30 degree hard snow (suncrust - not really what I'd call "ice") pitch that he was not able to grip on - fortunately it was a short pitch and he only had a brief stressful backwards slide before he was able to get a grip. I'm sure that just as with people, different dogs will have different ability to handle hard snow capably.

It's a big day (or pair of days), so I would only consider it if your dog is pretty well conditioned, e.g. has been doing trips at least close in mileage and elevation gain stats w/o being significantly worse for wear the evening/day after. Go Jo mentions an interesting point about sleeping at the lunch counter - I have no idea whether dogs are generally more or less sensitive to altitude, but I do know that sleeping can be tough for humans up that high, and can also make the following day tougher (read up on the topic in Medicine for Mountaineering or the like for more on why...), so if you're doing it as an overnighter, one strategy is to sleep lower than that. I know that if I ever do Adams as an overnighter (so far I've done 4 times as single-day trip on skis), I'd probably opt to sleep well below the Lunch Counter, likely on one of the ridges that you get to not long after you break out of the woods.

Might be less stressful for you to leave your pal home, but might be fun to have her along too...
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Flower Sniffer
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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 5:57 pm 
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I'd leave the dog home where it's safe.  Adams is a long haul and if your dog has problems half way in, you've got a long way to go getting her out.  I also wonder about a dogs eyes on the snow.  I can't imagine it's any better for a dog than it is for a person to spend all day on a sunny snow field with no eye protection.  The problem with dogs is that they ALWAYS want to go, but they don't always know what they are getting themselves into. 

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harrymalamute
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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 6:19 pm 
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http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7976233&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=mt+adams this might help. I mention glissading with the big dog. I recommend June/July for best snow conditions. this late in the season I'd leave my pup at home. scroll to my last remarks I talk a bit about taking a dog up Adams

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Bedivere
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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 7:38 pm 
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This is a question you will really have to answer for yourself.  I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you are pretty in touch with your dog's abilities, conditioning, and fitness level.

I took Jack up there in July (see my TR in the appropriate forum) and we skied down.   Jack hikes and backcountry skis everywhere with me and is in great shape and his paws have been toughened up by numerous trips on rocks and jogging on pavement.  Still, he had one bloody paw by the time we got down, I think he must've hit a rock under the snow with it.  Fortunately these kinds of things don't phase him in the slightest, he doesn't even seem to notice them.  Other dogs might be more sensitive.  He was one VERY tired pup, but he made the whole climb up and plunged through the snow all the way back down without any real issues.

Again, I want to stress that Jack is in very good condition because I'm always taking him out with me.  Only you can assess your dog's fitness and readiness level for this kind of thing.

I have to wonder why you think you can't glissade down if you have your dog?  Makes no sense to me. Dogs have four-paw drive, they get better traction in slippery conditions than we do.  I've climbed hard snow and ice where I needed an ice axe and Jack handled it just fine.  After all, they have built-in crampons.  When glissading or skiing, Jack just runs down the hill next to, behind, or ahead of me.

Maybe the best thing to do would be to take your dog on less committed snow climbs to get a feel for what she can handle and how she'll react.  Something like Ellinor or Snoqualmie Mt. in the early spring would be good tests.

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Flower Sniffer
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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 8:47 pm 
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Willie, do you worry about his eyes at all on sunny days in the snow?

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ShakeyJke
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PostThu Aug 26, 2010 9:21 pm 
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The dogs pads can get chewed up pretty quick. Two summers ago I was on the north side, up past high camp and my dogs pads got worn through. I had a slow time getting down and ended up making some makeshift boots for him out of a sleeping pad.

This summer I had boots for him and we started out at muddy meadows and worked our way over to rusk creek only to turn around. It took my dog about a half hour each day to get used to wearing the boots and they stayed on...... most of the time, but I had to pay constant attention that they didn't come off.

I would recommend dog boots, or the mindset to turn around if your pal is showing signs of injury.
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solohiker
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PostThu Aug 26, 2010 9:31 pm 
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I guess I should modify my note to put more emphasis on the statement "if your dog is in good hiking shape" ... this means has no issues with weak hips or back - can handle the heat - has the lungs to handle a strenuous workout -  and has done enough trail workouts that his/her paws are conditioned ... THEN go for it. I would not do it with my dog today because she's gotten old enough that I don't think she could handle that much heat exposure. She gets overheated very easily these days compared to when she was in her prime, although she's still a great hiking dog. She was in top hiking shape when she did Mt Adams and had a blast.

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Chief Joseph
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PostThu Aug 26, 2010 9:41 pm 
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solohiker wrote:



That is one of the coolest photos I have seen in a while! up.gif

Almost brings tears to my eyes, especially given that our 10 year old Golden will have to be put down soon due to paralysis.

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Dancing Hiker
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PostThu Aug 26, 2010 10:10 pm 
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Flower Sniffer wrote:
I also wonder about a dogs eyes on the snow.† I can't imagine it's any better for a dog than it is for a person to spend all day on a sunny snow field with no eye protection.†

I asked my veteranarian that very question when I was getting ready to climb Adams with my dog and she said not to worry about it.

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Bedivere
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PostThu Aug 26, 2010 10:19 pm 
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I've wondered about the dog's eyes and snow thing too, but my old Elkhound was bred for a life in the snow and never wore glasses or had any protection from the sun and could still see up until his last days.  His eyes had gotten a little cloudy in the last couple years but the vet told me that was normal for old dogs and that he didn't have cataracts or anything like that.  I'm guessing dog's eyes aren't as affected by the sun as ours.

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