Climbing: Mount Adams
I was fortunate this week to try my hand at climbing Mount Adams, the second highest peak in Washington. We drove up to the trailhead early in the morning to begin our ascent to Lunch Counter (~9,400 ft) where we camped overnight to acclimate to the elevation and to be able to begin an early morning summit attempt. The route from the parking lot began easily enough - we didn't need anything but our normal hiking boots for awhile. But this was deceptive as it steadily began to become more challenging and we strapped on our crampons as we began to see nothing but ice and snow.
We made it to Lunch Counter and were able to quickly set up camp as the sun began to set on Sunday evening. From here, we were able to see an amazing view of Mt. Hood, St. Helens, and the false summit of Mount Adams called Pikers Peak.
We set off early in the morning on Monday, still later than we had hoped, and trudged onwards and upwards. This was the most grueling part of the climb for me. Although we could see the top of the false summit, it never felt like we were getting any nearer. As we got about 3/4 of the way to Pikers Peak (~11,567 ft), my Achilles began to pinch in pain. Coming up and over the ridge at Pikers was the most relieving feeling as I was finally able to sit down and rest for a bit. I decided to stop my ascent here, despite being only about 800 ft from the summit due to the pain and concern for being able to make the descent if I continued on.
We were able to glissade down a good portion which made the way down go much more quickly.
This was such an amazing, challenging experience and I'm looking forward to another opportunity next year for a second attempt at the Mount Adams summit!