September 15, 2001:
Andrei, Valery, Dan, and I met Jim, Sandy, and John at the Killen Creek trailhead at 3:30 PM. The trailhead is about a 3.5 - 4 hour drive from Redmond. Here is a picture of Dan and myself -- just below the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail. Rainier is visible in the background. The parking lot is at 4600 FASL. High camp is at 6900 FASL, 4.1 miles away. It took us about 3.5 hours to climb up this route.
September 16, 2001 (Summit day):
We left camp at 4:30 AM -- using Jim as our guide and headlamps for the first 1.5 hours of the trip. We took the North Cleaver route up the mountain. This is not the easiest route up the mountain; I guess we wanted a challenge. We got one. Here is a picture shortly after sunrise with Dan and Mt. Rainier. Andrei and Valery had turned around and headed back to base camp by this point.
I'm on the ice cap, about vertical feet below the summit. You can see four climbers here. From top to bottom, we're looking at Jim, John, Dan, and Sandy. I found climbing at altitude ( > 10,000 FASL) quite tough. At times, I was only taking 5-10 steps per minute and my heart rate was peaked! I was the last climber in our group to reach the summit (by about 5-10 minutes).
That peak there is called "The Pinnacle". It is the false summit that you see when you look up at Adams from base camp.
A picture of Sandy getting very close to the summit! I'm not too far behind...
Woohoo!!! Finally!!! At the 12,276 FASL summit of Mt. Adams! Doesn't Dan look thrilled to be here?
Picture of the USGS marker. Proof that I made it! For some reason, the altitude seems to be missing...
It was strangely warm at the summit. 60+ degrees and no wind. I carried a sweatshirt, 2 coats, long pants, an ice axe, and crampons to the summit. Turns out I didn't need any of them! Short, T-Shirt, and hiking boots were enough equipment for this day.
Here's a picture of me, standing on the highest point on the peak! Man, I was so glad to be here. I arrived at the summit at 1:15 PM.
More pictures of me on the top.
Another picture of "The Pinnacle". A little fuzzy...I think Sandy took these pictures.
Dan and John.
A group photo on the summit. From Left to Right, Jeff, Jim, Sandy, John, and Dan.
Jim, John, and Sandy hiking down the ice cap. I left the summit at 1:30 PM.
Picture of the Adams Glacier below Pinnacle Peak.
Sandy and the Adams Glacier. Wow, look at those crevases.
Looking down from 11,000 FASL or so. Base camp is near the treeline -- about one half mile beyond that murky lake.
Picture of Jim, our faithfull guide.
John, Sandy, and Jim -- taking a break on the way down.
Finally, we are down off the North Cleaver. That ridge behind Dan is the ridge that we climbed up. It was a challenge. I thought the hardest part (by far) was going up. Other climbers had more problems coming down the ridge. There was not much snow travel along this route -- the vast majority included hiking on very loose rock and sand...also some scrambling and some moderately steep slopes. We heard and saw plenty of rockslides. We also triggered a few ourselves (unintentionally). Everyone made it down okay.
We didn't make it back to base camp until sunset. And what a sunset -- this picture is looking at Mt. St. Helen's during Sunday's sunset. We decided to stay at camp Sunday night and hike out Monday morning.
September 17, 2001 (Monday):
I realized that base camp is a really nice place to camp -- even if you don't want to summit Adams, this would be a nice weekend trip. There is a stream nearby, and there are great views of Rainier, St. Helens, and, of course, Adams.
A morning shot of Rainier:
A shot of Adams. Looking up at "The Pinnacle". We climbed all that and more yesterday.