I been wanting to go to Mount Adams for many years, and even had plans but they never really worked out due to my mother having a very busy life and money issues and of coarse us all being prepared. But fortunatly for me and my brother, an oppertunity arose when Mark Straub, one of my friends mentioned he wanting to go, and that his dad would be taking us. Unfortunatly Adam could’nt go do to knee problems, so my brother went in his place. Atfirst my other brother would’nt let him go, which really frusterated me and disappoined me because if he could’nt go, I could’nt go because of liability issues and such. But thank goodness my mother stepped in and convinced my brother into letting him go, the reason I would’nt have been able to in the first place is becuase of my other brother who is Handicaped who needs some one to help him. Also we had to rent some mountaineering boots, which were $30 per pair. I pack all my gear, and was about to pack extra water but Mark tells me he has a purifier and that it is fine. So on the Night of August 25 we head out to Mount Adams. I could’nt help but be so exited…. and had to wait a long time due to it being 300 miles away and strangly as it sounds, we had to go from Seattle to Oregon and then back into Washington to access Mount Adams. When we were close, we got some what lost but found a ranger station but it was night so it was closed and we read the signs for directions and got our passes, and I could see Mount Adams as a dark shadow from the slight moon light. We drove up to the parking lot, which the road was better than I thought, although at parts its best to go slow due to some what rough roads, not because its dangerous but because its hard on your car. At the parking lot, there were plenty of spots to choose from, although most were taken up, it was a nice forested area to spend the night in. I slept good as I always do in the Mountains, and woke up to some nice breakfast pancakes but no syrup to add on it, but hey, they were great anways! I could see part of Mount Adams though the trees, and it looked as though there had been a light dusting of snow, which to me is a good thing! One thing that still bothers me to this day is when we were about to head out, Mark said do you have enough water, and I said thats what your purifier is for and he said “You guys are screwed” and that really made me feel almost uncomfortable…. to start the trip like that? Oh well, some times it’s best to let things like that go and move on. We stated the hike out nice a flat like along this unmaintained jeep road, and through the forest some views broke out, and Mark was upset at me for taking some photos. Perhaps I was a little irresponsible with the sense of taking photos, but I cought up and all and was not too over carried away as I normally am. Evenually it became more trail like, and it split up into Two groups. Mark and Dan (Dan is Mark’s Dad) and I was with Michael (which is my brother) and as usual Dan and Mark are the faster ones. But to me, to rush is not my game, I come to the mountains to enjoy them, and go at my own pace, and truly enjoy the scenery and the wildlife. But I still could’nt help put feel weird that Mark is already getting upset with me. As we go up, it gets hot, so we find a good spot to stop and eat. At this point, Mark is way ahead, and soon we got to the first snow. Because some of it is fresh from a few nights ago, we were able to scope it into my water bottle for later, and refresh our selfs. As we hike up, it startes to get late, but we finally arrive at lunch counter. At Lunch Couter, at first we cannot find Mark, but a waving figure in the distance waved us over and sure enough it was them.
Looking up the Mountain
Mount Adams looking through the Trees
On the trail
Mount Saint Helens
Mount Adams with Flowers
Hiking through flowered area
Rock Field above
Looking at one of Mount Adams cliffs
Grass Hoper on Snow
Approching Lunch Counter
Me with Mount Adams
Stone Bare looking at Mount Adams
At this point, I could feel the altitude have its toll on me, I was dizzy and exausted, but fortunatly had some headache medicine. We were above the snow, and near a small creek, which turns out was my only way of getting water, at this point it was 9,000-9,500 feet. Mark and Dan drank from it and said it was fine. At first I was worried about there being parisites and such, but there was hardly any vegitation at this altitude so I hoped for the best and we all drank from the creek. We set up camp, I relaxed a bit and has some beans and took a bunch of photos of the view, it was awesome! It was as if being on the planet Mars, there were some much rock, but hardly any to no vegitation for a long ways around. And above was the scramble which we would wake up at 3:00 A.M. to go up to the false summit and attempt the true summit. As we went to sleep, the wind picked up.
Mount St. Helens during Sunset
Mount Hood at Sunset
Mount St. Helens Sunset
Base Camp Panorama
I slept great for the amount of time that we slept which was’nt that much, but enough to keep me going until the rest of the next day. I did not have a head ache to my suprise. We woke before we originally planned and the wind was howling a lot, causing me to worry a bit, but it was mostly clear as I look out the cold tent, unfortunatl because our tent is weak from a broken poll, it dipped inward, so we had to take down the tent mostly so that it does’nt blow away during the accent which we would be leaving a majority of our gear at base camp. While I was going out to get some water for the trip before we left, as I came back, it turns out while my brother was taking down the tent, a rock which was on a rock pile shielding our tent fell over onto his finger, which sprained it, and at the time we were worried that it was broken. This worried me, not only could it have endangerd the trip, but I was a bit concernded about it, but my brother decided we would atleast attempt to make it to the false summit regardless of his finger. Thanks goodness I thought to myself. And we packed up our gear, and I had three layers of shirts, and the moon was shining, enough light to make the scramble possible without a headlamp.
Mount Adams at night, taken at base camp when heading out
At first my brother kept falling behind because he kept having some trouble arranging his gear or something like that, and Dan was getting upset because he kept ignoring us, and would fall behind without communicating, and he was listening to music, which we made him take off. The accent at first was’nt as bad as I thought it would be. I mean it was some what tiring, but nothing of the extreme. It kept going up and up, and I could see lots of headlamps below, we took the boulder route, while the other climbers below took the icy snow route. As I went up, I would be careful of rocks, because at some parts it got loose, and after all this going up I down layered so that I would’nt over heat. Later I could start to see some blue and other colors in the sky as the sun started to come up, but it was a while before that. By this point, Mark and Dan separated from us, but not by too much, because we could see them in front of us. The scamlbe up was so exhilarating, it was something so diffrent from anything I have ever done, yet It’s felt like i have done it before. I even did’nt take photos until the false summit because I was so consentrating on making it up. It eventually got less boulder like and more of a icy rock, and once again the altitude started having its effects on me, not just on my breathing, but also my brain. I could see the deep firy reds and the ridges that were coming into view. What a beauty I thought to myself. I kept going and going, and soon could see the false summit above glowing from the Alpen Glow, and soon the sun finally rose. I watched as my brother walked by me, and he stood right were the sun was, and glowed as if he were some legend and looked like a professional climber, it was a classic moment, but at the same time he did not know because he was going by. I was to exausted out of my mind to take any photos. Evenaully I gradually felt my self get weaker and weaker, and it soon began to feel as though we were crawling up the mountain. We were on icy rock, which was’nt a very good combination, and we did not have crampons. It felt like those guys in the book who climb those big mountains and are just crawling at the end from being so tired, and could not feel any feeling exept the desire to summit, the burning ambition. We got to a point were the wind picked up incredibly and we were so close to the false summit, yet I felt as though I could not make it, my energy so critcally low, and I was gasping for breath, but I managed to pull through and make it to the false summit.
Ice and snow on the False Summit
Looking at the Summit
The summit view was incredible, you could see half way from Oregon and down through Eastern Washington, and so many ridges upon ridges, it was magnificent! The false summit was no exeption to the heavy winds, they were so intense, I could hardly breath when facing the wind, and it almost knocked me off balance, so I went out, touched the False summit rock, snapped a few photos, and headed down 20 feet were the winds were much nicer behind this rock, and just rested. After a long time of resting and eating as much as I could, which was’nt as much as I wanted to because my hands felt like they were so cold. At this point Dan mentioned that it was too dangerous to make it to the summit, which was a wise dissision, due to it being dangerously windy, and we did not have crampons and the ice on the summit was very icy and one of those situation you might not want to be caught in. So he started to head down with Mark, and we stayed up for a while longer. I just kept starring at the summit. “It’s so close, just a thousand feet or so, and I would be there”. I was very tempted to attempt it, but not only is it dangerous, but Dan would not be pleased to find out that either something go bad, or us spending extra time up there. The reason we could’nt wait for the snow to melt which I gladly would wait, but Dan had work the next day, and it was a 5 hour drive, and he had hardly any sleep within the past few days, and it was a long ways down.
Looking off to the side
Looking Up from glissading down
The way down was also difficult. I thought it would be a nice asy glissade down, Mark after all mentioned “It’s one of the best glissades in the Cascades” which I believe him, but it depends on the time of year. The way down was tought, it was very slippery, and I would have to take great cation in each step, and below was very steep, so no mistakes would be pleasant, although it was’nt deadly as long as you try to do all that you can from tumbling, which if you don’t catch your fall, thats another story. The sensation of it. It made me in ways sort of scared, because I’m always getting myself into sitiations like these. Evenaully as we went down, me crawling would send down boulders or snow balls and even if I was way off to the side, as luck is with me, they go flying at the people below even though I wonder how is that possible…. they are way off to my self, but its a mini dip which attracts all of it. As carefully as possible I go down, which is painfully slow, and again a very loose rock would slide from under me, and I would yell out rock, and the climbers below would have to move out of the way once again. It was frusterating to have this keep happending, and the climbers must have thought “how irresposible of that kid” even though I was trying to be very catious. Eventually when I could take it no more of crawling, I attempted to cross the icy steep snow field. As I was crossing it, I was kicking in my steeps, and evenually half way across they would’nt quite step in. I was very nervous and dizzy by this point, and was wondering what to do. Either way was difficult, so I attempted to go back to the original side that I was on, but having to slowly get back across because of the intense steepness, and eventually one of the climber guys come up and say “were’s the rest of your group”? I pointed way down the mountain, and he says “I would’nt go climbing with them again if I were you” and he made sure I got across safely. It’s nice to know that there are people up in these hills that care for other people. I evenually cought up with my brother who was waiting a little ways below, and Mark and Dan were way down, but it did’nt matter. And evenually after crawling down, we got off the ict rock and it was back to normal rock, but I noticed it was also difficult, so the ice field to my left became a bit less steep. (although very scary if you did not have an ice axe, and a bit scary even with one) I decided to go down the icy slope, and I would have to ice axe arrest every 30 feet or so because I would gain a crazy amount of speed. I would’nt do a standard arrest, but would have it were it was under my right arm were it would catch me, so that it would’nt be as annoying to stop go, stop go. The ice would scrape against me and was very uncomfortable, and would hurt, but it was the easiest way down, and evenually we finally got to the bottom of the scramble part. After this, we returned to lunch counter which we packed up our gear, and Mark caught there tent out of reaction because the wind was blowing away. It was a good catch, or else we would have had to go chasing after it.
Last Look at Mount St. Helens
The way down after this for a while was much easier, and unfortunatly on the last easy snow field, I ripped my good pair of pants, which is a bummer, but it was hard ice after all. We all hiked down as a group, and Dan would ask me “Is this the way?” and I would tell him yes, because I remembered it. And after a while, it ws a little bit questionable, and at one point Mark said “You really don’t know were your going do you?” and I said the trail is right there, but unfortunatly he did not believe me. To be honest, we should have looked at the map at this point, but instead, Mark insisted on going West, even though I was pretty sure it was the wrong way. I told him “I don’t think this is the way” but he said to me “Why should I believe you, you got us losted!” And at this point we were truely off trail. I was carefully following him though the fields of flowers, but I was slow because I was trying not to damage the fragile plants and stepping on dirt as much as possible. Mark and Dan eventually started to become very frusterated with me! Even though I was the guy trying to help, but some how my opinion was’nt valid. “It’s not what we don’t know thats the problem, but it’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so” -Mark Twain The main problem was a storm was coming in, we were lost… sort of…. and Dan had work, so we had to evenually go back up the ridge. My brother wanted to find the right way, so he went off back to were we were, and Mark and Dan called out back for him, yet he did not responde. At this point they were very angry at me and my brother, and thought he was ignoring them and that he would be listening to his ipod even though he was not, and I was sure he was’nt. Mark even began crying to me that the whole thing was all my fault and that I’m so irresponsible. At this point I was very dizzy, but could’nt help feeling very strange that I knew were to go, but no one believed me, it felt very unfair. I saw a road below us, which I pointed out if things were bad, but Mark did’nt believe me until we got on the road home. Eventually we got back on the trail above after travelling aways up. Then we asked this one group of hikers which way the trail was, and they pointed toward were I originally wanted us to go, but Mark said to them it was the wrong way, but they convinced us. “Told ya Mark” I said, but he said back “Oh yeah, you just want to get all the credit of knowing were to go even though you got us lost!” This made me very angry and I yelled out to him “Ok fine, I’m the most irresposible, stupid person ever, and that perhaps I’m not a good friend” this came out because I was feeling bad for something that was’nt something I should have. Mark’s dad nicely stepped in and said that I was’nt and fort of fixed the conflict and made it so that there was no more agueing. I could still feel Mark’s anger, and could see the expression on his face of the intense anger he has towards me. I began to feel very sad. I was not sad that we were lost or any of that, but that one of my best friends was angry at me for something I’m not resposible for… that in a sense even if it was me, I could almost get the feeling that he would never have the heart to ever forgive me, and that perhaps he would not want to go hiking with me anymore. I felt this great deal of separation from him. It made me feel absolutly awesful that one of my only friends who loves mountains would some how no longer enjoy my company. Wether this was his acual feelings or not, this was how I was thinking at the time. I told him and Dan I was sorry as we were walking toward the car. To be honest to this day, I was sorry that Dan and Mark had to go through that, but I am not sorry that it had to do with me. It feels strange to think in this sense becasue I don’t have a reason to be sorry for what I did, exept that perhaps I should have had the courage to step up to Mark and Dan and tell them and talk it though, but instead I was sorta silent, and just heard about how terrible I am for what I so called did. As for my brother, he was missing ever since he split up earier, so we yelled out his name all around and called home on a cell phone which fortunatly got range, and told mom if he wants to know were we are, were at the car. And a few minutes later after telling a few guys, word was going around, and someone had found him. He was ahead of us, and found the trail much sooner than when we did. They guy who told me not to go climbing with this group near the false summit cought up with us, and told Dan and Mark about how I was having trouble and such, which in a way seemed kinda funny. But the rest the walk down was just very tiring and quiet and my feet hurt due to a few rocks in my boots, but finally we get to the trailhead. Another crazy hiking adventure as I like to say. All in all, even though it was crazieness, it was all worth the while! Special Thanks to Mark and Dan for taking me here, i’m quite appreciative of it, weather it was getting lost or not, when it comes down to it being able to go to the mountains, to me it’s always worth it!