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Mount Adams is the second highest mountain in the state of Washington, and the southern sister of Mount Rainier. While not as tall as Mount Rainier, the appearance of Mount Adams is similar and the encompassing mass of the two mountains is nearly identical. That sheer mass creates its own weather patterns, which can differ substantially from the surrounding terrain. Because of Mount Rainier’s close proximity and popularity, Mount Adams remains largely forgotten as a tourist destination. There are no visitor’s centers, restaurants, souvenir shops, or hotels. Mount Adams is simply climbing terrain. In fact, the forest service district responsible for Mount Adams is so underfunded, they don’t have the means for a simple snowplow to clear the mountain roads. During our climbing trip in early July, the roads to major trailheads remained closed and snow-covered, with no plans for road maintenance. We were simply told, “We wait until it melts.” Surprised by the complacency, and uninterested in hiking our heavy gear an extra 7 miles round trip, we gathered mountain axes, avalanche shovels, nine spirited climbers and three trucks, and cleared the main road to the south trailhead in four and half hours. Mount Adams is coated with rugged glaciers and technical climbing terrain, yet its flanks also afford a simple, non-technical route up the south spur, which is popular for less experienced climbers seeking the summit of a Cascade volcano.
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Summit South Spur Snow Climb 07/01/2008
Mount Adams, Washington
South Spur, Mount Adams, Washington
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