Mount Adams--good place to start?

9:37 p.m. on April 10, 2002 (EDT)

a.k.a. DrPete

I'm a total newbie in the mountains, and I'm looking for a nice climb to get used to my ice axe/crampons, practice self-arrests, glissades, etc., and get some good altitude training. I'm going to be in the Seattle area this May-June, and Mt. Adams is catching my eye. I get the feeling that it's an easy enough climb for a newbie, but I wanted to get some input as to whether this can be done as a solo trip, and if there are any recommended routes besides the mule trail for someone who's done a lot of hiking but is new to mountaineering. Any suggestions? Thanks.

12:16 p.m. on April 16, 2002 (EDT)

I climbed Mt. Adams (solo) via the South Route last summer before an attempt on Raineer. I found it to be very enjoyable, relatively easy but still taxing and rewarding. I started early morning from about 7000 ft. and used crampons all the way to the top. Real nice views from the summit. You'll find lots of chances to practice general mountaineering techniques on this climb. If you can, camp high on the mountain about 9000 ft. at a place called the Lunch Counter. Even though Mt. Adams is viewed as a pretty benign climb by most, I would recommend it to anybody who lives in the flatter lands like myself. By the way, traveling the road to the Cold Spring Trailhead is the most exciting part of the adventure by far. Without a doubt, the worse approach road in the lower 48 (my opinion).

good luck

3:29 p.m. on April 16, 2002 (EDT)

Words of advice when practicing self arrest


The words below are in response to a recent broken ankle in the Adirondacks (New York). It turns out that the injury was sustained exactly as the gentleman below had guessed. I am not a serious mountaineer, but I think others will agree with the advice.

NEVER practise self-arrest on ice (or crevasse rescue) with crampons on, they will snag on ice and snap your ankle if you're lucky and your knee if you're not...unless of course it is now a second nature to you to raise your feet when you slide and wait until you've stopped to dig them in.

4:51 p.m. on April 16, 2002 (EDT)

a.k.a. Paul, Paul R, Paul R., Paul Raphaelson, PR
Re: Words of advice when practicing self arrest

I think you can take this farther: don't practice self arrest on ice, period. Unless you're being really liberal about what you call ice, don't even bother. self arrest is a snow technique. On ice you're not going to stop, and your chance of impaling yourself or getting an adze in your face or getting your shoulder dislocated by a pick suddenly grabbing are too high. If you decide to ignore this advice, at least wait til your a pro at it on snow.

Same goes for using cramons. It's valuable to be able arrest yourself with crampons on, but it's way dangerous to practice it. If you insist on it, practice without for a long time first. and be very aware of the risks.

10:19 p.m. on April 17, 2002 (EDT)

a.k.a. DrPete

Thanks for the info--I was actually considering making a day trip out of it and leaving the trailhead very early (between midnight and 0400), which seems to be the going rate for getting to the summit by late morning/noon. If I have the time, though, I've heard that camping up high is great. I'm a little concerned that it's such a busy route, which makes me a little uneasy about leaving my treasured Mtn. Hardwear tent and bag behind for a summit attempt.

I'm just so excited to be heading out west... 2 new scrambles every weekend for 6 weeks! WOOHOO! Thanks again for the advice!

10:22 p.m. on April 17, 2002 (EDT)

a.k.a. DrPete
Since we're talking crampons...

Thanks for the advice--I had read occasional reports of nasty crampons-on glissading accidents on Adams as well. OUCH! I'll be sure to take those puppies off.

While we're on the crampons subject... I got a good deal on a pair of Black Diamond Contact strap-ons, which they tell me should work well with my light hikers (Vasque Clarion GTX). Anyone have any experiences with this setup or something similar? Thanks.

June 20, 2018
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