Ingrid and I wanted to go up Mt. Adams so we could experience the awesomeness that is the glisadding of 2000 feet. Sara mentioned an interest, so we coerced her to come along as well. Trey enjoyed Mt. Hood so much he and Mary were down for the slog. Matt, Karen and John also wanted the punishment of carrying tents up 3000 feet to camp.
On the way to the mountain we stopped by the ranger station to get our poo bags and permits, along with over 200 other people. We headed up into the dusty road to the parking lot at Cold Springs. We didn't make it all the way as there were cars on the side of the road for a half mile before the actual trail head. We spent the required 40 minutes packing up our already packed packs and followed the hoards up the mountain.
We took our time going up the mountain, making sure to stop to eat and drink every now and then. We made camp at Lunch Counter at a good hour and had time to set up tents and filter water. Matt and Karen found us a nice spot with good views (are there bad views from a mountain?) right next to a small stream of melt from the snow. The dehydrated food tasted especially good, especially when washed down with a few ounces of whiskey. It was fun to be up high again enjoying the sunset and chocolate bars.
I stayed up late to try out my new lens for some star shots. After reviewing the pictures I think I know what to do now, so I'll have to get out again for another night of photography (ISO 1600 is your friend). I slept in my bivy sack with a few spider buddies while Sara and Ingrid slept in the tent. There is something to be said for sleeping in the open, being able to see all the stars all night, unless it was raining and then bivy sacks aren't too much fun.
We got up early for our assault of the mountain and spent a few hours making breakfast and using the one rock sheltered bathroom, you can't rush nature when in nature. We took our place in line in the hike up to Pikers Peak - the false summit of Mt. Adams. There must have been a hundred people climbing up the boot path. We got smoked by a Junior Olympian Nordic Ski Team, wearing nothing but tights, running shoes and trekking poles. They said they made it from the trailhead to Lunch Counter in two hours.
Ingrid had been having intense stomach pains in the morning that kept getting worse as we continued up. Mary checked her out a few times and ruled out an appendicitis, which was good. She thought it was lack of blood in the small intestine combined with electrolyte inbalance. After cramp number four (10,500') we called it and got ready to head back down. Trey asked what the protocol was in this situation and I said that on this type of climb it's OK to have them continue up, Ingrid, Mary and I would go back down. If it was a technical climb by any means, our group would have all gone back down. So they headed up into the cloud cap and we put on our rain pants and slid down to the camp.
Once at camp Mary and Ingrid relaxed in the tent, drinking and eating. Ingrid felt much better after more water and some Sin Dawg. I tried to force the hot cocoa on her, but I think we've over done the hot cocoa, until next year! We waited an hour or two for everyone else to come back down, smiling as they came into camp talking about how cool the glisadding was. We planned on leaving camp in an hour so we could get out before it was too late and hot.
On the way down we did as much sliding as possible, using the sleds when it wasn't steep enough to use the chutes. It is a much more enjoyable process than trudging up, plus you stay cool as your butt is cold and wet. We made it out before dark and hit up the burger place in Trout Lake where french fries help offset the GU intake from the previous day.
I was disappointed Ingrid and Mary weren't able to make it up to the top, but happy Ingrid got better and Mary was there to help her out. It's enough of a trial to climb the mountain when you're feeling strong, let alone when in pain. We got in some good vert for glisadding (no pow though), which is the fun part of this climb. The mountain isn't going anywhere. Unless it's Mt. St. Helens, in which case maybe it will disappear.