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Adams pic three

Goals, First Summits and Blue Skies on Mt. Adams

Dur­ing the last full week in July, Moun­tain Mad­ness guides Viviane deBros and Andy Dahlen led a group of first time moun­taineers up Mt. Adams, the sec­ond high­est peak in Wash­ing­ton State. Stand­ing at 12,281 feet, Mt. Adams is tru­ly a moun­tain of high alti­tude adven­ture while at the same time, a great goal and accom­plish­ment for peo­ple who are look­ing to gain moun­taineer­ing experience. 

View of the Klick­i­tat Glac­i­er and ice­fall from Sun­rise Camp. Mary Bar­ron photo

The logis­tics for climb­ing Mt. Adams are some­what more involved due to its far­ther dis­tance from Seat­tle com­pared to many of Moun­tain Madness’s oth­er sum­mit climbs, which is why our group had four days to sum­mit the moun­tain. The upside to the long dri­ve down the Mt. Adams was that we all got to spend some qual­i­ty time togeth­er before the trip start­ed and every­one got to hear each other’s rea­sons for want­i­ng to climb. Aman­da and Jamie, our proud mom and dad team from Wis­con­sin, want­ed to climb Mt. Adams as their first moun­tain to get a taste of moun­taineer­ing and to see if it was some­thing that these ice and rock climbers want­ed to con­tin­ue pur­su­ing. Mary, our Yoop­er (look it up if you don’t know), came to the climb with an abun­dant and impres­sive amount of climb­ing his­to­ry but now it was time for her to make some his­to­ry of her own. Last­ly, the dynam­ic moth­er-daugh­ter duo of Colleen and Claire, the Wash­ing­ton home-growns from the Tri Cities, who were climb­ing togeth­er because it was Claire’s turn to have an adven­ture with her mom. Next up for Colleen was white water raft­ing with her son! Over­all, our group was fair­ly new to the sport, but every­one was excit­ed and anx­ious to start their first climb.

Our first camp with our impressive view. Mary Bar­ron photo

No one could com­plain about the view from our first camp. We estab­lished camp at a clear­ing on top of a ridge look­ing direct­ly at our route, the Maza­ma Glac­i­er, and also at views of the neigh­bor­ing Klick­i­tat Glac­i­er and its impres­sive ice fall. After a warm din­ner of phad thai, we escaped to our tents to evade the mos­qui­toes and nes­tled into our sleep­ing bags to rest up for our approach to Sun­rise camp, our high camp at about 8,300 ft. In the morn­ing, we awoke with the same amaz­ing view, only this time it was the sun­rise ver­sion. We packed up and head­ed out for a day of hik­ing over scree, dirt, snow, and ice. When we arrived to Sun­rise camp, we were greet­ed with yet more amaz­ing views and a great posi­tion to see the route that we would be going up tomor­row morn­ing. After Viviane taught a snow school and skills ses­sion, we ate anoth­er warm and deli­cious meal, and nes­tled into our sleep­ing bags to get some rest before our big day. 

The start of a beau­ti­ful sun­rise on the morn­ing of our sum­mit bid. Mary Bar­ron photo

One of the hard­est things for me about moun­taineer­ing is get­ting out of my warm and cozy sleep­ing bag at painful­ly ear­ly times in the morn­ing, but the morn­ing of our sum­mit, I was ready and roar­ing to go. The tem­per­a­ture was rather pleas­ant, the stars were beau­ti­ful, and we bare­ly need­ed our head­lamps; it was a good way to start a sum­mit day. To the top! We made our way up the impres­sive Mt. Adams via the Maza­ma glac­i­er with our goals giv­ing us the extra ener­gy we need­ed to get to the sum­mit. Every­one dug deep and found the ener­gy they need­ed to make it to the top, which was great for Viviane and I to see. Help­ing and work­ing with peo­ple to accom­plish goals is one of my favorite parts of guid­ing because my clients get to suc­ceed in some­thing that they have set their minds to and we, as guides, get to help make that hap­pen. It is a very pow­er­ful and pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence to be a part of some­one achiev­ing their goal. I am very proud to have been a part of this trip and I want to con­grat­u­late every­one again on their sum­mit, whether its their last or first of many. 

Clas­sic sum­mit pho­to of every­one atop Mt. Adams! Mary Bar­ron photo

~ MM Guide Andy Dahlen