On this hike it quickly became apparent that we were surrounded by volcanoes as, standing on Mt Adams, we could clearly see Mt Hood to the south and Mt St Helens to the West. At one point I observed Mt St Helens erupting, emitting a great stream of ash and smoke.
From the trailhead on Saturday, we proceeded to hike halfway up Mt Adams, establishing our base camp on a vast, barren, windy shelf of rock called "Lunch Counter". Lunch Counter could easily be re-named "Moonscape": it was about as inhospitable to humans as Saturn's Titan.
From base camp, we enjoyed views of the mountain above and the landscape far below as we hunkered-down behind rock walls, walls which were erected to shelter us from the sustained 35 mph winds, winds which would increase in velocity to greater than 45 mph Sunday on the summit. Although the rock walls helped block some wind, our tents were guyed-down with boulders to prevent these shelters from sailing off of the mountain.
The highlight of this trip was reaching the mountain's summit. A close second however was our descent back to base camp, glissading over 3000 feet down the mountain - two hours slogging upwards followed by ten minutes of sliding back down to Lunch Counter proved to be a pretty good trade off!
Check out the pictures below and, if your computer can handle it, click on a picture to enjoy a full screen view.
False Summit with Glissade Path to Base Camp
Glissade Staging Point (Mt Hood in Background)
Greg,Nancy,& Paul on Summit (Left to Right)
Mt St Helens Erupting (in Background)
I hope you enjoyed the pictures. Paul