Mt Adams SW Chutes Ski

Mt Adams and the SW Chutes - J Rooper Photo

Well, just before the Cold Springs fire closed access to Mt Adams’ south side, our buddy Jeremy Rooper from the Mountain Shop in Portland, OR skied the classic SW chute route on Mt Adams. In his 24 hour jaunt he managed to scoot into the Adams Glacier for a look too. Here is what he has to say about conditions . . .

. . . I got the usual "later than I planned start", leaving Cold Springs at 3:30 pm Thursday. Conditions were warm and I had skis on my back until the round the mt trail junction. I skinned to lunch counter using skins and ski crampons for about a 1000ft, then I switched to crampons for the last push to the false summit. The snow above the lunch counter was so uneven (runnels and foot prints not suncups) eventually the snow got so uneven that the ski crampons were in mid air under foot and not biting. I gained the the false summit at about 8:45 pm in time for a nice sunset, but too late for any soft snow. The ski down the sw chutes was not ideal as it was refrozen and less than smooth.

 

Mt Adams _ J. Rooper Photo

The snow conditions made for a slow descent and my feet were about numb from all the vibration  trying to hold an edge but it was skiing right. I camped at the base of the sw chutes (7200 ft), so I could make a go at the avalanche-white salmon glacier route the next morning. I was pretty beat, so I ended up sleeping later than I wanted. The snow was set up pretty good so I decided to go up to the base of the White Salmon Glacier (10,000 ft). The conditions on the White Salmon looked pretty similar to the sw chutes and Suksdorf ridge – vey runneled and uneven snow, however, the east facing pitch onto the avalanche glacier and the lower angled snowfields running back to the base of the SW chutes were very smooth and I had a great ski back to camp.

 

Below camp the snow ran out pretty quick – definately not able to ski out the morrisson creek drainage any more. I packed my skis  and hiked the round the mountain trail back. The trail was pretty dry from the start, but the last half to the intersection of the south climb trail was probably 3/4 snow- just melted out enough to not be skied and easy to find the trail at the end of the snow patches. I was back at the car by 3:30 pm Friday.

Base of SW Chutes - J Rooper Photo

Tracks on the Adams Glacier - J. Rooper Photo