Mt. Adam's

 

Mt. Adams is a classic spring skiing destination.  It has fantastic routes on every side with the most well known being the Southwest chutes on the southside and the extremely exposed big line of the Northface of the Northwest ridge (NFNWR).   For Southside routes you park at the Coldspring Trailhead or as far as the road allows.  Often the road is blocked 2-3 miles out well into early July.  For Northside route you typically approach via Killan Creek Trailhead and because of the north aspect these are often done in early July on very warm days - Freezing levels in the 14,000' range.  

 

Routes:

 

Southwest Chutes and South Spur: From Pikers peak you can either ski back the typical ascent route and this makes for a nice ski.  From here generally follow your track back towards the trail.  Or from Pikers head straight down the Southwest Chutes. The chutes are an insta classic as you get a several thousand foot steep fall line descent.  In a good corn cycles it softens beautifully and you can really open up.  Often this still skis well late into the summer.  At the bottom I recommend traversing the long slope and then putting your skins back for an easy upward traverse back to the ascent track.  Otherwise you can continue down a ways and try to catch the around the mountain trail.  But I only recommend that if you hate life.  Don't underestimate how big the mountain is as you quickly add distance no matter how well you think you are traversing and man folks get lots lower - the around the trail mountain isn't that obvious with potential snow cover. 

 

 

Northside

The northside has more consequential routes.  in June of 2014 we went up with the thought of skiing the NFNWR, but after waiting til 3 and heading down it was still quite firm and each turn rolled-over further into the abyss,  so we kept angling left and skied more of the NWR.  This was similar exposed in spots, but less committing in total and did soften enough.  The hike in is only a few hours to camp,  and the camping in the meadow is truly spectacular.  The typical ski ascent is the chossy North Ridge, though other options exist if looking for the full value experience.  In 2015 Chris and I climbed a combination of the NFNWR and Adam's glacier ( Adam's Glacier was to broken to pass the icefall) and Adam met us on Pikers Peak via NR. 

 

Stories by Scott Heinz ( Medical Moose Labs)

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