In the climbing party were, Laura Pope, Larissa Bradford, Geoff Janke, Wendy Barnes, Wendy Forrester, Matt Kress, Matt Costigan, and myself. We very much missed Karlene McCabe who unfortunately injured her foot the week before and was unable to join our climb.
The three guides from Timberline Mountain Guides who provided us with their technical expertise and guide service were Joe Owens, Phil (last name?), and Tiko (last name?).
Jennifer Baldwin (the Reach The Summit program's head honcho) and Abby Britton (Reach The Summit training hike assistant) also were climbing but they were technically not in our group as only twelve people were allowed to be in any one group in the wilderness area.
We were pleasantly surprised to see Andy Nuhring (Reach The Summit training hike assistant), who volunteered his service as an unofficial photographer, and his son on the mountain as well.
I would like to thank those at the American Lung Association of Oregon who put together this program and worked tirelessly to take care of all the behind-the-scene matters.
I would like to thank in advance all those who let me use your photos online for this blog site.
To see all my photos and the ones uploaded by my fellow climbers, please click here.
As we were crossing the bridge, we were struck by how many people were kite boarding on the water, so much so that we were able to spot only few wind surfers. Strong wind was blowing down the Columbia River Gorge as usual providing what seemed to us like a great condition to do this sort of thing.
The back road followed beautiful White Salmon River, one of the many tributaries to the Columbia River, where river rafting businesses were booming. In about another eight miles or so, we picked up another local highway that generally pointed north. As we went on, we noticed we were seeing less and less vehicles on the road until we were seeing nobody else at all on the road. Mt. Adams was starting to become very visible and it was getting bigger and bigger in my windshield by the minute, which was a good sign. Then we turned onto a road that barely fit the definition of highway which eventually led to a small town called Glenwood where the lodge stood in its outskirt.
Following the direction Jennifer had provided us, it was easy to find the lodge. Almost at the same time, two of the three mountain guides, Phil and Tiko, rolled into the parking lot as we did. (Joe Owens would not be able to join us until the next day as August 2nd was his wife's birthday.) We were a bit too early to check in so we decided to make a beer run after the owner showed us around the property. (Geoff and I could not help but look at each other in amazement when the clerk at the general store told us that he had been expecting us picking up some beer..) As we got back to the lodge with ample supply of brew, others were also starting to arrive.
The lodge was a beautiful piece of property. I was sure it took a lot of maintenance to keep it this way but, if I were to get to have a pick on where my ultimate house would be, this certainly would be near the top of my list. The lodge was situated on a twenty or so acres of wooded land with a view of the south aspect of Mt. Adams in its backdrop. And best of all, there was hardly any noise at all.
There were two buildings in which we had our rooms, the guest house and the lodge. All the rooms had the views of Mt. Adams out their windows. The living room with a big fireplace and the kitchen in the lodge set the mountain lodge atmosphere. There were a Frisbee golf course, hiking trails and a volley ball court for guest's pleasure. And no mountain lodge would be complete without lodge pooches.
My next task was to put together a "Poop Tube" which I dedicated to our climb with a Timberline Mountain Guides sticker on it as a token of my appreciation for their services. It consisted of 3" x 24" plastic tube with an end cap on one end and a screw top on the other. We would be required to pack out all solid waste on Mt. Adams in the "Human Waste Pack-Out System" provided to us at the ranger station when we picked up our permits the next day. The idea was to put the used HWPOS buritos in it. Poop tubes were carried typically on rock climbing trips but this device would make the matter much less unpleasant for us than the alternative methods of packing out the waste.
There was one more chore to be done before we could plant ourselves on the Adirondack chairs for the evening. The lodge owner rounded us up to have us help her swap out the refrigerator in one of the rooms with a new one. In exchange, each of us got a cool Mt. Adams Lodge hat. Of course we were happy to help her out. Ironically, we found out that the new fridge was an inch too wide to fit in the space so we had to take out a smaller fridge from the upstairs of The Guest House and put it in as a temporary measure.
After taking one last shower at 5am, I headed downstairs to the dining room in the office building for a breakfast. I was a little early but Phil was already there as well and they offered us coffee while we waited for the breakfast to be ready. And it was as fantastic as the dinner the night before, consisting of toasts, scrambled eggs, sausages, oat meal with raisins, walnuts and brown sugar, fresh orange juice, coffee, etc. More than worthy of the most important meal of the day, especially on a day like this.
I was quite certain that the porcelain goddess smiled when I made my one last offering before I headed out of my room. Then we drove to the ranger station to meet up with Joe Owens who would be leading our party, to obtain our Cascades Volcano Passes required to be in the wilderness area, and, last but not least, to pick up our HWPOSs. There was some confusion as to how to get to the station which caused some of us to end up getting lost on our ways there but we all managed to find it eventually.
Since there was virtually no wind and the weather was gorgeous, I elected to open bivouac under the starry sky rather than to sleep in the tent. But before I settled in for the night, I dumped out of my pack everything I wouldn't need for summiting the next morning. I crawled into my sleeping bag around 7pm-ish once everything was ready to go.
It was still pretty bright outside - the sun had not set yet - but I had no problem falling asleep after a day full of excitement. I tossed and turned from time to time as it was like a furnace in my sleeping bag but too cold outside for me to keep it zipped open. I awoke briefly around 10pm and found myself staring at the dark sky filled with a dizzying display of zillion stars. The milky way that bisected the heaven reminded me of an old Japanese tale. Occasionally, bright satellites mixed in with shooting starts would streak across the sky.