The 2003 Cascade Climbs


The Cascade volcanoes of the Pacific Northwest stretch from northern California to northern Washington. The age of the oldest of these volcanoes is about 750,000 to one million years. The highest volcano is Mt. Rainier at 14,411' and the most recent major eruption was on Mount St.Helens in 1980.

The nearest Cascade volcanoes to where we live in southwest Washington are Mt. Hood, St. Helens and Adams. In the ten day period from June 17 - 27th of 2003, in the company of Ken and Lee Sampson, we climbed these three peaks in fine style. Ken and Lee, mutual climbing mates of Mal Hill, living in Brisbane Australia, came to visit with the express desire of "scaling a few Cascade peaks". They went home, well satisfied with their achievement.

  • Early morning on the south side of Mt. Hood ... Lee, Lucy and Ken taking a rest at the 10,000' elevation Early morning on the south side of Mt. Hood ... Lee, Lucy and Ken taking a rest at the 10,000' elevation
  • Lucy and Ken descending the steep face below the summit of Mt. Hood, 100' above the large crevasse Lucy and Ken descending the steep face below the summit of Mt. Hood, 100' above the large crevasse
  • Peter and Ken on the summit of Mt. Hood ...11,239' Peter and Ken on the summit of Mt. Hood ...11,239'
  • Ken and Lee on the summit of Mount St. Helens (8,365') ... nothing to see up here! Ken and Lee on the summit of Mount St. Helens (8,365') ... nothing to see up here!
  • Lee and Peter trying to look warm and happy during the descent of Mount St. Helens Lee and Peter trying to look warm and happy during the descent of Mount St. Helens
  • Lee and Ken on the last section of the descent from Mount St. Helens and finally below the cloud Lee and Ken on the last section of the descent from Mount St. Helens and finally below the cloud
  • Lee and Peter at Cold Springs trailhead on the southern side  of Mt. Adams Lee and Peter at Cold Springs trailhead on the southern side of Mt. Adams
  • A conga line of mountaineers on their way to the summit of Mt. Adams. A conga line of mountaineers on their way to the summit of Mt. Adams.
{image.index} / {image.total}
The first peak we tackled was Mt. Hood; probably the toughest of the three climbs because it's a one day affair ascending 5,300' to an elevation of 11,240' that often creates mild altitude sickness after driving from near sea level immediately before the climb. Mount Hood, the scene of many climbing accidents, does require some care and skill in ascending the last 400' to the summit. Sadly, due to Hood's proximity to the large population base of Portland, many first time mountaineers attempt the relatively easy "South Side" route and either have a nasty accident, or die.

 

  • Peter descending Mt Adams on a hot, snow burning day Peter descending Mt Adams on a hot, snow burning day
  • Camp at the Lunch Counter on Mt Adams at an elevation of 9,000'. Mt Hood in the background Camp at the Lunch Counter on Mt Adams at an elevation of 9,000'. Mt Hood in the background
  • The evening meal at the Lunch Counter The evening meal at the Lunch Counter
  • Sunset as viewed from our 9,000' camp-site on Mt Adams. Mount St Helens in the background Sunset as viewed from our 9,000' camp-site on Mt Adams. Mount St Helens in the background
  • Peter and Ken on the summit of Mt. Adams (12,276'). Mount St. Helens in the background Peter and Ken on the summit of Mt. Adams (12,276'). Mount St. Helens in the background
  • Ken and Lee on the summit of Mt. Adams with Mt Rainier behind and to the north of them Ken and Lee on the summit of Mt. Adams with Mt Rainier behind and to the north of them
  • Lee and Ken on the summit of Mt. Adams. A great view, except for the Darth Vader masks! Lee and Ken on the summit of Mt. Adams. A great view, except for the Darth Vader masks!
{image.index} / {image.total}


The second peak we climbed was Mount St. Helens; in good weather a very straightforward ascent of 5,000' to an elevation of 8,365'. For us, we spent most of the one day climb in cloud, rain, sleet and wet snow. We only determined the location of the summit along the crater rim from my handheld GPS device. There was no view.

Our third and last climb was Mt. Adams. Although this peak can be climbed in one day, the choice of spending a night camped on the flat area known as the "Lunch Counter" at an elevation of 9,000' is a very good option to allow some altitude adaption before the summit ascent to 12,280'. We were rewarded with excellent weather for both days on the mountain, a comfortable nights sleep and tremendous views from the summit.

©2003Peter Tremayne. Vancouver, WA

 

 

 

 

 

 

home | about us | contact us | sierra nevada | jmt access map | jmt planning | jmt equipment | jmt schedules | jmt2016 | jmt 2015 | jmt 2014 | jmt 2013 | jmt 2012 | jmt 2011 | jmt 2010 | jmt 2009 | jmt 2008 | jmt 2007 | jmt 2006 | jmt 2005 | jmt 2004 | jmt 2002 | mt agassiz | mt sill | mt shasta | matterhorn peak | mt egmont | nz 2016 | mt rainier | mt shuksan | mt jefferson | pct sonora nth | pct tm nth | pct wa nth | mt baker | wonder trail | mera peak | mt adams | goat rocks | cascades 2003 | mt whitney | kaibab trail | presidents | antarctica | hoover pct | recesses | highrte2015 | highrte2016 | denali89 | benson lake | video wmv | videos mp4 |