3 August 2014
Turns ALL Year!
This marks my first August skiing experience! I’m 10 months into my second attempt at Turns-All-Year, (a 10-month stretch), and I’m very excited to become a member of this exclusive club! I know, the two hardest months for us Pacific Northwesterners are September and October – not that the snow is too hard to find, it just often lies in remote cirques as a light dusting on a dying glacier.
Somehow after waking in Portland at 3:45 am, after multiple failed stops for a small bottle of bug spray – and oh yeah don’t forget to buy a PNW Forest Pass, don’t somehow miss the turn and head toward Randle,
Bonus? on the wrong turn I saw my first Washington bear run across the road in front of me!
“Somehow” I didn’t get out on the trail until 10:30 am. Okay, so I’m up for sloppy turns, well, what do you expect for August? The Gods were with me this day, as the clouds starting forming over the summit early on, shadowing the snowy slopes!
At the lunch counter I saw some good turns to be had halfway up Piker’s face, so I hoofed it up. About the time I ran out of good ops and into the massive sun cups, I thought “what the hell?” and decided to bag Pikers again “just for cause.” As my heart nearly exploded out of my chest nearing the top of the face I decided I’d just passed another exercise stress test for coronary disease and should be good to go!
I bagged a late lunch at the rock and watched the clouds roll through. It was absolutely gorgeous! Then another bonus – watching the mountain’s shadow roll out to the east, complete with sun rays radiating from the apex, what a delight!
Sunset was coming so I clicked in, suffered the cups until halfway down the face until I started carving the best August turns of my life! Okay, first and best but still! Amazingly good times! I tore it up to the bottom of the Crescent “glacier” where the snow ran out. Another good break while I switched back to my approach shoes and hiked out after dark, moon rising, starry skies, and I left my headlamp off the entire way!
4,000 vertical feet on skis
2,700 vertical feet of good skiing
5,975 vertical feet of climbing
1 heck of a good time!
Notes for future August Mt Adams adventurers:
Yes use approach shoes
No need for skins
No snow until the Crescent “glacier” in August 2014
No need for crampons late in the afternoon
Snow held up on this cloudy day with no slush