Monday, August 13, 2012

mt. adams


I accomplished something major last week.

On August 7, 2012, I crossed the first item off my bucket list: I summited my beautiful Mt. Adams!


This was my first attempt at climbing any volcano as well as my first time backpacking. We backpacked up to camp at about 8,000 feet elevation, slept (or tried to sleep) from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., and then got up, put on our crampons, and began our ascent shortly after 3 a.m.

Our climb to the 12,300-foot summit took about six and a half hours. Two things were running through my head as I slowly, methodically dug my crampons into the steep snowfields:
(1) Remember when Christy Huddleston hikes from the El Pano train station all the way to Cutter Gap with Ben Pentland in the Christy pilot episode? Climbing Mt. Adams gave me a whole new appreciation for Mr. Pentland’s statement that “it’s so up-tilted you could stand up straight and bite the ground.”

(2) About halfway up the never-ending, steepest-of-the-steep slopes leading to the False Summit, I had a different movie quote running through my brain—this one from the BBC version of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South. Margaret Hale is speaking of the cotton mills, but I found her statement easy to apply to mountain climbing: “I believe I have seen Hell… and it’s white. It’s snow white.”

But other than the sheer monotony of climbing the same snow-and-ice terrain, with every conquered ridge leading to a higher and steeper one, it wasn’t quite as bad as I expected it to be. I was planning on total physical exhaustion, but ended up more surprised by the mental exhaustion of going forward even when the end was nowhere in sight. The knowledge that it would be permanently wiped off my bucket list once I got there (and the fact that I was too stubborn to quit) kept me going.

It was worth it: the views from the top were amazing (despite a lot of haze) and we got to glissade nearly all the way down. Six and a half hours of climbing were undone in less than two hours thanks to that. :)


Congratulations to my dad on his fourth summit, Sam on his first, Tim on his fifth, and Stephen on his first!!!


  1. Love the photos, Hallie!! :)
    I LOVE the quote from North and South. So applicable. :) Should have thought of that myself. :)

    Trecking poles are something I will definantly take next time!

    Congrats, girlie!

  2. You're photography is beautiful! I'm really impressed! Looks like living in a beautiful location makes finding subjects easy, too. :)


  3. i was up on the summit alone and you took my picture with my i phone thank you so much, hope the glissade down was fun haha



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...