So in light of this joyous event, Mark and I are planning to do what most couples do to celebrate their anniversaries…climb mountains :). It only seems fitting since we got engaged on top of Colorado’s 14,060 ft. Mt. Bierstadt. Mark had some frequent flyer miles from his around-the-world trek, so we were able to get some free tickets to Portland. We will spend a week out there with the intention of climbing both Mount Hood and Mount Adams, as well as seeing Portland and whatever else comes our way while we’re there.
Climbing Hood and Adams will be super fun, but ups the ante bit for us, bringing in the elements of some glacier travel on Hood. Mt Hood is one of the most climbed mountains in the northwest, topping out at 11,237 ft. The South Face [also known as the South Spur] is the easiest and most climbed route, with only one glacial crevasse near the top, known as the bergschrund. Luckily, with some careful maneuvering, the bergschrund can be traversed around and the climb can continue with relative caution and ease. We want to be careful, though, to not take this trek too lightly. Often this mountain isn’t given the respect it deserves, and when people aren’t prepared or are careless, accidents can occur [don’t be too alarmed…hundreds of people climb this mountain every year, while the accidents that occur are minimal in comparison].
Mount Adams, on the other hand, is a glacier-free snow/ice climb [aka “walk-up”], with a summit sitting at 12,276 ft. The trek has been said to be relatively easy, being only 5.7 miles long, but climbs 6,676 ft. in the process. In the end, because the South Spur is crevasse free, the most popular descents are either snowboarding/skiing [at an intermediate level] or glissading. The South Spur glissade has become famous on Mt. Adams, and by July, four or more glissade chutes have been formed which function much like a slide at a water park or a bobsled run [provided you still use an ice axe to control your speed]. We’ll have to see which descent we choose to take once we’re there. I know Mark would be stoked to snowboard down, as would I, depending on how difficult the route looked; although, I do have to say, there is something attractive about the idea of sliding 2,000 ft. safely down a mountain on your butt!
So now the question becomes...any advice for us as we prepare?