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South Spur 

Type:  Trad, Alpine
Original: Easy Snow [details]
FA: Unknown. 1860s likely.
Page Views: 4,912
Submitted By: Blitzo on Nov 4, 2006  with updates from tsherry

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South Spur of Mount Adams


This is the easiest route on the mountain. It follows gentle snow/pumice slopes.
From timberline on road N81, follow an old road into a basin which becomes a trail on the left skyline ridge.
Follow this ridge to a flat area known as the "Lunch Counter". Climb up slopes due north to the false summit(11,700'). Cross the divide to the true summit.


From Trout Lake, take Forestry road N81 to Timberline Campground.


Ice axe, crampons optional.

Photos of South Spur Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Makes for a nice glissade.
Makes for a nice glissade.
Rock Climbing Photo: Nearly there.
Nearly there.
Rock Climbing Photo: Wife Amandas feet.
Wife Amandas feet.
Rock Climbing Photo: Glissading down Mt Adams
Glissading down Mt Adams
Rock Climbing Photo: waiting, not resting.
waiting, not resting.
Rock Climbing Photo: October conditions...ugh.  Pretty hard on the knee...
October conditions...ugh. Pretty hard on the knee...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down at the snow that continues to the tra...
Looking down at the snow that continues to the tra...
Rock Climbing Photo: This "W"-shaped bowl serves as a nice la...
This "W"-shaped bowl serves as a nice la...
Rock Climbing Photo: The shallow traverse from the false summit to the ...
The shallow traverse from the false summit to the ...

Comments on South Spur Add Comment
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By Andrew Gram
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jan 17, 2007

This is a terrific ski descent for those so inclined. The snow is often not great from the summit to the false summit, but from the false summit you can get thousands of feet of great moderate corn skiing. Someone determined could probably skin the whole thing, bt i switched to crampons a few hundred feet below the false summit.
By BenCooper
Apr 16, 2007

Definitely climb this route before the end of June. I've done it late season as well when all the snow has melted off, and it's hell on the knees. Mid-June seems to be pretty good for road access and for spring snow conditions. But it all depends on the winter snowfall.
By Blitzo
Aug 25, 2010

An easy hike and a quick, fun glissade down.
By truello
From: Seattle, WA
Feb 7, 2011

Has anyone done this route in early spring? I'd like to try it at the end of March but am not quite sure what to expect in terms of road closures (to cold springs), ice, snowpack, glissading, etc...

[edit] Talked to a ranger in Feb, said there's ~4 feet of snow on the road in.
By Mike Zasadzien
Sep 3, 2013

For an added challenge, Start at the Snipes Mountain Trailhead. Considered the extended-winter route, since it adds an extra 5 miles round-trip and an extra couple 1000'. It was the only option in early May this year[2013] due to wildfires last fall. Lunch counter was empty for camping mid-May, but the forecast was supposed to be much worse than it was, and we saw 15°F windchill there... Bring a stove for everybody, as melting snow took us 2 hours for about 8L using only two stoves.
By tsherry
From: Portland, OR
Aug 14, 2016

We climbed in July. Had splitter weather, so it was a pretty casual hike. We did it in one push, which I definitely recommend. Everyone carrying heavy packs looked miserable. Light is right.

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