|GPS recording of our route|
|View of the south east face of Adams from the end of the trail.|
|From the end of trail Viewpoint looking into Hellroaring Meadow|
|The ridge we came down into Hellroaring Meadow|
|Upper basin of Hellroaring Meadow|
|Hellroaring Meadow from the climb up to Ridge of Wonders|
We descended into Hellroaring Meadow and then climbed up onto the Ridge of Wonders which led to a very steep rocky scree filled descent into the next basin. Fortunately Justin and Rich were braver than I was and led the way down this descent. I am embarrassed to admit that I basically did a crab walk/butt slide down most of this. One day I will learn how to ski on my feet down scree, but it does not come naturally. The next navigation challenge is crossing the Big Muddy Creek which is really mis-named. This is the glacial runoff from the Klickitat Glacier and it comes roaring down the basin. It took a while but we eventually found a place to jump across at around 6000 feet elevation although I have to say it was a much longer jump than I wanted to do and I was tempted to attempt wading across although this is certainly not recommended. Later in the day we ran into some backpackers who had crossed much higher on snow above the water.
|Eastern side of Adams from Ridge of Wonders|
|Finding a place to cross Big Muddy|
From there we had only to cross Avalanche Valley with 4 more streams before rejoining the trail at the camp/springs at 6700 feet just west of Goat Butte. From the camp the trail ascends to the highest point of the circumnavigation at Devil's Garden, 7700 feet. At this point we exited the reservation and started the most enjoyable running section of the day as we descended almost 2000 feet on soft trail with stunning views of Mt Adams on the left and Mt Rainier to the right. Another 2 miles and we joined the Pacific Crest Trail which we would stay on for most of the western side of the mountain.
|Green meadow with spring just west of Goat Butte at 6700 feet|
|Enjoying some sweet single track after regaining the trail|
|Rich leading the way|
|Mt Rainier from the north side of Adams|
The PCT should have been one of the most enjoyable sections of the day since when we could see the trail it was smooth and very runnable without a lot of elevation change. I haven't been unable to understand how the trail can circumnavigate the west side of the volcano without frequent elevation changes down into gullies/canyons carved by glacial runoff but for some reason the western side is relatively flat. Unfortunately for us, however, the smooth running did not last very long because most of the PCT was still buried in deep snow. In addition to slippery footing and not running very much, this became a real navigation challenge since the snow covered sections lasted much farther than you could see and unless there were footprints going the correct direction we had no idea where to go. If Rich had not had a handheld GPS with map/trail loaded onto it, I'm not sure we would have made it through all the snow.
|Northwest view of Adams from the PCT|
|Snow covered PCT lasted for miles along the western side|
I was pretty much mentally defeated by all the snow and frustrated by not being able to run. But eventually we made it past the PCT section and once we turned onto the Round the Mountain Trail along the south side of the mountain the trail was relatively snow free and it was nice to finish off the day with 6 or 7 runnable miles. We were happy to finish without the need to use headlamps for a total time of about 14.5 hours. Even though the direct glacial runoff is too silty to purify with the steripen we were using, water sources were plentiful and I never had any issues carrying only two 16 oz water bottles.
|Rich and Justing at the finish line around 8:30pm|