I was excited to hit Washington. In the past, when thinking about the giant state, I only really pictured the Olympic Peninsula—lush, green, and wet forests that extend out to the crashing shoreline of the northern Pacific. Gorgeous, but only one of the many facets that make up the state of Washington, and I was looking forward to the opportunity of broadening scope.
I got hooked up with a friend of a friend who just happened to be looking for a climbing partner to summit the nearby Mt. Adams. Perfect! Plus, Jeremy’s a photographer too and I knew that meant he‘d be used to my bad habit of stopping every ten feet to snap a pic.
Mt. Adams stands at a modest 12,280 feet just north of Washington’s border with Oregon and is well traveled by a mix of early rising, ambitious day hikers and those who enjoy sleeping at ten thousand feet in the icy wind. Us being the latter.
We started our climb a few hours later than we wanted to, unintentionally timing our arrival at basecamp with the setting of the sun, which distracted us from our sore muscles and wet socks.
That said, with no running water that high up, our timing meant we’d be melting snow for the next few hours in the dark… and without our filtered water bottles we’d surely have swallowed one of the many beetles that (incredibly) inhabit the high altitude snow and might have been in our water supply. It sure does pay to be prepared.