Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Acid Baby --> SW Chutes

Saturday - Acid Baby
Sunday - Mt Adams SW Chutes

Last weekend, Jaime and I pulled off an alpine 2fer - PDX Weekend Warrioring.  We left Portland late on Friday after work, and we got back into town on Sunday evening almost exactly 48 hours later.  Saturday, we climbed Acid Baby in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness above Colchuk Lake and then drove down to Mt. Adams.  Sunday, we skied the SW Chutes and were home by 8-ish after beers in White Salmon.  Alpine rock climbing and volcano skiing - summer in the Cascades.  

Sometimes I get frustrated living in Portland, having to drive so far to get to the mountains, but then I remember what it was like growing up in Pittsburgh, where hills were called mountains and a long drive meant hours of torture on the PA turnpike.  When I start to get down on living in this city, I have to stop and remind myself of the big picture.  The Pacific Northwest is pretty much as good as it gets - at least for me.  The Cascades are wild and beautiful, and despite a few hours drive, they're basically in our backyard.  Oh yeah, and the food here in Portland is WAY better than Seattle!  Washington suckers.             

Saturday - Acid Baby, III+, 5.10+

We crashed out at the trailhead on Friday night at about 12:30 am and woke up at 4:30 am for the approach hike in towards Asgard Pass.  We made it back to the car and left for Mt. Adams around 8 pm.  

Colchuk Peak in Morning Light
Northeast side of Dragontail Peak
Pitch 1

Pitch 4

Pitch 6

Pitch 7 - Beautiful knife edge finish!
Looking back at the top of the route with Dragontail in the background
Views of the plateau from the top
View of the route from the descent

Overview of the route - Up the right facing corner, under the roofs from left to right, and up the right hand prow to the top
Acid Baby features varied and challenging climbing on sound rock with an excellent position overlooking Dragontail and the Colchuk Lake basin.  The last pitch is one of the cooler I've done in the Pacific Northwest on a comically narrow knife edge ridge.  Highly recommended!  The information available online is pretty much spot on and will see you to the top.  

Rack: 1 set stoppers, 1 set TCUs, 2 sets cams to #3, 1 #4. 

Sunday - Mt. Adams, SW Chutes

After leaving the Stuart Lake trailhead around 8 pm or so, we finally arrived at Cold Springs camground at around 2:30 am.  We woke at 5:30 am after a quick nap and met up with Ryan, who had driven up to meet us from Portland.  After a great day of skiing and a rather long traverse back from the base of the chutes, we got back to the car around 4:30 pm or so.  My camera battery died, so I only got a few shots, but we had a great day on the mountain and a fast, velvety ski down the chutes.  We capped off a weekend of manic binging with beer at Everybody's Brewing before Jaime drove my asleep arse down I84 to PTown.  Snooze time! 

Haydar enjoying lunchtime views from Pikers Peak
Ryan at the top of the Chutes
Skier dropping into the Chutes
Party in the Chutes - we skied it with about a dozen other folks - and a dog.
Thunderheads building over Mt. Adams
The SW Shutes - They are in great shape right now and should be for another couple of weeks.  With the warm temps, try his it by noon or so.


  1. Very nice! Just added this route to "our list." Also "Sometimes I get frustrated living in Portland, having to drive so far to get to the mountains, but then I remember what it was like growing up in Pittsburgh, where hills were called mountains " ...pretty spot on for us as well (just substitute north-NJ for Pittsburgh :)

  2. Definitely check out Acid Baby. There are several stellar pitches, but the second half of the first pitch, the pitch after the rightward traverse (p3), and the final pitch to the top were really cool. Valkyrie looks good as well.

  3. My hat off to you and Jamie for climbing Acid Baby, hiking out, then drive out to Adams to ski it the next day. We just climbed the route past Saturday and chose to be tourists in that Bavarian town and eat ice cream on Sunday instead :)

  4. Nice, glad to hear you guys climbed Acid Baby! Hope you enjoyed the route.