South Spur
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Climbing is dangerous! Every year many climbers are broken, maimed, and killed. Don't be so foolish as to trust your life to what you see here. I'm not a guide and neither is this web site. If you don't know what you are doing or where you are going, please take a course or hire a guide!

Adams, South Spur

This was my first Cascade volcano and route. As such, it has a special place in my heart. My first trip up this way was in 1992. Since then I've repeated it five times.

Me on the left, and a certain Canuck friend from "Da Great White Nort". The summit is to the left of the point that appears to be the highest.

The South Spur route is decidedly non-technical, as witnessed by the nameless yet ubiquitous flannel and denim clad summiteer(s) that have never failed to appear before my eyes whenever I've been on top. That there are enough of them that the ones that end up as cotton-clad popsicles don't seem to impact their numbers is surely a strike against Mr. Darwin's theory. So while this is a non-technical route that is a joy in nice summer weather, do NOT underestimate the ferocity of the weather that frequents the upper reaches of the mountain or the potential effect of altitude on sea-level dwellers.

Sunset view across the Lunch Counter to Mt. St. Helens .

The Canuck again, this time just past Piker's Peak. This time, the summit is the point that appears to be highest.

In the right conditions, the South Spur is a fantastic ski. In bad conditions there are still some good turns to be had. For the unfortunate non-skiers among us, the glissade from Piker's Peak to the top of the Lunch Counter is one of the best in the Cascades. Bring a garbage bag to sit on for added velocity.

For added entertainment, the last five miles of the road to the trailhead is some of the worst marginally-passable terrain I've had the misfortune to drive in the Cascades. This is a great trip to let your buddy drive.

The last few steps to the top. The old Miner's shack is still buried in the snow.

The South Spur Glissade. Yates used to make a special pair of rubber-bottomed over-shorts call "South Spur Screamers". A garbage bag is almost as effective and a lot cheaper.

I'm smiling because I'm about to top off a great climb with a fantastic ski.

This page was last edited on Wednesday, February 23, 2005
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