mount adams from Old Snowy

This is a southerly view of bulky Mt. Adams from Old Snowy (7,930 feet) in Goat Rocks Wilderness.  I was excited to reach the summit of Old Snowy, it’s a mountain I’ve admired in pictures for a long time for its sweeping vantage of the Goat Rocks crest, the greater Goat Rocks Wilderness and three big Cascades volcanoes (Adams, St. Helens and Rainier). The Pacific Crest Trail reaches its Washington state high point on the side of Old Snowy.

I prefer day-hiking but I decided to backpack for this hike so I’d have at least decent light for taking pictures. I had the summit of Old Snowy all to myself on this morning! It was very windy. The tallest peak in the Goat Rocks, Mt. Curtis Gilbert (254 feet taller than Old Snowy) is in the distance to the left. In the middle is Ives Peak, which is basically a hundred feet lower than Old Snowy (but from the meadows below, Ives looks significantly taller). Really, to take very nice pictures with a southern aspect from Old Snowy you should come up here for early sunrise or be present in the late afternoon because there’s an awful lot of snow in this direction and it gets blindingly bright fast. I slept in more than I wanted to but that may not have been a bad thing because I had to cross a snowfield below Old Snowy that was still icy hard in places at 7:00 AM. The run-out wasn’t particularly scary but it would’ve at least resulted in a broken bone with a bad landing on the rocks below. Any earlier and I’d have been sitting around waiting for paint to dry.

Old Snowy is a pretty fun scramble for the timid hiker. From the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail), there’s a clearly discernible bootpath to the top. There are a couple sporting steep sections over disconcertingly loose boulders.  In those sections on the way down, twice my nerves got the best of me and I had to step back and coach myself: Just go down confidently and deliberately and you’ll be okay. Hey, isn’t there some leftover peanut butter ‘n chip ice cream in the freezer? That’s gonna be so good when I get home!

My campsite was in a timberline meadow below, to the right out of the frame. I was looking forward to spying on my camp from Old Snowy but unfortunately I sheltered my tent next to a shelf of rock (for protection from the wind at night) and out of view. I imagined a gang of grubby delinquent marmots ransacking my camp…….

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