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Even with the extra reach of these non-snow protection placements, it was soon apparent that I'd run out before getting to the top of the Gully, which was now visible perhaps 200 vertical feet above. I therefore made my way to the base of the rocky wall on one side of the Gully and found a reasonably comfortable spot to once again belay up Jenn and Brian.
Second belay position
Over to Madison
Brian in the Great Gully
With our second fixed belay stop complete, we started out again to complete the last stretch to the top of the Gully. This last stretch turned out to be the steepest bit of climbing, with a few short stretches perhaps pushing the 40-degree steepness mark. The snow was in good shape, though, and apart from a bit of effort it was straightforward climbing to the lip of snow which marked the top of the Gully. Perhaps 30 feet more of low-angled climbing brought us to an aprupt end to the snow, and the start of the alpine grasses and sedges of the terrain above King Ravine.
courtesy JInnes
Final stretch
View from the top
View from the top
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
Topping out
The end of the snow
The lip
So, our climb was done (or rather, done for me - Brian and Jenn were still below yet to finish their climbs). I slowly continued on across the grasses, still roped, until both Brian and Jenn were fully off of the snow. I was also looking for a patch of rocks for us to stop and get out of our climbing gear - a spot that would avoid us trampling the delicate alpine vegetation.
courtesy JInnes
Alpine terrain
Roped up in difficult terrain
Across to Madison
After reeling Brian and Jenn into our resting spot, we reorganized our gear and took a long and relaxing lunch break. It was noon now, and we had climbed quite slowly, burning well over two hours from the start of the Great Gully route to this point. But, it had been fun and useful, so it was time well spent.
courtesy JInnes
Resting post-climb
Back on Great Gully Trail
Thunderstorm Junction
With the climbing out of the way and the gear stored back in our packs, we continued on. We made a beeline for the nearest official trail, looking to get off the alpine vegetation, soon intersecting with the upper part of the Great Gully Trail. This we followed a short distance west to Thunderstorm junction - a meeting of five different trails marked by a huge fifteen-foot high cairn. From here it was a short climb to the top of Mt Adams (remember, part of this trip's objective was a climb of Mt Adams), visible as a low hill just a few hundred yards to our east. Since we were going to be retracing our steps back to this junction after the summit, we decided to leave our big and heavy packs behind.
Our final objective
Nearing Adam's summit
The Great Gulf
Unburdened by packs, it was an easy and light saunter up over the thousands of shattered and angular boulders to Mt Adams' summit. The weather was absolutely calm and warm - no wind, no clouds. The views over the wild depths of the Great Gulf to Mts Jefferson, Clay, and Washington were impressive. Jenn marked her summit of Adams - her 111th northeast 4000+ footer peak - with a picture of her boot at the little survey indicator at the top. Four more summits after this and her NE 111er list will be complete.
courtesy JInnes
Jenn atop Adams
Jenn's 111th
View from Mt Adams summit
courtesy JInnes
Adams summit sign
Bird's Eye view to Madison
Jenn and Brian on Adams
courtesy JInnes
Andrew and Washington
The Great Gulf
Mt Jefferson
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