Though Kevin and Don are avid outdoorsman, climbing Mount Adams was no easy task. Mountaineering, even a “non-technical” route like The South Climb, requires great physical condition. “It’s like an endless stair-stepper at the gym,” explained Don.
Mount Adams is covered in snow year-round, requiring the climbers to use ice axes and crampons to maintain balance and avoid losing their footing, which could result in a dangerous slide down the mountain.
The climbers spent each night of their three-day trek “bivied” at the “The Lunch Counter,” a popular resting point. “Bivy,” short for bivouac sack, stands for the small shelters alpinists sleep in. According to Don, the best spot for a bivy will be flat and protected from the wind. The Lunch Counter is covered in small volcanic rocks that provide excellent protection for bivies, and climbers often set them up in horseshoe shapes to create further shelter from the wind.
In addition to their bivys, the climbers brought water filters, fuel, stoves, and of course, XS energy bars. During the day the climbers left their cooking equipment at the campsite, meaning they needed easily-packable, energy-rich food that would sustain them until they were able to return.
Though the excursion required a lot of energy and the climbers always had to be on alert, the perspective of climbing was a refreshing one. “Sometimes it’s good to focus on the next twenty feet rather than all these distractions we have in everyday life,” said Don, “it forces you to really pay attention to what you’re doing.”