Circumnavigation of Adams IV (or: 8K Vert Day!)

By:  Greg
April 5, 2010

In running this website and going on ski trips, it’s tempting to continually try to outdo yourself. You might start to think that the next trip always needs to be bigger, better and more significant than the last. While the personal ambition to do more in the mountains is good to keep one from getting bored, it can’t be the only driving force. Sometimes, despite one’s eagerness to find that gnar line that no one else is even thinking about, you must content yourself with a good old fashioned corn snow harvest on a well known route. Sometimes, despite a long day of skinning, the most you can claim is 8,000 vertical feet–a number well short of the local benchmark of 10,000 feet (also see here). Sometimes, despite wanting to find a storyline that will add a narrative to the trip, the most significant thing you did was circumnavigate Mt. Adams IV–so long as you don’t actually count Jefferson Ravine. But these compromises clarify for me what skiing is really about: skiing. No story, list, benchmark, location, or number can play substitute to a great descent on great snow.

Allen’s Video:

To make what is becoming a long story short, we poked around the general vicinity of Mt. Adams IV a little while ago hoping to ski these three lines,

…and whatever else we found along the way.

Allen was back from his trip to India, and was eager to ski his home hills. While the skiing on his trip was incredible, one piece of information he relayed to me was extremely interesting: New England has far better corn than India. As I understand it, the latitude of the Himalayas is so low that unless you’re skiing freshies, the snow is either locked up in the shade, or else the sun bakes it into deep slush. Luckily this is a problem which we don’t always have around here. Indeed, our latitude in the mid 40s tends to cook the snow just right this time of year.

In addition to Allen’s company, some of the usual players joined as well.

Finally BK (not Burger King) partook as well.

Continue Reading: 1 2 3 4 5 Next »

Read about the author:   Greg
Enjoy this TR? Read another: TR: Spring From High to Low


  1. Dwyer
    wrote on April 5th, 2010 at 11:51 am  

    Looks like poor Allen came up a few ounces short…

  2. Lionel Hutz
    wrote on April 5th, 2010 at 1:08 pm  

    Well done Greg!

    What system do you use to track your progress? GPS?

    • Greg
      wrote on April 5th, 2010 at 1:37 pm  

      Pop tarts eaten and high fives recieved. Seriously though I just google earth eyeball it most of the time. If I really wanted to know I’d run the gps all day though.

  3. Sam
    wrote on April 5th, 2010 at 3:14 pm  

    :: nerd voice:: Lets make a graph!!! ::/nerd voice::

  4. Jonathan Shefftz
    wrote on April 5th, 2010 at 8:21 pm  

    Nice trip & write-up, but:
    We skied the middle line of the three, but I didn’t get any pictures of that. We will have to wait for Allen’s video to showcase that one, which we called “Twisted Sister” because of the little twist she had about three quarters of the way down.
    The middle line is Middle Sister, flanked by North Sister and South Sister. The line to the far looker’s right is Wicked Stepsister — well, okay, maybe that “line” never really fills in, but hence the name.

    • Greg
      wrote on April 5th, 2010 at 11:49 pm  

      I feel like whomever left these three brethren unnamed did so in order that each party might come up with their own upon completion. We chose on Samantha, Twisted Sister, and Betty from looker’s right to left. I look forward to the next party’s choices! How bland if they should just be left as South Middle and North!?

    • TEO
      wrote on April 6th, 2010 at 3:33 pm  

      Those would be the Skanky (South)–it generally gets rotten first, Twisted (middle), & Hot (North) Sisters.

  5. skimtwashington
    wrote on April 5th, 2010 at 10:21 pm  

    As usual, a magnificent portfolio of your trip. Beautiful ski lines indeed. What’s better than skiing new lines in great aesthetic terrain?

    You ought to do the best lines on each of the presidentials. Oh, and If you’re trying to really add up the vertical and smash the benchmark(10k)- you better add a kite. Zebulon did car to summit and back to car in 58 minutes, in case you didn’t hear. keep those trip reports coming!

    • Jake
      wrote on April 6th, 2010 at 8:49 pm  

      I think he deserves a cookie.

  6. powhounddd
    wrote on April 6th, 2010 at 1:25 pm  

    Scweet schuss indeed. Did Christian have the crampons on the split setup? Invaluable.

    Snow looks great up there. All the low country snow seems to have been beaten to a pulp by Easter Summer.

    • powhounddd
      wrote on April 6th, 2010 at 1:26 pm  

      Oh an PS not sure why but this page didn’t show on the RSS feed.

    • christian
      wrote on April 6th, 2010 at 6:45 pm  

      nope, i fill my bag w/ 32oz cans of high life to help weight the skins better. plus, i want everything in my pack to pull double duty and ski cramps only do one thing. cans of high life have 2 jobs, help add weight for the climb up and provide liquid courage for the ride down.

    • Ben
      wrote on April 6th, 2010 at 9:58 pm  

      Christian’s a true alpinist…

    • Greg
      wrote on April 6th, 2010 at 10:25 pm  

      it’s not alpinism without safety bricks!

  7. Jonathan Shefftz
    wrote on April 7th, 2010 at 9:13 am  

    “How bland if they should just be left as South Middle and North!?”
    — Not bland at all if you keep these in mind:

    • Greg
      wrote on April 7th, 2010 at 9:24 am  

      Ahhhh. Of course. Although I think it now becomes closer to “depressing”

  8. Sam
    wrote on April 7th, 2010 at 1:17 pm  

    ^^^ Seriously, that was the best they could come up with? Might as well have just left them as unnamed “number peaks”.

  9. Alex
    wrote on April 8th, 2010 at 1:33 pm  

    First part of Adams IV trip looks quite similar to the (Roadside) Katahdin Coolers. Good pics as usual.

    • Greg
      wrote on April 8th, 2010 at 1:34 pm  

      Without a doubt we may have returned to that location during our approach to Adams IV ;)

  10. Greg
    wrote on April 10th, 2010 at 5:15 pm  
  11. Mark
    wrote on April 25th, 2010 at 12:26 pm  

    Nice vid. You don’t see many ski videos using the grateful dead as a soundtrack. I have a feeling that most of the ski vids that do this are shot at Tuckermans or someplace nearby.

  12. Butch Chamberlain
    wrote on April 30th, 2010 at 8:17 am  

    This is some eally pro stuff. Looks Soooo Goood! Who says the EAST has NO extreme stuff. You people do it right. Loved the vid. Keep it up. Nice touch using the Dead soundtrack, makes even better.

  13. Butch Chamberlain
    wrote on April 30th, 2010 at 8:25 am  

    Hey, can’t get over all these great shots. Must have taken some time to go over all the places you wanted to expose. High Life, nice touch, prefer Bass or Long Trail myself. But Hydration is the Key!! Move over Warren M.

  14. John
    wrote on April 30th, 2010 at 11:53 am  

    Is that Cannon cliff in background photo with snow boarder?

    • Greg
      wrote on January 26th, 2011 at 5:42 pm  

      sure looks like it!

  15. Not-a-snob
    wrote on January 26th, 2011 at 5:25 pm  

    why the silliness of not saying where you were? Sophomoric, really takes away from these reports IMO.

    if you don’t want to be useful & label the photos then why bother posting at all? Vanity can be the only reason.

    Maybe one day you’ll spend some time out West & grow up.

    • Greg
      wrote on January 26th, 2011 at 5:39 pm  

      wow those are some serious words for someone who’s “not-a-snob.” ;)

      I see your point man, even if I’m a bit turned off by your tone.

      Here’s some thoughts.

      A.) This TR features two mountains. The one in Roadside Katahdin Coolers, and the one in the title. So to be quite honest… to some extent WE DID say where we were in this one. In RKCoolers I think the location was more or less obvious if one read the clues.

      B.) Why did we clump two days into one TR? Well, the answer is pretty simple: We had two consecutive ski days; one in which we basically repeated RKCoolers, and another which was on Adams IV. We had good content from both days, but didn’t want to repeat ourselves so we put it all into the latter. Probably could have done two separate ones. I’ve always wondered… but never really bothered to change it.

      In the future I think you’ll see more stuff from just one day…

      C.) Vagueness is nothing new in ski photography; east or west. Look at the ubiquitous “Alta Backcountry” featured in so many ski magazines. I can give you the email addresses of Lee Cohen, Andrew McLean, Adam Barker, and several others who have been vague about their location. I’m sure they’d be pleased to hear you call them Sophmoric, Vane, and not grown up.

      Now here’s some advice: read these TRs carefully, and turn your brain on. The location is hardly veiled so deeply. Going beyond a cursory glance can and should yield loads of valuable information if you wish to plan a trip. Good luck!

      It’d be great if you would take off your anonymous mask for your next comments. Thanks!

  16. Butch Chamberlain
    wrote on February 24th, 2011 at 10:30 am  

    Wow read this over again. Had commented previously. But in response to the
    person who decides to criticize others for not revealing the source of the pics. Hmm, something tells me that this one does not explore, nor does not expand the vision or capabilities. A person who does not try to explore the limits is one that has a very closed mind. Actually trying to figure out
    where the shot was taken( eventhough subtly) is more than half the fun. Hey
    person get real, do your own research, you just may be better for it. I do not reveal all of my stashes, and certainly wouldn’t to you for poaching, fer sure.

    • Greg
      wrote on February 24th, 2011 at 2:13 pm  

      our thoughts exactly… but to each their own!

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