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4 July 2009
For the fourth of July, seven of us joined the hordes to climb Mt. Adams, the third highest volcano in the Cascades. The long but fairly easy South slopes route covers 7000 vertical feet to the 12,274-foot summit. Many ascend to the base of the snow fields and stay overnight, but we did this all in one day.

Mick, Mike, Eric, and Todd all packed skis to the summit. Rick, Liz and I glissaded back down our original ascent route, which was glissadable for about 2000 vertical feet. So many people climb Mt. Adams that the main glissade line is worn 2 feet deep in some places, which made for awesome bobsled-style sliding for an unbelievably long stretch.

While Mick skiied with us, Mike, Todd, and Eric skiied down the southwest chute, where snow was better. At 3:00 pm, about two hours after leaving the summit, Mike was struck in the chest by a falling rock, nearly breaking his ribs and rendering him unable to ski. Eric and Todd spent the rest of the afternoon helping Mike down the slope, which was too steep to walk.

The rest of us reached the car at 4:30, and found out about the accident via text message. Lacking cell phone contact, we weren't able to help. Mick hiked back up the mountain and searched for an hour or two, to no avail. As night fell, we got a call from Mike, who gave us his GPS coordinates and asked for help in finding the trail.

With the generous help of two WFRs camping near our truck, we helped direct Mike in the right direction, loaded up a backpack with snacks and water, and set off to meet them. Rick and I encountered them about two miles up the trail at 10:30pm. Mike was walking on his own, but tired and in a lot of pain. From there, it took us two more hours to get him to the hospital in White Salmon. After x-rays and cat scans, he was discharged the next morning, with no broken bones.
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