On Sunday, July 7th at 12:01 AM, Erik Sanders, Jason Antin, Brandon Worthington and I set off from the Paradise Trailhead with our sights on the Cascade Trifecta. With a promising forecast, strong team, and highly-skilled reckless driver (Elizabeth Sasseman), our goal was to complete the three Cascade classics (Rainier, Adams, and Hood) within a 24 hour period. We ascended Rainier via the DC in 4:54 and descend the same route in 2:33 for a roundtrip time of 7 hours and 27 minutes. From there we ditched our mountain boots and hopped in the truck for the next objective, Mt. Adams. Regrettably, we didn't secure our Adams permits in advance and made two stops along the way in order to do so (we stopped at Cowlitz Station only to learn that we needed to get the permits at Trout Lake).
Fresh off a sub-24hr Western States performance, Brandon Worthington decided to call it a day after Rainier. So with permits in hand and some well-welcomed cloud cover, Jason, Erik and I set-off on the Adams South Climb Trail at 11:05 AM. Soft snow slowed us down, and a few false summits took a toll on morale but we still managed to top out in 3:58. On the descent, we took full advantage of the buffed-out glissade tracks and made it back to the truck in 1:32 for a round trip time of 5 hours and 30 minutes.
With Liz Sasseman behind the wheel, we took advantage of the drive to Hood to get rehydrated and refueled and finally set-off for the summit of Mt. Hood at 6:49 PM. Right from the beginning of the climb, Jason was experiencing some breathing issues which slowed-down his normally stout uphill mountain pace. With no meds to off-set what seemed to be an asthma attack, Jason ultimately pulled the plug a few thousand feet into the ascent. Erik and I continued up the southside under headlamp and topped-out on Hood for a total ascent time of 3 hours. Finally, we descended back to the car at Timberline lodge in 1 hour and 4 mins completing a highly-memorable day in the hills.
Our total time for the Cascade trifecta was 22:53:21. Special thanks to Buzz Burrell and Peter Bakwin for creating this fun and challenging project. Splits below:
Rainier Start: 12:01 AM
Rainier RT: 7:27:15
Adams Start: 11:05 AM
Adams RT: 5:30:02
Hood Start: 6:49 PM
Hood RT: 4:05:20
Cascade Trifecta Finish: 22:53:21