Mazama Glacier Headwall
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BETA PHOTO: Sunrise Camp at the bottom, the route runs straigh...
In summary, it's an easy glacier climb with an optional short technical pitch at the very top of the route.
This is a big, wild, scenic route on an otherwise pretty droll mountain. The hike up to Sunrise Camp is an adventure all on it's own, and is pretty breathtakingly beautiful in spring or summer. The route itself wanders up long stretches of steep glacier and gives views of some very interesting features. The big, wild, isolated feel of the route makes it worthy, even if it lacks in real technical climbing.
Approach from the Bird Creek Road trailhead at 5,700' on the southeast spur of the mountain. The trail is easy to follow until around 6,700', when route-finding comes into play. There are any number of lines to pick up through and across moraines and glacier and scree fields to get to Sunrise Camp at 8,300', and you will need to consult a climbing map to find it.
From Sunrise, the route runs directly up the 40 degree glacier in front of you, veers right up the 45 degree headwall to a gradually narrowing strip of glacier, which runs up a little band into Piker's Peak (AKA South Summit). Just under Piker's Peak, climbers have the option of exiting the route to the left on a 25-30 degree field, or carrying on to the right and climbing a 40' section of 60-70 degree snow/ice up the SE corner of Piker's Peak.
Once topped out, descend the back side of Piker's Peak and pick a path up to the true summit. The geographical high-point is to the east, at the top.
Some people will want 2 or 3 screws for the top, technical variation. 2 or 3 pickets along the lower 45 degree headwall, if desired.