AI2-3 Steep Snow,
Ice, Snow, Alpine, 4700 ft, Grade III,
Avg: 3.4 from 16
> Southwest Cascades
> Mt Adams
The Adams Glacier is on Mt. Adams's N /NW face. The route generally starts at the base of the glacier on the right side, and ascends fairly straight up, sticking to the right 1/3 of the glacier for the majority of the climb. (Of course, the exact route may vary by year, season, and conditions.) The upper icefall can be passed on either side, Nelson and Potterfield show the route going around the left, my party went on the right. Above this icefall is a false-summit plateau. You then continue to the actual summit.
The route is primarily moderate snow with some steep snow, and a bit of alpine ice. In 2016 we found 2 sections requiring ice screws and a belay, the latter of which was climbing into and back out of a large crevasse. The majority of the route can be simul-soloed, and is protectable with pickets and a running belay if desired.
You can descend via the N. Ridge or a snow field on the west side of the N. Ridge. Note the N. Ridge consist of very loose volcanic rock. Be careful to not release rock slides on fellow skiers or climbers.
Use Forest Service roads 23, 21 and 2329 to reach the Killen Creek Trail (#113).
Follow the Killen Creek Trail (#113) to the PCT, where you'll continue straight onto the High Camp Trail (#10). Once up in the High Camp area, head SE towards the foot of the N. Ridge. Ample camping can be found between 7,000 and 7,600 ft.
The route is impossible to miss and you have a good view of your line for the entire approach.
A volcano permit is required to climb Mount Adams. More info here: fs.usda.gov/recmain/gifford…
Camp at a glacial lake at 7650' for easy access.
There is also flat and dry camping (on dirt) at the established 'high camp' area at 7000'
Protection consists of pickets and ice screws.
Upper Adams Glacier June 2019 (photo: Erick T.)
Approximate route taken, Adams Glacier, July 2016.
Lower Adams Glacier June 2019 (Photo: Erick T.)
Traversing the upper portion of the Adams Glacier just before the final steep snow field (June 2019)
Looking back on the Adams Glacier route from about half-way up
On belay crossing a snow bridge half-way up the Adams Glacier
Alpine start June 2019 looking back at Mt. Rainier and the lower Adams Glacier
Adams Glacier on July 12, 2012.