Type: Trad, Ice, Alpine, Grade III
FA: unknown
Page Views: 3,032 total · 29/month
Shared By: summitAntics on Apr 8, 2013 · Updates
Admins: Nate Ball, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Z Winters

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NOTE: you must have a permit from the Yakima Indian Reservation, which I believe they only offer in August in very limited supply. It's worth it.

NOTE #2: While not a "summit" - it's easy to add the south side of Mount Adams (or similar variation) on your first or last day... essentially climbing around the mountain gives you x4 the vertical gain of climbing this mountain once. You'll be heading up and down, up and down, up and down around this massive peak.

Very general info: Once you have your permit, start from the south route parking lot and head up standard packtrail to the junction (You may also have to leave a NFS self-registration on the mazama glacier side or at the parking lot...). Go straight at the junction; note this is off route/off trail as you're heading away from the PCT and onto rarely traveled territory. With your GPS, start making your own route around the east shoulder of Mount Adams... don't stick too close to the mountain, as the cliff sides and rock gets very technical, especially with no rope.

If you've started early enough, downclimb some exposed chossy cliffs to some significant boulderfield navigation... cross the river and camp on the other side.

If not, save the significant river crossing for the next morning and wake up in meadows with an easy day of climbing up the shoulders of the northeast buttresses. You'll get very close to the north sides of Mount Adams, and might even touch the snowfields. Clamber over terminal moraines until you rejoin the PCT amongst the huge boulderfields near the plateau on the north-northwest corner. Enjoy views of Goat Rocks that few see before rejoining the PCT and camping in an established group spot on the west side.

Trail pack back to your car on Day 3. Grab a beer, ice those sore knees.


This route circumnavigates Mount Adams. 1/3 by the Pacific Crest Trail, and 2/3 by novel route finding around the rarely visited east side. Enjoy your time there! Unforgettable.


In August not much is needed but route finding skills. Rope+extras might allow you to climb closer in to Mount Adams and not have to avoid class 5+ scary cliff downclimbs. Take what you're willing to leave if you do bring pro for rappels.


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