Mt Adams

4:23 p.m. on February 27, 2011 (EST)
136 reviewer rep
623 forum posts

After a reasonable amount of research on Mt Baker, Mt Hood, and Mt Adams, I've come to the conclusion that Mt Adams will be the safest and "easiest" mountain of the 3 for me to climb with my level of experience in the White Mountains.


I will be looking to go within 2 years, I'm just waiting for my frequent flyer points to add up so I can get a free flight out to Washington.


I will likely be going with my climbing partner dunerdan, and my father in law if his health is good - these are the same folks I climbed Mt Washington with a couple of weeks ago.


Can anyone provide me with more information about the South Side route in terms of objective dangers, the best time of year to go, and anything else that might come to mind?


As I said, I have done a fair amount of research on the mountain so I know that the slope approaches but doesn't go beyond a 30 degree angle, and that the south side is a glacier free snow slog that gains about 6700 feet in 6 miles.


If anyone has climbed Mt Adams, I'd appreciate additional information, as my plan is to go the traditional alpine style and not use guides - I will do all necessary research and preparation before the trip to ensure my safety. 

8:12 p.m. on February 27, 2011 (EST)
136 reviewer rep
623 forum posts

edit - not a glacier free snow slog, I meant a crevasse free snow slog. It is on top of a glacier.

6:11 a.m. on February 28, 2011 (EST)
102 reviewer rep
2,973 forum posts

All three mountains can be summated basically doing just steep walks on ice and snow, if you wish.  If you have sound ice axe and crampon skills, and know about the various rope belays on snow and ice, you should be ok.  The tricky thing about these mountains, like Mt Washington, is the weather.  Use the same conservative eye for weather that you use on Washington and you should be ok.  The Summit Post web site is a good site for PNW climbing and route info, as is The (Seattle) Mountaineer's web site.


4:35 p.m. on February 28, 2011 (EST)
136 reviewer rep
623 forum posts

thanks for the sites Ed. Summitpost is great, I use it frequently, and I'll check out the mountaineer's site.

11:07 a.m. on March 1, 2011 (EST)
6,102 reviewer rep
1,625 forum posts

I was on Adams last Summer July 4th and plan to go again this Summer on the South Spur Route. I took my 10 and 12 year old with me.

We weren't able to drive to the main parking lot b/c of snow and slept in the car about a half mile from the trailhead.  We left at 06:00 and got to Lunch Counter 9,000 feet, (where everyone camps) at dinner time.  Wind was about 40mph.  I reccomend bringing a shovel to dig a pit to pitch your tent in to protect you from the wind. A saw helps make block but its optional.  There are rock walls there to hide behind but they were all taken by the time we got there.  Build a wall with the spoils of your pit.  We left for the summit at 06:00 and got to the car at dinner time (remember I had the kids with me).  Most everyone was way faster than us but we had fun too. 

My trip Report:

Ice axe, crampons, helmet for the glissade, glacier glasses, sunscreen, a really strong tent.  These are a must.  The wind at the False Summit was at least a full gale, maybe 20mph more.  The kids leaned into it at about 60+ degrees.  The glissade alone was worth the trip.  However don't glissade until the snow has softened up a bit or you will go way too fast.  This makes the lower hike back mushy but you can either have one good 3,000 foot glissade or twenty good 30 foot ones, your choice.

A gps or compass skills are needed to re-find the trailhead because there are a million trails in the snow back down so finding the right one is a chore.  I did both, I shot an azimuth once we hit snow on the way up then also followed a team with a GPS down to make it easier.  I was going for easy, not an adventure at this point. 

Rest stepping and maximum fitness are good for the final run up from Lunch Counter to the False Summit.  It is VERY steep.  Also watch for skiers above your fall line, they drop lots of ice chunks which the wind flings at you at mach speed.  Also gear, especially water bottles, drop from glissaders and careen down the toboggan run-like glissade path so keep your eyes open for those too, score some gear!.  Make sure your kit is secure before your glissade or someone else will be drinking all your gatorade and coffee! 

You have to poo in a bag up there so be ready to deal with that too (hot topic here for some reason).  No biggie, its too cold to stink.

Don't forget to pay for your pass at the ranger station, its not easy to find (take the left fork in the road at Trout).  

Anything else you want to know lemme know. 

11:09 a.m. on March 1, 2011 (EST)
6,102 reviewer rep
1,625 forum posts

P.S. You don't need a guide.

1:34 p.m. on March 13, 2011 (EDT)
136 reviewer rep
623 forum posts

sage, that's a lot of great information, I will definitely be saving it.

8:59 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
136 reviewer rep
623 forum posts

sage one other question - any recommendations on good maps/route descriptions for adams? 


For example, in the White Mountains region, the AMC makes a great set of maps and trail guides.

April 21, 2018
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

More Topics
This forum: Older: Killarney, Ont Newer: anyone have info on jenny Jump state park NJ?
All forums: Older: In 2002 (10% error from a decade)... Newer: Internal or external frame pack