Mt. Adams Climbing Conditions Report

Climbing Update for 10/5/2018:

While a Cascade Volcano Pass is not required at this time, please complete a climbing register at the Mt. Adams Ranger Station, 2455 Hwy 141, Trout Lake, WA 98650. If hiking below 7000' elevation or during the off-season please fill out a self-issue wilderness permit and attach to your pack. Between May 1st and September 30th a Cascade Volcano Pass IS REQUIRED for EACH individual in the climbing party in order to climb Mount Adams.

Climbers are required to pack out their human waste. Human waste bags are provided for FREE at the Mt. Adams Ranger Station.

Current Conditions

October brings cooler temperatures and higher potential for storms, including snow, high winds, and poor visibility. Recent storms have brought snow as low as 5500'.

More frequent cloud cover results in reduced visibility; such conditions necessitate good route-finding and keeping your climbing group together.

Snow has been freezing solid overnight, necessitating crampon and ice axe use at all elevations until it softens later in the day.

Skiers and snowboarders have been reporting poor conditions along the South Climb Route due to very large suncups and large patches of exposed rock on the False Summit. The South West Chutes are largely being avoided due to poor conditions.

Running water has been inconsistent in recent weeks, and Morrison Creek has frequently been dry. You should be prepared to melt snow for drinking and cooking water.

Snow coverage near Pikers Peak is getting thin, and there are large patches of rock. Choose your route accordingly so as to avoid dislodging loose rock, and if you do dislodge rock be sure to yell to warn climbers below. Many of the glissade chutes now contain exposed rock, so be sure of what is below you before committing, or opt not to use the glissade chutes altogether.

Crescent Glacier is becoming increasingly steep and icy. The best route is along the ridgeline, and travel directly up or down the glacier is not advised.

Safety Concerns

You are responsible for your safety. There are not emergency medical services available on the mountain. It is a remote location any help may be hours or days out, especially in situations where your location or weather would create an unsafe situation for rescuers. It is always advisable to leave your itinerary and estimated time of return with a third party, but please make sure they understand that it is very common for climbing Mt. Adams to take longer than anticipated.

When climbing ALWAYS carry crampons and an ice axe, and know how to use them.

If you choose to glissade please DO NOT GLISSADE WITH CRAMPONS ON (this is a common cause of lower leg fractures). In glissade chutes it is possible to encounter rocks, debris and other people below you, so it is important that you are always able to control your speed and stop.

Check weather reports before climbing, carry your ten essentials, and prepare accordingly.

Backcountry travelers should be aware that storms can develop quickly on the mountain and may bring adverse conditions including snow, poor visibility, thunderstorms and cold temperatures. The potential for avalanche activity is it still a risk that should be considered - particularly in the SW Chutes or along Crescent Ridge. Monitor conditions and weather forecasts by the National Weather Service and any special postings by the NW Weather and Avalanche Center .

Map/Compass/GPS are essential to route finding, and it helps to turn around occasionally and orientate yourself to what the return looks like as you climb.

Dangerous conditions may also result from cornices, rockfall and icefall. Loudly yell "rock" if you dislodge a rock to warn any other climbers below you.

Other Considerations

Take everything you take on the mountain off the mountain (pack it in pack it out). Using human waste bags to pack out your solid human waste is important, because if left, it will not biodegrade, negatively affects others experience, and contaminates water.

Road Conditions

The Cold Springs Trailhead is accessible via road. When parking please be sure to not block other vehicles, the roadway, or turnarounds. Local tow services are usually not available should you get stuck.

Know Before You Go:

Review forecasts by the National Weather Service and any special postings by the NW Weather and Avalanche Center prior to any mountaineering. For the latest information on conditions, please call the Mt. Adams Ranger Station at 509-395-3402.

Climbing Preparation, Regulations, and Routes Information:

Review the Mt. Adams Summit webpage for climbing information including: permits, safety, and wilderness regulations.