Mt. Adams Climbing Conditions Report

South Climb Route Update: 10/1/23

Climbing Passes

From May 1 until September 30, passes are required. A climbing permit is required if traveling above 7000’. A wilderness permit is required instead if only traveling 7000’.

A pass must be always carried on your person AND be placed in the windshield of your vehicle. Print two copies or have one downloaded on your phone and one printed in your vehicle.

Passes to climb Mt. Adams are available online at www.recreation.gov/activitypass/mt- adams-climb. There is limited cell phone coverage in the Trout Lake area. Please plan ahead and purchase/print your passes ahead of arrival.

Free, self-issued, wilderness permits are available at the South Climb Trailhead.

 

Human Waste Carry-Out Bags:

Visitors climbing Mt. Adams must pack out their human waste.  Decomposition processes above 7000’ elevation happen too slowly to keep up with what is being deposited in the ecosystem, so it is important that visitors follow this regulation to avoid the accumulation of human feces in the climbing area. We currently provide human waste carry-out bags (scat packs) free of charge in front of the Mt. Adams Ranger District office. Please pack out your own bags, there are no collection services available.

 

South Climb Trailhead Access:

As of October 1st, 2023, the road is clear to the South Climb trailhead as well as the parking lot; however, as new storms come through and the snow line drops, this may change, so plan accordingly.

 

Conditions:

Weather

Climbers should be aware that forecasts for the surrounding areas do not necessarily reflect mountain weather. Please reference a point forecast from NOAA or the National Weather Service for more specific information on weather conditions.

Mountain weather is always subject to change, be sure to check forecasts prior to departure, but plan accordingly for changing conditions.

Snowpack

As of October 1st, 2023, Mountain conditions are changing rapidly due to new precipitation falling as rain or snow depending on elevation.  The accumulation of new snow on an unconsolidated snowpack can result in increased avalanche activity depending on slope and amount of accumulation. Snow drift can result in variable snow depths depending on aspect and local topography.  Expect snow to vary throughout your climb, changing from soft to boilerplate or even ice as you work your way up the mountain.

 

Route Finding

The most straight forward route is currently the South Climb summer route.  Snow begins at 7000 ft, and depending on aspect, can vary in depth.  As of October 1st, 2023, snow is staring to fall and stick, conditions are changing rapidly, and so is the route, please use you map and other route-finding tools. Please remember that visibility will be limited as storms move in, especially at higher elevations, and tracks can be hard to see after fresh snow or melting events.

 

Glissading

Glissade with caution! Unmarked obstacles may be found in glissading chutes. Make sure chutes are clear of people below you and be aware of your speed. Remove crampons to avoid potential serious injury.

 

Road Conditions

The road to the South Climb trailhead requires good clearance and All Wheel Drive year-round.  Four Wheel Drive is recommended.  Vehicles are currently able to make it to the edge of the South Climb Trailhead parking lot, however most of the parking spots are currently covered.  When parking please be sure not to block or partially block other vehicles, the roadway, turnarounds, or trailhead parking area loops. Blocking traffic will prevent an ambulance and other emergency vehicles from accessing the trailhead in the event of an emergency. Park farther down the road if necessary, in a pull-off well off the road surface.

 

Water

As of October 1st, 2023 creeks are snow covered. Climbers should plan to bring an appropriate amount of water and/or plan on melting snow. If there are any remaining warm days, creeks may have water in them; however, higher elevations are beginning to hold snow, and climbers should not rely on running water.

 

Search and Rescue

Safety Alert: Forest Service personnel are limited on Mt. Adams for the 2022 season, and response times may be longer than normal. Yakima County and the Mt. Adams Ranger District are working together to protect volunteers, employees, and visitors as best we can; however, response times may be up to 10 hours requiring injured or lost visitors to stay the night.  Please plan accordingly.

Please make conservative choices, carry emergency gear, and plan for a self-rescue. Stay within sight and shouting distance of each member of your group; do not split-up. Although cell service can be found on the route, it is recommended to have a satellite communication device such as an InReach or Spot Unit on you when climbing in the wilderness.  Keep at least one cell phone per group fully charged so that communication may be maintained in the event of a search and/or rescue.

If an incident occurs and self-rescue is not feasible, call the Yakima Sheriff's Department 509-574-2500.