Mt. Adams Climbing Conditions Report

South Climb Route Update08/17/2022

  • In case of EMERGENCY call: Yakima Sheriff's Department (509) 574-2500.
  • For local conditions call: Mt. Adams Ranger Station at (509) 395-3402.
  • Lost and Found: There is a lost and found at Mt. Adams Ranger Station. Please visit, or call (509) 395-3402, to report or claim lost items.

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 when traveling below 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 August 17, 2022, the South Climb Trailhead parking lot is accessible. See Road Conditions section below for more information about the road up to the South Climb Trailhead.

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 August 17, 2022 mountain conditions are changing rapidly as snow melts in the summer heat.  Currently, snow starts about 9000'.   Snow varies on the route from icy at the top to very tacky towards the bottom. Travel is very challenging with the daily variation in snow conditions and suncupping near the Morrison Creek Headwall.  

The mountain is heating up during the day, creating potentially dangerous situations.  There is more and more rock fall as the mountain heats up melts out.  Hazards increase during the hottest parts of the day.

Route Finding

The Morrison Creek headwall has become very difficult.  Many people are traversing early to crescent ridge to avoid the steep upper reaches of the Morrison Creek.  

People are seeing rotten snow and large holes opening up in the snowpack, especially where they are pulling away from rock outcroppings.  Crampons and Ice axes are still a necessity up high on the route. 

Glissading

ALERT: Rocks in the glissade chutes on the south climb route are dangerously exposed. Make sure you can see the entire route and exercise extreme caution. The Morrison Creek Headwall is a major area of concern, near talus slopes as well as chutes coming from Pikers Peak down Suksdorf ridge.

Conditions are changing daily so extreme caution is needed if glissading.  Glissade with caution! If you are sliding out of control, your life is at risk! 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.  

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 August 17, 2022 plenty of water is available in Morrison Creek near at lunch counter, but not higher. The pond at the upper end of Crescent Ridge is exposed. Filling up water in the afternoon is recommended as morning temps will make water more scarce.

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 or more 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.

Bird Creek Meadows:

Contact the Yakama Nation for information on yearly openings of the Bird Creek Meadows and Mt. Adams Recreation Area. There is a day use fee required for travel on Yakama Nation lands within the Tract D recreation area. When open to the public, permits may be purchased at the entrance near Mirror Lake. 

 

Go toMt Adams Climbing Information.