Mount Adams/Mazama Glacier

A moderate 4,300 foot glacier climb up 35 degree slopes. Much of the approach, and the entire glacier climb lies within the Yakima Nation. Climb can be done in a long day. Many climbers have difficulties with the altitude. Times: 3-4 hr trailhead to camp, 5 hr camp to summit.

getting there

Bird Creek Meadows

Drive on I-5 to Vancouver, Washington then east via SR 1 to just past Underwood. Take SR 141 to Trout Lake. From Trout Lake, proceed 0.25 mi to Trout Lake Ranger Station to register climb. Consider carpooling from here. Return to gas station. Turn left and continue on this road, Forest Road 82 (then Forest Road 8290) to Bird Creek Meadows, on the Yakima Indian Reservation. A Yakima Indian Reservation Tract-D tribal-use permit  ($10.00 per vehicle) may be required at the Mirror Lake Gate. Gate may be locked, which will add to the hike in. After gate, continue to parking lot.

Alternate Route to Bird Creek meadows

Take US 12 to Randle, then Forest Road 23 to Trout Lake. From Trout Lake, proceed 0.25 mi to Trout Lake Ranger Station to register climb. Consider carpooling from here. Return to gas station. Turn left and continue on this road, Forest Road 82 (then Forest Road 8290) to Bird Creek Meadows, on the Yakima Indian Reservation. A Yakima Indian Reservation Tract-D tribal-use permit  ($10.00 per vehicle) may be required at the Mirror Lake Gate. Gate may be locked, which will add to the hike in. After gate, continue to parking lot.

alternate route to Cold Springs Trailhead

From I-5 south take SR 12 east for 48 miles to Randle. Turn south on Forest Road 23 and follow it 56 miles to Trout Lake. From Trout Lake, proceed 0.25 mi to Trout Lake Ranger Station to register climb. Consider carpooling from here. Then travel north from Trout Lake 1 mile to Forest Road 80, then left on Forest Road 8040 and follow it to the Cold Springs Campground and south route trailhead (5,600 ft).

APPROACH

From parking lot at Bird Creek Meadows (5,576 ft) follow trail for 0.15 mi to fork. Take the right fork—Trail No. 20. Though steeper, this climbers trail is also 0.75 mi shorter than the other fork. Continue northwest along the ridge, up the moraine, traveling parallel to it at its base, into scrubby pines, where a climber's trail leads up to a low point on the morraine crest, and then travel down to a large relatively flat basin. Camp here (7,600 ft) or traverse across basin, angling up onto the snow slopes to the saddle just below the Mazama Glacier. This area, Sunrise Camp, is a good fair weather camp (~8,600 ft). A higher camp is possible at about 9,500 ft.

Alternative Approach

Start from Cold Springs Trailhead and follow South Spur Trail to Round the Mountain Trail (1.75 mi). Then follow the Round the Mountain Trail east across lava flows and to border of Yakima Indian Reservation. Go 0.25 mi to beginning of Bird Creek Meadows, turn left and climb up the moraine. Travel parallel to it at its base, into scrubby pines, where a climber's trail leads up to a low point on the morraine crest, and then travel down to a large relatively flat basin. Camp here (7,600 ft) or traverse across basin, angling up onto the snow slopes to the saddle just below the Mazama Glacier. This area, Sunrise Camp, is a good fair weather camp (~8,600 ft). A higher camp is possible at about 9,500 ft.

ASCENT ROUTE

Proceed up the glacier to the snowfield above, then onto a ridge. Ascend northwest up the ridge to the false summit. Cross the false summit and climb northwest about 900 ft to the summit. Use wands to mark the route for the descent.

DESCENT ROUTE

Descend the climbing route.

TRIP PROFILE

SEGMENT TIME (hR) ELEVATION GAIN (FT)
Seattle to Trailhead 4-5
Trailhead to Camp 3-4 2,100
Camp to Summit 5 4,300
Summit to Camp 2
Camp to Trailhead 2

EQUIPMENT

Standard glacier equipment.

NOTES

  • Note that this is a long climb with considerable elevation gain. It can be done car to car in one day, but camping at the 7,600 ft or 8,600 ft level makes it more pleasant. The climb is often done in two days, but due to the long drive, many parties allow three days.
  • The climbing season is restricted to July 1 to October 1 for non-members of the Yakima Indian Nation. A Cascade Volcano Pass is required  for each climber. Purchase them at the Trout River Ranger District office.  The Yakima Nation permit is also available at the Trout River Ranger District office.
  • Suitable Activities: Climbing
  • Climbing Category: Basic Alpine
  • Seasons: July, August
  • Weather: View weather forecast.
  • Difficulty: Technical 3, Strenuous 3, Basic Glacier Climb
  • Elevation Gain: 6,400 ft
  • 12,276 ft
Map
  • USGS Mt Adams West
  • Green Trails Mt Adams West No. 366
  • USGS Mt Adams East
Activities

Upcoming Activities



Basic Alpine Climb - Mount Adams/Mazama Glacier

Climbing Trip
Midweek Climb by request of Olympia Basic Climbing Students. Please don't contact me before registration
Difficulty: Technical 3, Strenuous 3, Basic Glacier Climb
Tue, Jul 17, 2018 - Wed, Jul 18, 2018
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
4 participants 0 leaders
Registration opens Jul 6
Olympia Branch

Glacier Climb - Mount Adams/Mazama Glacier

Climbing Trip
This is a mentored climb for Brent Williams by Jon Ewen.
Difficulty: Technical 3, Strenuous 3, Basic Glacier Climb
Sat, Jul 28, 2018 - Sun, Jul 29, 2018
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
4 participants on waitlist 1 leader on waitlist
Registration closed Jun 1
Olympia Branch

Glacier Climb - Mount Adams/Mazama Glacier

Climbing Trip
Moderate climb of Washington's second highest volcano.
Difficulty: Technical 3, Strenuous 3, Basic Glacier Climb
Sat, Aug 4, 2018 - Sun, Aug 5, 2018
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
7 participants on waitlist 1 leader on waitlist
Registration closes Aug 2
Tacoma Branch

Basic Alpine Climb - Mount Adams/Mazama Glacier

Climbing Trip
Difficulty: Technical 3, Strenuous 3, Basic Glacier Climb
Sat, Aug 18, 2018 - Sun, Aug 19, 2018
Prerequisites
2 participants on waitlist 0 leaders
Registration opens Jun 24
Tacoma Branch
Trip Reports
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