Trip Report    

Mount Adams/Mazama Glacier

Mt Adams Mazama Glacier climb/ski ascent via Mazama Glacier and Descent via S Route

  • Sat, Jun 30, 2018
  • Mount Adams/Mazama Glacier
  • Backcountry Skiing & Climbing
  • Successful
  • Road rough but passable
  • Road is a pain for the last couple of miles. I had a 4Runner with moderate clearance and saw others up there with cars so I know you can do it, but having  some clearance makes it much nicer.

    Trail is snow free until about 6300 feet. People are using the summer approach up the S Route. Round the mountain trail is in great shape and quite beautiful. I left the trail just after entering the reservation and angled uphill toward the moraine. I wasn't completely sure of the route, but a notch in the moraine with an easy snow slope looked like it  would go. In reality, you want to traverse to the end of the moraine and cross there where it's not very tall. Since i had ascended the moraine, I wound up descending a hundred feet of so of loose pumice to get down to the glacier and the traverse over to Sunrise Camp.

    Sunrise Camp is snow free and I have to say is one of the nicest high camps I've ever seen. It's flat and sandy, and has lots of windbreaks. An nobody was there!

    The glacier itself can be easily climbed on the right to avoid any slots. Stay right out of camp and ascend the first steep part. After 800-1000 feet the glacier mellows out and is pretty flat. A snowy ramp gets you to the top of Pikers Peak. The ramp is in great shape. Care should be taken because the ramp narrows as you ascend. On the right is a cliff dropping to the Klickitat Glacier.

    From the top of Pikers Peak, cross the flats and climb the final 800 feet to the summit. Lots of traffic here so route finding is easy. Forest Service had even placed wands.   

Great trip up the Mazama Glacier. Had intended to ski down the SW chutes on the way down, but high winds out of the SW made that a challenge. I was blown off my feet several times above Pikers Peak. Wound up skiing the S Route instead because there was more wind protection. Winds were so high that it took crampons and ice axe just to hold onto the summit without being blown off!

Times were:

  • 3:45 from Home to TH
  • 3:15 from TH to Camp Sunrise
  • 2:15 from Sunrise Camp to Pikers Peak
  • 0:45 from Pikers Peak to Summit
  • 2:00 from summit to TH

A little over 9 hours total car to car

 Mt Adams South Side with SW Chutes ski route drawn in


Approaching Mazama Glacier Morraine. I went up the snow in the center to the notch. In reality I should have traversed below the morraine on the right skyline to get to sunrise camp


Mazama glacier from Sunrise Camp


Mt Hood from Mazama Glacier


Ramp gets you to the top of Pikers Peak


Ascending through a break in the clouds to the summit


Hanging onto the summit to avoid being blown off


My route as captured by my GPS

Mazama Glacier Route.JPG