Mount Adams: Jan 2009

Mt. ADAMS, with its summit of 12,276 feet elevation, is the second highest peak in Washington State and the third highest peak in the Cascades Range. There are several climbing routes on the mountain, ranging from the "non-technical" South Climb to highly technical routes that require advance skill, experience, and special equipment.

Because of the high elevation, all climbs have a measure of difficultly and danger. Weather on Mt.Adams can change rapidly. Sudden snowstorms can occur above 6,000 feet elevation at any month of the year. What appears to be a non-technical route can change drastically during these storms. Your safety will be the result of your preparation and good judgment. Climbers should always prepare for bad weather and an extended stay on the mountain.

Mt. Adams is Wilderness, was designated by Congress in 1964 as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. A Wilderness, in contrast to other federal land designations, is protected and managed to preserve its natural condition. It is to provide opportunities for solitude as well as primitive and unconfined types of recreation. Your actions will help us care for this unique area.

Cascades Volcano Pass

Purchase of a Cascades Volcano Pass is required if you are climbing above 7,000 feet elevation in Mt.Adams Wilderness, between June 1 and September 30. The Cascades Volcano Pass is a Recreational Fee Demonstration Program, see FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).



The Plan

Itinerary updated 6/24/09

This itinerary might vary some from actual.  We have allowed time for weather, group acclimatization and varying plans and routes.

July 18 - Day one
Pick up everyone at SeaTac Airport 1pm.
Stop at Tacoma REI for any gear rental (such as boots) or last minute gear purchase.
Stop for dinner en-route (could also cook in camp)
Drive to climbers bivouac camp on Mount St. Helens

Meal - Dinner out or in camp

July 19 - Day two
Climb to the rim of Mount St. Helens (8365’) via Monitor Ridge Route (Appx. 8-12 hrs)
Camp at bivouac camp again

Meal - Breakfast at camp, Lunch on trail, dinner at camp

July 20 - Day three
Travel to Cold Springs trailhead (Mount Adams)
Climb to Lunch Counter on Mt. Adams with all gear
Crampon/ice axe/rope skills practice

Meal - Breakfast at camp, Lunch on trail, dinner at Lunch Counter.

July 21 - Day four

Attempt to summit (12,276’)
Return to lunch counter

Meal - Breakfast at Lunch Counter, Lunch on trail, Dinner at Lunch Counter.

July 22 - Day five

Drive to and camp at Paradise.  Snow skills training continued on lower flanks.

Meal - Breakfast en-route, lunch en-route or at Paradise.  Dinner at camp

July 23 - Day six

Climb to Camp Muir

Meal - Breakfast at camp, lunch on trail, dinner at Camp Muir.

July 24 - Day seven

Attempt summit (14,410’)
Return to Camp Muir - Assess group energy for other objectives.

Meal - Breakfast at camp, lunch on trail, dinner at Camp Muir.

July 25 - Day eight
Climb down to Paradise
Return to Tacoma
Find hotel to share near airport.

Meal - Breakfast at Camp Muir, lunch on trail.  Big dinner in town to celebrate.  We've earned it.

July 26 - Day nine
Departure from SeaTac Airport


The Crew




Weather patterns at Mount Rainier are strongly influenced by the Pacific Ocean, elevation, and latitude. The climate is generally cool and rainy, with summer highs in the 60s and 70s. While July and August are the sunniest months of the year, rain is possible any day, and very likely in spring, fall, and winter.

Visitors should be aware that mountain weather is very changeable. Wet, cold weather can occur anytime of the year. Although late-July and August are generally the driest and warmest time of the year, summer can also be wet and cool. Snow will remain at the 5,000 to 8,000 feet elevation well into mid-July.

Hikers and mountain climbers should be prepared for changing weather. Pay attention to weather forecasts, both one day and long range, avalanche warnings, and special weather alerts. Have extra clothing, rain gear, and a tent for protection against storms anytime of the year. Know the weather forecast and plan your trip accordingly.

Gear List

Click here to see each of the items in more detail...

We will have 2 smaller rental cars for this trip to haul us around.  Our goal is to fit all of this in so don't overpack. Also, whenever possible bring soft sided items such as duffles.  No external frame backpacks or suitcases.

Sleeping Gear:

Technical Gear:

Head Gear: (no, not braces)

Extremities Gear:

Core Gear:

Leg Gear:

Other gear to have:

Trip Log

Click here to see my trip Log...



Click here to see my photo gallery from the climb...


"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."    — Robert A. Heinlein

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