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The Mount Adams Wilderness, located in southwest Washington State, surrounds the western slopes of the 12,276' tall Mount Adams, the second tallest mountain in the state and the third highest mountain in the Cascade Range. Surrounding its slopes is a cornucopia of natural beauty. Find old growth forests, high alpine rock gardens, small lakes and tarns, subalpine meadows, and more wildflowers than you can shake a walking stick at! Hike through miles of trails that explore this pristine and rugged land. Mount Adams is also the biggest stratovolcano in the northwest. Mount Adams, the "Forgotten Giant," rivals its more popular neighbors: Rainier, St. Helens, and Hood in scenic diversity. What sets Mount Adams apart from its neighbors, however, is its vast lava flows (4 major ones), easy off-trail hiking, and fantastic opportunity for solitude.

Amazing climb, watch weather reports for snow later in the season. We climbed on 9/22 and had 2-3 feet of fresh snow in areas.

I did a summit on 8/24 and it was perfect weather for the opportunity. It was chilly which meant the ice stuck better as opposed to climbing up slush, but it was a blue sky, bright sun kinda day. I started the climb at 5am after sleeping in my car at the trailhead. I'm a pretty experienced hiker and occasional climber, but this was my first mountaineering experience. I successfully did it solo as no ropes were needed, but did have to use my ice axe near the top of Piker's Peak to self arrest. The last steep section to that false summit was very tough, so you need positive mental stamina to complete that, or an encouraging partner. After the Piker's Peak (false summit), it's an easy ridge walk and then 20 minutes of switchbacks to the summit.
Reaching that summit is worth every bit of the tough climb up. I summited around 1:30 and would have easily finished the climb by 5, but got lost on the way down since I wasn't paying attention (oops) so didn't get to my car until 9pm.
By far the biggest obstacle was making it from Lunch Counter to Piker's Peak. It isn't far, but it's tough, and you'll need a good pace and some rest stops. To give you an idea, I approached the steep slope of Piker's climb at 10:30am but didn't get to Piker's Peak until 1pm...and it's only 1/4 mile.
Be up for the challenge and be up for a very rewarding experience.

difficult but fulfilling

Loved it! Summited on 8/20/17 and while it was really difficult, it was also wonderful. Ice axe and crampons are necessary (also, know how to self arrest in case of a slip and fall. There are plenty of places around 8,200 ft that give you a chance to practice if needed.) It's a tough climb if you're only in decent to good shape, but still totally worth it.

6 months ago

Did a 2 day summit starting on 8/19. Amazing sunset views against Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens. Crystal clear views of the milky way and the meteor shower as well. Crampons and ice axe very highly recommended. Glisading was getting pretty spotty. Made it up to the trail head in my miata with coilovers but it wasn't very fun :p. Overall a great first time summit.

I started the hike at 3AM and it took me about 3 Hours to get to the lunch counter. There were a good amount of people camping and there's definitely a good amount of snow left. I was up with microspikes but didn't summit. I would suggest using crampons to summit, also after 9ish the snow started to become slush so be careful.

hiking
7 months ago

hands-down, this is my favorite hike in the Mt. Adams area, just as another reviewer said. beautiful close-up views of Adams and lots of solitude.

Had a great weekend up on the mountain! Clear, sunny skies. Nothing more than a light breeze, even on the summit. We spent the night at Lunch Counter and summited early the next morning. If I have any suggestions, they are these: bring so much sun screen and apply liberally; climb early in the morning when the snow is firmer; camp at Lunch Counter because the sunset, sunrise, and stars are phenomenal; lastly, try glissading, it's a blast!

backpacking
Monday, November 28, 2016

My favorite hike in the Mt. Adams area, great views of the mountain along with little-no other hikers out there. Backpacked in and went camping around lookinglass lake. Highly recommended

hiking
Sunday, October 09, 2016

I did this hike on September 10th. The drive up to the trailhead was sketchy but not horrible. I made it up in a Honda Civic. The weather was perfect and there wasn't too many people on the trail. The hike up to Lunch Counter took about 4 hours and wasn't too difficult. It was actually easier and more pleasant than I thought it would be.

We camped up at LC and watched the sunset, which was breathtaking. It got very cold and windy at night but the whiskey helped warm us up. I have never seen so many stars in my life. It was so surreal. I definitely want to go back and camp again- I highly recommend it!

We left our tent and some of our stuff and headed up for the summit the next morning. From there on, we were hiking on snow with our crampons. It was long and grueling. I forgot to pack my sunblock which was a huge mistake. I ended up with bad sunburn on my face. While hiking up the steep snowfields, there was a lot of steam coming out of the mountain. So much, that it blocked the sun a few times. It was such an amazing thing to see.

Once we got to the false summit, I saw how much further up we had to go, and I actually wanted to turn back. Luckily, my friend convinced me to keep going. It actually looks a lot worse than it really is. That last hill didn't take long at all and I made it to the summit. The view from the summit was pretty cool, but I've seen better ;) Actually it didn't all sink in until the next day, and it get like such a great accomplishment.

When we made our descent down the snowfields, we used the glissade chutes, which were SUPER icy. I lost my ice axe and had to use my trekking poles. It was super scary, but we saved so much time coming down. We broke down the tent and made our way back down.

I think all together it took us 14 or 15 hours. I highly recommend this climb. It was the most memorable mountain adventure I've ever had!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bucket list item... check. Summited with dear friend on a Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

great experience for our first mountaineering mountain. had equipment problems at the lunch counter and had to call it the next morning. overall great place to practice basic techniques. will definitely make another trip to go.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Love the snow fields.

hiking
Monday, July 25, 2016

Incredible! The sunrise from lunch counter is worth the entire trip! Challenging and probably a good idea to go with someone who is experienced your first time.

backpacking
Monday, July 04, 2016

The hike up to the Lunch Counter is about 3.5 miles. There were a lot of people on the mountain but there was still plenty of built up areas to pitch a tent. As you set up at the Lunch Counter you look up at Pikers Peak which is pretty impressive. The hike up is fairly strenuous but not technical. Just make sure you have crampons and an ice ax and know how to use them. Once on top of Pikers Peak there is still one more steep pitch to the top. Overall it is a very demanding climb but isn't technical so if you are in shape it should be a good place to start building some skills.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Great climb with great views. The Shute from the false summit will take you almost all the way back down to lunch counter in one slide. Epic sliding for close to 1000 feet!

Bring your crampons, poles, and an axe!

hiking
Sunday, February 21, 2016

What a great climb! We hiked up to Lunch Counter and went to bed around 3pm. We left at 3am for the summit. Got there around 9:30. It was much more fun glacading down than it was hiking up.

hiking
Monday, August 03, 2015

I made it up to just below Piker's Peak, but the rest of my group made the summit Sunday morning. We brought our dog, and on the approach she tore up her front pads so we took shifts dog-sitting at our camp at Lunch Counter. I went up solo to take sunset photos, and the rest of the group summited the next morning.

The weather was warm, and all-in-all it was a beautiful day and we had an absolute blast. I tracked 4.3 miles from Cold Springs to Lunch Counter, and we estimate another 2 miles to the summit from there so the 13.6 miles listed in the trail description seems accurate. The hike gets harder and harder until the false summit at 11,657.

We all had YakTrax Ice-Trekkers, and those did fine but in colder weather / harder snow and ice, full crampons would be necessary. Ice-axes were the same idea--we could have got by without them but in other conditions they would be vital.

There's effectively zero shade, so a spare tarp or rain-fly might be worth the weight. Bring lots of sunscreen, extra batteries for headlamps and cameras, and know how to pace yourself.

It's a great climb!!

hiking
Monday, June 15, 2015

This was a great climb! I went with a group of 5 and we stayed at lunch counter on a Friday night and then all of us made the summit Saturday morning. It was a strenuous climb and the weather was very cold and windy, but we were blessed with clear skies and great views! We left lunch counter at 7:00am and made summit around 9:30am. Winds were about 20-30mph most of the way up, and I'd guess 40+ on the summit. We didn't stay at the summit for very long because it was very cold up on top. Crampons and ice axe definitely required as we faced steep icy slopes on the way up, and part way down. The snow had softened up enough that we were able to glissade part way down which was great! All in all a great hike/climb, and I would definitely recommend!

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