Mount Adams South Climb Trail is a 7.4 mile out and back trail located near Stevenson, Washington that offers scenic views and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Climb one of the Cascade giants in Washington State for a fantastic ski or board down over 6000 vertical feet. Mt. Adams is one of the favorite volcanoes in the Cascade Range for those want to summit one of the bigger mountains of in Washington and ski down from the top. Due to its moderately sloped south face, it offers an outstanding ski run from the summit at 12276 ft to the snow's end at 6-7000 ft depending on the timing of the tour. The film and guide for the climb is now available as a DVD - see the resources section below on this page for more details One caution: this is a real mountain. Despite its low terrain hazard risks of the south approach, there have been a number of injured and lost climbers on this route. The weather can turn quickly as on any major peak and climbers must be prepared to stay out overnight in some form of protection. Many skiers with a good deal of endurance will do this climb in a single long day, but often travel very light and consequently are gambling on good weather. I recommend a two day climb - to allow for more skiing and also to provide a cushion should the weather or snow conditions turn sour. The snow varies from frozen crust to perfect summer corn depending on your timing and fortune. Via Cold Springs and South Spur This is a challenging climb up a 12,000 foot volcano in southern Washington. You'll climb close to 7,000 feet for this ski descent. When you get up to the base of the glacier it will look like a highway of climbers in spring and summer months. Hope for good snow as the descent is fantastic. Beware - there is a false summit so be prepared to be disappointed as you crest what you think is the top, only to have to hike another half mile or so. When you ski down get some speed from the true top and you might be able to make it partly up the false summit.
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!
Bucket list item... check. Summited with dear friend on a Tuesday.
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.
Love the snow fields.
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.
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!
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.
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!!
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!