Mount Adams Ski Descent

Mount Adams Climb + Ski Descent Overview

With over a vertical mile of moderate (25-35% slope) skiing, Mount Adams, originally named Klickitat, is the perfect entry point into the world of ski mountaineering for skiers of varying ability, and this trip allows backcountry travelers to experience the thrill of skiing off the summit of Washington’s second highest peak. Located in the remote wilderness of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mount Adams is an ideal classroom for developing ski mountaineering skills in friendly environment, as the south side route offers wide open moderate terrain with no prominent crevasses. It’s an excellent objective for graduates of our Intro to Backcountry Touring or those with some prior backcountry skiing/riding experience.

This two-day instructional climb and descent will introduce ski mountaineers to ice axe and crampon use, backcountry travel and camping, movement on snow and self-arrest techniques, as well as climbing self-care.  The expansive views from the summit include Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Hood, and are some of the most breathtaking in the Northwest.  Significant elevation gain on both the approach and summit days also demand strong fitness, making this climb an excellent fitness test-piece for more advanced ski mountaineering objectives, like our Mount Baker Climb and Ski Descent.

With a 4:1 skier-to-guide ratio, we offer personal and hands-on training with an experienced guide team.  Most climbs will be lead by Dave Watson, who is well known for his high altitude ski descents such as K2 from 8,350 meters and Broad Peak (8,051 meters).

Mount Adams

Mount Adams (Klickitat) is the second highest mountain in Washington, second only to Mount Rainier, and the largest peak in the state by volume. A member of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, this massive stratovolcano towers nearly 10,000 feet above the surrounding landscape. Its iconic cone is situated just north of the beautiful Columbia River Gorge and Washington-Oregon border. Mount Adam’s high altitude and steep slopes make it the perfect training ground for the higher and steeper Mount Rainier to the North.

TENTS EQUIPMENT & MEALS

Provided:  All group climbing equipment, including climbing ropes and technical hardware; meals (except lunch); and tents.
Not Provided:  Transportation, high clearance vehicle strongly recommended. Personal equipment and lunches. You are responsible for all items on the Gear List.

Note:  We also offer a 10% discount at the Alpine Ascents Gear Shop located at our offices. We conduct a mandatory gear check the day before your climb. A confirmation package with all details will be sent upon registration.

MOUNT ADAMS CLIMB + SKI TRIP PROFILE

DAYROUTE SEGMENTELEVATION
CHANGE(FT.)
HOURSPACK
WEIGHT (LBS)
1Cold Creek Campground to Lunch Counter~3,800 ↑5-650
2.Lunch Counter to Summit to Cold Creek Campground~2,900 ↑, 6,680 ↓8-1215 / 50

*Estimated numbers

Reading List

This is a highly recommended shortlist and we would be happy to pass on a longer reading list for those interested. These links will bounce to Amazon.com with reviews.

Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills
Don Graydon (Ed.), Kurt Hanson (Ed.), Mountaineers Society, Mountaineers Books

The guides did an awesome job teaching skills and then allowing students to apply them. This being my first experience ever being on a glacier, I feel the guides did an incredible job teaching as well as demonstrating and assuring safety throughout.

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Partners & Accreditations

Alpine Ascents International is an authorized mountain guide service of Denali National Park and Preserve and Mount Rainier National Park.
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