I was successful on this mountain although I didn't actually stand on the summit. I was told that this mountain is closed for climbing year round due to the endangered vegetation. So, I decided to walk around the mountain and considered that my summit. It's just a walk-up anyhow, so what's it matter. It's better to save the plant life than it is to walk on the endangered plants just so one can say that he summitted the mountain. Hopefully the author/maintainer of this page will change his suggestions to climb the peak illegally.
My daughter and I climbed Agassiz in early March from the top of the ski area in 1986 during our highpoints quest. The weather was bad, and we decided we could not chance going all the way to the Humphreys summit. Used both crampons and ice ax, my daugher's first experience with this equipment. She loved the glissading!
Hiked up game trails from Freidlein Tank from south to Fremont Saddle. Kicked steps in snow with my buddy up east slope to summit. Then he skied and I telemarked off the top back down to Fremont Saddle. 1000' vertical of nice snow with some good steep stuff at the top. Lots of good jumps in the trees near saddle.
Outstanding Day! I started at Snowbowl and broke through 10 inches of powder up to the timberline. The trail breaking was brutal. Once I hit the open, west slopes, a consistent, strong wind took care of the powder and left a solid layer of crust. I hiked in a whiteout up toward the Humphreys/Agassiz Ridge, but by the time I hit the ridge the clouds were breaking. The scenery was breathtaking.
I traversed from Humphreys' summit to Agassiz's summit under broken clouds and sunshine, then took a nice glissade down Agassiz's west ridge to the Snowbowl ski area.
There was a stiff wind on the entire ridgeline that make hiking difficult at times (constant 40 mph, gusts up to 60 mph). The trip took 7.5 hours. I would highly recommend it. Between the two summits, I thought the Agassiz scenery was more impressive.
This is a great snow climb, and in my opinion, an even better night snow climb. Best way to descend: glissading down the ski runs as the sun comes up....
Sometimes there is avalanche danger, though... a snowboarder was killed up here back in '95 or '96. Check conditions!
Great view from the top over the rest of the peaks within the long extinct volcano. Don't get caught though!
Standing at the Humphreys-Agassiz saddle, being careful not to step off trail onto any fragile tundra, I contemplated completing the highest ridge traverse in Arizona. It would have been great to walk along the old Agassiz trail, see Flagstaff from the summit, then descend into the ski area and follow ski runs back to the parking lot.
Then I realized what an evil thought I had had. Who was I to endanger senecio franciscanus? After coming to my senses I followed the Humphreys Trail back to the trailhead.
As you drive north up I17, there is a huge dog-leg chute on the south face that just begs for attention. I started at about 7am and climbed up the chute, cutting left through dwindling trees towards the summit at about 10k ft.
Of course, it's ILLEGAL to climb to the summit, so I officially did NOT do that. But, just hypothetically, this is how it might go (pure fiction, mind you!): you climb up the south ridge on good windpack to get to the summit boulder field. Then you would avoid skylining yourself on the very top to not be obvious about the whole thing. Then, a great finish would be to traverse the east face --- watch out, some sketchy cliff bands here, you'll want your axe to help self-belay --- to the saddle, then cruise up Humpheys for good measure. Then you would plunge happily down Humphreys to the ski area where a nice girlfriend would pick you up.
Of course, you would NEVER actually DO all of this, because the summit of Agassiz is off limits. Get it?!
I've climbed Agassiz several times in the winter. I just walk up the left side of the ski slopes and stay out of the way of thew skiers. The ski patrol will usally stop by and ask you where you are going. I've climbed Humphries several times by this route also. The ski patrolers have always been nice and given me snow and avalanche type info. If there's avalanche danger you should probably not try to climb Agassiz since you have to climb through a steep open avalanche prone bowl. You can still climb Humphries though because you can stay in the trees to the left of the bowl which is less prone to avalanche. I've never used crampons, snow shoes or a rope on any of the climbs. Just an ice ax is all you need.
I started the hike about 3:00 pm heading up Humhreys trail intending to hike Humphreys Peak, but some time up the mountain I decided not do do Humphreys and do Agassiz instead. I could see evidence of other people that have climbed the mountain. The view was spatacular. The risk was well worth it. I figured being late in the day and being a drissly day that no forest service people would be around. It was a trip well worth the hike. Great view of Flagstaff!!