North Ridge - North Cleaver

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 46.20280°N / 121.4894°W
Additional Information Route Type: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Time Required: One to two days
Additional Information Difficulty: Class 2
Sign the Climber's Log


The North Ridge is a simple ascent, but because of its length and loose rock, is not entirely popular. The route looks much more difficult than it is from a distance. I've met many climbers turning around at the base of the ridge, (after a 4+ mile approach). Avoid obstacles on your way to the summit by switching and winding back and forth from one side of the ridge to the other. Route finding can take a little time and careful decision making. Best done with some daylight. A long hike on the icecap leads to the summit dome. Ice cap has had several small crevasses in the past. Very quiet side of Mount Adams. Very peaceful but limited if no assistance available if you need it. No cell phone coverage.

Getting There

Approach to the North Ridge - North Cleaver begins on the Killen Creek Trail 113. The trail leaves Forest Service Road 2329 just south of Killen Creek Camp. Follow the Killen Creek Trail to its juction with the PCT, where Killen Meadows Trail 110 leads to Killen Meadows. Camping in Killen Meadows is popular but often crowded and environmentally destructive. Bivouacking higher up, on snow, ice or the scree fields is suggusted to reduce impacts on Killen Meadows. There are a number of small cleared wind shelters up at the base of the ridge. I prefer camping around 8000 feet. to break up the climb into more even sections per day.

GPS coordinates to follow soon.

Route Description

Rockfall hazard. Class 2, (Guidebook rating). I have had other climbers suggest this is a Class 3 scramble. Please be advised of these hazards.
I recommend flagging or GPS marking the route so one can find the correct descent route if whether impedes viability. It is difficult at times to determine where exactly te route is. Night time ascent may further complicate route finding. I would recommend climbing during daylight hours. The route follows the ridge but switchbacks and winds back and forth most of the ascent.
Early season ascents will likely require crampons for the upper section.

Essential Gear

Once on the ridge it's a long dry climb, so carry enough water.  I enjoy the North side because the sun does not cook you in the sun until high up.

Most all of the route is rock, scree and soil. Snow and Ice at the upper sections. Crampons may be needed on high sections early in the season and depending on conditions. I would recommend that if climbing at night carry plenty of light.

External Links

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