Forums TR Archive Washington July 15, 2006 – Whitman Crest, Mt. Rainier
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    178 Posts

    5am came real fast. Lupo drove from Aberdeen, which is near the coast, to meet us and was up at 2:15 the in morning to meet Eli and myself at this ridiculous time. Efin trooper I tell ya. After some discussion on what gear to bring and our route, our group set off from 3,850ft around 6:15.

    The Summerland trail is wide enough to drive a super compact car or atv up a good portion of it. The shade from the trees and breeze provided relief for the 4.2 mile hike to the Summerland shelter at 5,950ft. The scenery hiking into this place is truly awe inspiring.

    Continuous snow was just a stones throw from the shelter so we changed here. An hour passed by while we were eating, putting on our diapers (harness), fiddling with gear and napping. We left the shelter around 9:20 and started finding our way around Meany Crest. We entered a basin and a cirque of chutes that there was no way around. The mellowest way, up a 30-35 degree slope, put us going in the wrong direction but none of us was willing to crampon up a more direct but steeper route. The direct route follows the old tracks.

    While in the basin I saw the most goats I’ve ever seen. So there’s a pride of lions, murder of crows, gaggle of gooses. What’s a group of goats called?

    Then like five minutes later a lone goat came traversing across double time. It was amusing watching the hoof glissade once it got going too fast.

    45 minutes later we were at the spot we would have been at, had we climbed the steeper chute. From the ridge we also had a better view of the Fryingpan glacier and its condition. We opted to ascend un-roped and continued to boot instead of skin because we were all too lazy to change.

    The glacier appeared pretty filled in with one crack showing lower down. The top of Whitman Crest (9,300ft) had some crevasses opened on our climber’s right. We arrived at the top around 2pm. Looking down on the glacier you could start to make out what lurks just below the surface.

    After being taken in by the surrounding scenery it was finally time to depart.

    Little Tahoma…

    Whitman Glacier…

    Goat Rocks and Adams…

    The snow right off the top was uneven and variable. Previous tracks were etched in time as the dirty snow around them melted, leaving only the now raised tracks. Good example of solar radiation heating up the dirt and grit and melting the snow faster than the tracks with all the crap scraped off of it. That section didn’t last long and we soon found improved conditions below.



    Eli lower down spooning my line near perfectly…

    Lupo lower down…

    Here’s a pic that Eli snapped of me below the top…

    I couldn’t believe that we haven’t encountered any other souls here today except goats.

    Our line took us down to a pond with a short carry across some dirt and rock to this steep chute. So far the best snow was on the steepest sections. Eli took these pics of Lupo and myself.



    We were able to ride down to 6,100ft before booting back down to the shelter. At the shelter we bumped into a group that was kind enough to share some PBR and Bourbon among things. After a good session we started our hike down at 3:30. By 5:30 Lupo, Eli and myself were enjoying some frosty ones while rehashing the details of the day. Like Eli go left, go left, remember it cliffs out to the right below you. Where’d he go? To the right. Well I didn’t hear anything and I don’t see him at the bottom yet. Who has the rope? Eli does. Hmmm…okay let’s drop in.

    By 7pm I started my drive back to the south side of Rainier. By 9pm I was tucked away somewhere in the parking lot.

    To Be Continued…

    2068 Posts

    Like Eli go left, go left, remember it cliffs out to the right below you. Where’d he go? To the right. Well I didn’t hear anything and I don’t see him at the bottom yet. Who has the rope? Eli does. Hmmm…okay let’s drop in.

    To funny. Great motivation.

    4149 Posts

    Stunning pics dood!

    The first one with the moonrise is $$$!

    Thanks for sharing. :thatrocks:

    2486 Posts

    Excellent charging. Wow , is it usually that melted out in July? Are you getting the same hot ass temps in your area too? Somebody turn down the heat.

    178 Posts

    Yeah Ecobrad what’s a trip without some good ole fashion humor eh.

    Thanx for the stoke Bcr!

    P420 it’s hot as hell up here and getting hotter. Freakin snows melting like at least a foot a day in this heat. Can you say north aspects?

    I’m considering wherever I board next must have a pond to skim and soak in! Or it maybe just be time to break out the sponge again and go explore the coast for some peaks.

    570 Posts

    damn….i’m so jealous….what an amazing day. How much continuous vert is possible now?

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