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[TR] MT Rainier - Edmunds Headwall 07/13/2018

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Trip: MT Rainier - Edmunds Headwall

Trip Date: 07/13/2018

Trip Report:


Two of us did the Edmunds Headwall on Friday.  We started @Mowich Lake late Weds, bivy'd near Echo Rock.   Lost our elevation dropping down from Ptarmigan Ridge to the N. Mowich Glacier (which was in good shape and easily navigable) and headed up toward the  Mowich/Edmunds divide to the high camp at 9800 feet. Got up early Friday and made it onto the headwall proper. It was a straightforward climb up the face to the flat nose of Sunset Ridge. From there we took the right variation up through rock bands / hourglass to the ridgetop and then up to Liberty Cap.   Hit the Emmons trail back down to Schurman and out to White River.


We'd tried this route last summer but got turned around at the bergshrund/moat around 10500 on the left/east side of the saddle shaped rock formation. This year it was passable but required some creative free climbing up about 20 feet of a mix of glacier ice, water ice, and rotten snow. Another week (or less) of warm temps, and this will probably not be doable.    The Edmunds face itself was in good shape - the lower 2000 feet was very firm (even with freezing levels at 15000+) and no rockfall before noon. No suncups to speak of either though so it was mainly front-pointing and use of the pick.     The top section was suncupped which made for better travel, but has seen a lot of afternoon melting off the rock bands with the warmer temps (even though the route doesn't see sunlight until after 8am probably - we were heading up Liberty Cap by then).

Overall it was a great climb. Using the Mowich Lake approach makes for some nice hiking up from Spray Park, even though it means driving that crappy road a couple times. The Ptarmigan Ridge screeball descent (about 1300 vertical feet lost) is not great fun... but it is a lot more so than the ascent, if you have to turn around like we did last year. It's a great side of the mountain to be on this time of the year - lots of good scenery, very few people, and fun routefinding.edmunds2.JPG.ff2ad776769c25d96fd1b44f4b2e1680.JPGedmunds3.JPG.5ca7815d2291a9c1b0d3e7d0452e7fd6.JPG



Gear Notes:
Normal glacier gear + extra screws/pickets 2nd tool was nice

Approach Notes:
Mowich Lake -> Spray Park -> Lower Ptarmigan Ridge -> North Mowich Glacier -> Edmunds Headwall -> Liberty Cap -> Emmons/Winthrop -> Camp Schurman -> White River




Edited by Stinkydog

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