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mattshepard

South Tahoma Headwall inquiry 11/16/2004

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South Tahoma Headwall inquiry

 

11/16/2004

 

Has anyone climbed or know anyone who has climbed this route on Rainer. Any beta would be appreciated.

Edited by To_The_Top

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Holy cow! You scared me. I though someone had climbed it. Is it safe to assume your thinking about climbing it a different time of year?

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Go to Trip Report Index in the upper right or Mt. Rainier National Park like you did here and do a search with South Tahoma Headwall as your key words.

 

If nothing there, then go buy Mike Gauthier's Book.

 

TR's are for actual reporting of trips, not inquiries.

 

Looks like a fun route. 12 mile approach tho, not many peeps around...be prepared

 

bigdrink.gif

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We climbed it last summer. Search for "Pandora's" TR from late June or early July. She had some good beta and I think I may have posted something from our trip within her thread. Let me know if you have specific questions.

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The lower South T glacier is technically "closed," due to the C-47 WWII plane that crashed there years ago...although it's not inforced. I don't think there's ever been any issues with climbers accessing other routes across the glacier (i.e., South T headwall).

 

The route is steep, reasonable, with no resting places for 4k of elevation gain. Best conditions are probably in late April through June...combined with a cold snap and reasonably firm snow. Move quickly and beware of rock and ice fall. Either climb unroped...or simul...with running belays (probably pickets).

 

Some NPS rangers have climbed it in recent years.

 

South Tahoma Glacier and the Tahoma Glacier are different routes. Post your TR and photos if you do it. I'll look for a photo...

Edited by treknclime

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I don't think the "headwall" has ever been closed. The use of the glacier for crossings hasn't been discouraged, either. The lower glacier itself, I believe, isn't really "closed," per se, rather, people have been discouraged from staying/practicing on the glacier in respect to those soldiers who lost their lives. That part of the glacier isn't too attractive for much anyhow...other than crossing, so it's purely academic for climbers, anyhow.

 

So...cross the glacier to get to the headwall, and don't worry about the area being "closed."

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I'm catching up on posts...

 

STH is a great route. Seems like you've received a lot good advice here.

 

I've done the route once and acessed it from Success Cleaver. You can jump onto the South Tahoma Glacier and approach the headwall, but it's maybe faster and more direct to just traverse onto the lower headwall around 9K from Success Cleaver (I can't quite remember the exact elevation now, but it's pretty easy/clear once you get up there.) The benefit of this approach is that you don't have to mess with ropes. In fact, we did the route w/o ropes and down climbed Success Cleaver back to our camp. Made for a faster/safer ascent/descent. If you rope up on the headwall, bring protection. You'll mostly want pickets, and maybe a few screws...

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I wanted to make the approach via the glacier to get more practice on glaciers.

 

Can you tell me what kind of climbing i will encounter on the headwall section Alpine Ice, Water Ice, Mixed, or just snow slopes. What should be someone's abilities before they climb the route?

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Matt

 

It's mostly snow. Late in the summer, the route is all rock. The snow can get quite hard, and there are short sections of forzen ice (where the snow melts and refreezes). The route is southern exposed, so it gets soft fast.

 

I brought one ice tool and one mountianeering ax.

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If we continue to get this crazy un-winterlike weather (rain, sun, no snow, rain), it'll probably be all rock even that early in the year cry.gif. It looked pretty snowy today though laugh.gif. My guess is that in late May/early June the headwall will still be mostly snow but the rockbands will be partially melted out.

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