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[TR] Little Tahoma - Frying Pan/Whitman Glaciers 7/1/2014

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Trip: Little Tahoma - Frying Pan/Whitman Glaciers


Date: 7/1/2014


Trip Report:


Little T is another peak I've had on my tick list for years but never attempted. It's been on the calendar, yeah, but always canceled for one reason or another. I have this week off from work so I decided to go for it with a great weather window that opened up and found some friends to join me.


We made quick work of the hike to Summerland (2 hours). Lingering avy debris made for a quick hike up a stream bed instead of the usual switchbacks up to Summerland. However, on the way out the snow was noticably melted and this way up will not be really viable soon.


Luxury accommodations!



From Summerland we traversed too much than we needed but still got to the top of Meany Crest in 4+ hours. The bivy sites are all melted out. No running water.


We woke up just befor 2 am and headed out onto the Frying Pan glacier.


Alpine start:



With the freezing level rising from 7K to 14K I was worried we'd have soft snow the whole way, but thanks to a very windy night and clear skies, we got perfect cramponing across the glacier to the notch before sunrise. As the day went out the snow did soften but we had to contend with it really only on the descent.


The Whitman is still in good shape but crevasses are opening, including a large on up high. It will be in a while longer.


Approaching the notch between Little T and Whitman Crest:



Traversing from the notch across the Whitman Glacier:



Great shot of Rainier from the Whitman:



We had some routefinding shenanigans on the choss pile summit block. Basically we traversed left and up a lot before finding an obvious way up to the notch. From there I led out and set a fixed line for my partners.


Steep snow transition to summit block (pic taken on descent):



Shot from summit back to notch:



Summit selfie:



Summit p0rn:



For the descent we rappeled from the base of the gully across the top of the steep snow. We had good plunging stepping down the Whitman Glacier, but the top layer of snow was sloughing off and entraining and we set off one microslide (2 inches deep maybe 10 feet wide). The Frying Pan glacier was easy to traverse with no postholing.



Gear Notes:

a couple runners, 1 nut and 1 cam for belaying to the summit.


Approach Notes:

Snow free until after the stream crossing. Snow approach from Summerland to Meany Crest.

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