Ascent of Little Tahoma on 2019-06-12

Climber: Ian Culhane

Date:Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Little Tahoma
    Elevation:11138 ft / 3394 m

Ascent Trip Report

Car to car via Whitman/Fryingpan Glacier.

We left the car at 2:00am and hit Summerland by about 3:45. Started skinning at 5600', and reached a saddle near Meany Crest (we went slightly too far right and hit the ridge higher up) just in time for a gorgeous sunrise. Skinning up the Fryingpan Glacier was pretty straightforward, with only a few crevasses to navigate. The top layer of snow got really slushy which made for slow progress. From the col we continued up the Whitman glacier past several crevasses before leaving the skis at ~10500'. The upper scramble took us about an hour; the rock is just as loose as everybody says, although we decided to do the summit block unroped since there wasn't really any pro. Great view of 6 volcanoes and Rainier. We summitted at 1:00 for a total of 11 hours on the uphill. With better snow conditions and less breaks I think 9 hours is more realistic.

The ski down was surprisingly good, especially considering the state of the snow. We somewhat lucked out on avalanche conditions; cloud cover throughout the day helped to mitigate the risk; we had initially been really worried about temperatures during the day, but we didn't see any sluffing or rollballs at all during the day. We skied from 10500' down to about 5400'; route was pretty straightforward, with a few steep spots and one small crevasse to jump below Meany Crest (it might have just been a moat). Got back to the car about 5:00.

Overall a great ski, though the summit block is a bit annoying. Didn't see another person on the trail for the entire trip; going during the week definitely made the trip feel a bit more alpine.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:7500 ft / 2286 m
    Round-Trip Distance:15 mi / 24.1 km
    Trailhead:3638 ft / 1108 m
    Route Conditions:
Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Rope, Headlamp, Skis

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