Ascent of Little Tahoma on 2019-07-21

Climber: Andrew Yi

Date:Sunday, July 21, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Little Tahoma
    Elevation:11138 ft / 3394 m

Ascent Trip Report

Route is in great shape. The approach trail to Summerland is beautifully manicured and pretty flat. From Summerland, we scrambled up a loose talus/boulder field up to Meany Crest and then hiked over to the campsites at the toe of the Fryingpan glacier. We set up camp there.

We departed camp at around 530 am and hiked the mostly flat Fryingpan glacier, which had a few crevasses but they were quite easily avoidable. We scrambled up a short loose rock section to a notch and then traversed the flat part of the Whitman glacier. From there, we climbed up steep snow, which required two snowbridge crossings, which were both very solid and still in good shape. The glacier steepens considerably after that, to approximately 45 degrees.

Near the end of the steep snow section, we found a flat part where we could exit the snow to climber's left to the base of a gully. Scramble up the gully and we followed the choss "trail" to the base of the scramble and ridge traverse. There is one short albeit tremendously exposed traverse, which at least had good hands and feet. From there, it is a short class 4-ish scramble to the summit.

Beautiful conditions, and a very high quality alpine objective. This peak is nowhere near as loose as people make it out to be; I found it surprisingly solid for the most part. There is no real exposure until the short ridge traverse to the summit block. We had the entire route to ourselves and didn't run into any party until we hit the flat part of the Fryingpan glacier near camp, where we ran into a single 3 person party. This definitely feels more like a true wilderness experience than the crowded climbs of nearby Mount Rainier - it is only slightly more technical than the standard Rainier routes (a little steep-ish snow and a short exposed 4th class section) and has more of an isolated, wilderness feel.

NOTE: no running water at Fryingpan glacier camp; we melted snow. But the next day, when we were on the route, we found two nice pools of glacier water, maybe about 100-150 feet above camp. Wish we would have explored a little higher up on the glacier so we could have avoided the pain in the ass that is melting snow for water.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Headlamp, Ski Poles, Tent Camp

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