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Ascent of Little Tahoma on 2021-06-26

Climber: Olga Kiri

Date:Saturday, June 26, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Little Tahoma
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:11138 ft / 3394 m

Ascent Trip Report

the best way to escape excessive heat - go to mountains, if one wants it to be even cooler - go at night. We've started or journey 10:30pm with a nice forest trail walk, which has been snow free for 3.5 or so miles. Then it starts switchbacking and still keept some snow, the further the more. On one such switchback we've lost it and crawled through trees and bushes till we hit it again. The shelter and area near it was snow free. From the shelter a bit right of it, snow field starts going up to Meany crest. If you do it with overnight stay, the shelter and Meany crest are good camping options. The shelter is on Wonderland and may require advanced reservation but Meany crest very likely can be
reserved last minute. To ascend MC keep left and on some point get onto grassy hill, rather than keeping right (looking on the mountains in front) and appearing on a boulder field with patches of snow and water running under. Ye, it's hard to navigate unknown terrain with just a flashlight. While it was almost full moon, it was on other side of the ridge, so not that much help.
After MC try to stay rather up than down going through Fryingpan Glacier, in such a way one can avoid crevasses. It can be clearly seen looking from up to down but not otherwise.
So, we've got to crevasses section, roped up and continued through. Going by ski there would be better and safer option. We've met sunrise on that glacier. Then got to Whitman glacier, it's upper part didn't had any crevasses, just some moats near rocks easy avoidable. Making a boot track through that section is a joy, you'd like to share with friends :). The route is not that popular as others, so expect no boot pack made for you. Ours probably already melted out. Then we got onto the ridge left. Going onto the ridge is the hardest scramble of the route, if you appear on something harder than that (options will be plentiful), you're on a wrong way. The rocks are loose, so keep closer to each other in your party, besides they might be wet from melting snow above. Don't leave your crampons and axes before the ridge, snow is not over! As soon as you get on other (hidden) side, there is another snow section, keep left going to its top. There you could leave snow gear. Then again left was a tiny patch of snow, which we ascended just in boots but it could be already gone. NB the summit is not seen till the last scramble.
The final pitch we've belayed. It looks scarier in real life than on pictures. But as soon as you stop staring down and start moving it feels better. And that final section is the most or the only solid rock on the route. Descend the same way, avoiding mistakes made on ascend. Have fun :)
Some stats:
10:30 pm start from the TH
9:15 am got to the ridge
11:15 am summit (12 h 45 m)
3 pm back to Whitman crest
7:10 pm back to cars
total (by Gaia tracking) 20:39:15
moving time 11:07:28
stop time 9:31:46 (yeah, that could be reduced :) )
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:7500 ft / 2286 m
    Round-Trip Distance:15.7 mi / 25.3 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Headlamp, Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:7500 ft / 2286 m
    Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Start Trailhead:3638 ft / 1108 m
Descent Statistics
    Distance:7.7 mi / 12.4 km



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