Ascent of Little Tahoma on 2014-07-12

Climber: David Riley

Date:Saturday, July 12, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Little Tahoma
    Elevation:11138 ft / 3394 m

Ascent Trip Report

We got weathered out from a climb on the Olympic Peninsula and then could not obtain a permit to climb LTP via the Fryingpan Creek trailhead. So, after regrouping at about 2pm, we started from Paradise instead. After heading up toward Muir Camp on Muir Snowfield to the 8500' level, we roped up and cut across Cowlitz Glacier below Anvil Rock. The snow was soft (we had a late start), so we did not need crampons on glacier. Then we pushed through a small cleft in Cathedral Rocks onto Ingraham Glacier. We then headed on a roughly 030 heading to the 8800' level on Ingraham, avoiding ice fall areas. We camped for the night in a convex bowl in the glacier at the 8800' level. Next morning we put on crampons and roped up for an alpine start s, heading down on a roughly 120 heading in the moonlight to a small gap in the rock at the 8500' level between Ingraham and Whitman Glaciers. The gap was small enough to cross with aluminum crampons. Once on Whitman, we took a slow arc toward Whitman Crest to cross over the rock at 8900' or so to Fryingpan Glacier. Crossing the rock crest was quite daunting because it is a steep slope and the scree is extremely loose with lots of medium sized rock fall. (On the return we ended up rappelling down this via some anchors that were already there, with our own double sling added in to be safe.) Once on the Fryingpan Glacier, we curled around and ascended on a roughly 250' heading up the glacier and then a snowfield to the 10500' level. The remainder was a scramble to the summit, where we relaxed and snapped some photos. Then we descend via the same route (including the aforementioned rappel down Whitman Crest) back to camp, overnighted and returned to Paradise via the ascent route in the morning.

This is a very worthwhile route to take if you are comfortable with glacier travel. While it is a little more roundabout than the approach from the Fryingpan Creek trailhead, you will likely have the route to yourself. We did this on 4th of July weekend and there was no one else on route until we got to Fryingpan Glacier.
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