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| |-+  June 2009 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  June 16th Ohanapecosh Park MRNP
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Author Topic: June 16th Ohanapecosh Park MRNP  (Read 3579 times)
Kyle Miller

Posts: 636

June 16th Ohanapecosh Park MRNP
« on: 06/17/09, 06:28 PM »

I was getting impatient after a four day hiatus of mountaineering and wanted/needed to get my fix ASAP. As we all know the weather has been anything but good in the Cascades so a mostly cloudy forecast was promising enough to get back into the mountains. I’ve always wanted to check out Ohanapecosh and seeing it from the Cowlitz chimney just added fuel to the fire.

Our route from the Cowlitz Chimney

Jon G and I left the fryingpan creek trailhead around 9:30a.m.and hiked around 4 miles before reaching continuous snow. Once at Summerland we were able to skin all the way up the Fryingpan Glacier to Whitman Crest. One of the reasons we chose Ohanapecosh was the fact that it was in Rainiers Rain shadow but as we rested at our highpoint the clouds devoured our views in all directions. Luckily we were able to scope our run and after giving up on the chance of the sun coming back out we dropped into the unknown. We were well aware that the area was riddled with cliffs and that there would only be a few ride able routes. After some amazing turns down the low angled fryingpan glacier we found a route through the cliffed out cirque of Ohanapecosh glacier. We stayed on the side of the Moraine all the way down to Indian flats at 5’200 feet passing well over 100 waterfalls along the way. The snow in the gut was a weird texture I hadn’t seen before it looked like a mixture between avi chunder and glacial debris probably caused by rain.

I love dirty snow
Photo by Jon G

For our route back we decided to follow the wonderland trail back up to fryingpan Gap which was relatively easy but a very scenic route. By the time we made it to the gap the clouds  rolled in and visibility had become an issue. After a few minutes of waiting the clouds cleared up for our run down The Sarvant Glacier back to Summerland.  The snow was still in good condition all the way down to the trail at 6000 feet were we put our gear on our backs and packed out the final 4 miles back to the car.

Jon Ripping down the Sarvant Glacier

15+ miles
Total Vert around 7000 feet
12 hours

yes I know I can't write you can blame the Kent education system for that one  Wink

In a perfect world, everybody would act with the correct etiquette and follow the rules. Human nature as it is= NOT GOING TO matter how many discussion on ski blogs/websites. Face reality............

Posts: 231

Re: June 16th Ohanapecosh Park MRNP
« Reply #1 on: 06/17/09, 07:53 PM »

Nice tour!  ...and you write just fine:)

Posts: 2428

Re: June 16th Ohanapecosh Park MRNP
« Reply #2 on: 06/18/09, 08:37 AM »

It's always enjoyable to see a new area near familiar terrain.  It occurs a lot more as you age.  Wink

Posts: 191

Re: June 16th Ohanapecosh Park MRNP
« Reply #3 on: 06/18/09, 10:27 AM »

you just rock kyle .. i love your spirit of adventure .. getting off the beaten track .. nice touch with the ohana and sarvant glaciers -- thx for the awesome ride and pix
Jon Garrison

Posts: 89

Re: June 16th Ohanapecosh Park MRNP
« Reply #4 on: 06/18/09, 11:41 AM »

Thanks for the write up, and also for the sandwich and laundry-soap-candy! I am just about recovered from the hike (I would have guessed six miles at least...)

Can't wait for next time!

Posts: 929

Re: June 16th Ohanapecosh Park MRNP
« Reply #5 on: 06/19/09, 03:13 PM »

Love those tracks in the dirty snow...   Smiley

"Maybe we should ban hikers from anywhere that there is a potential threat to surface water?"   [courtesy Newtrout, 2011]

"Good for you for getting it and thank goodness I wasn't there with you."  [courtesy mikerolfs, 2014]
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