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NWAC Avalanche
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2011 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  August 2011 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  August 12, 2011, Fryingpan and Whitman Crest
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Author Topic: August 12, 2011, Fryingpan and Whitman Crest  (Read 2040 times)

Posts: 634

August 12, 2011, Fryingpan and Whitman Crest
« on: 08/13/11, 11:39 AM »

I usually save the Fryingpan for the August tour, since of the various locales around Rainier it's often held up the best as far as cups runnels dirt and slush. This tour definitely did not disappoint. Top 500 was big grains and a little firnspiegel, middle was firm corn, end was softer corn, and snow only got sticky on the garbage vertical at bottom of Goat Cirque. There were visible runnels, and small cups, but in general they didn't affect the enjoyment. I went Goat Cirque way based on reports of big bad runnels on the straight Meany Crest way already a month ago. Goat Cirque only had bigger runnels near the flatter bottom otherwise good.

Sunny day but after turning corner to Goat Cirque a cold breeze came up enough to justify shirt sleeves. On top part of Glacier needed shell gear even, and hats and glove for the ski. Not that summery feel of other recent tours but the snow was great, if it was the wind that removed all stickiness possibility I'll take it. It was possible to ski continously from Crest top to the creek crossing at Summerland via the Goat Cirque way with the exception of a rock band near pools. Descended at 5:30 PM and got great evening light. Some interesting solar optics from ice crystals near Rainier, sun dogs and halos.

Tried a new to me drop of the steepest headwall of the "handle" part of the glacier that ends at the meltwater pools above Goat Cirque. Great higher angle turns, a nice change of pace from the otherwise mellow slopes. In Goat Cirque I should've taken the classic steeper chute and ended up skiing something just as steep but more riddled with holes. Won't do that again.

No other skiers seen today. Not many recent ski tracks. No goats seen but plenty of poop and tracks, and the reek of goat was particularly strong on certain parts of the glacier. Occasional iceworms but not the crazy emergences you sometimes see on an evening ski. Marmots were out and feisty. Some flowers but Summerland proper still has that compressed look from recent emergence.

Conditions not goot for skinning so mostly booted. Yeah I could have skied from the bumper at Paradise but have done Muir environs thrice already this summer. This tour delivered almost 70% JOM which wold have been excellent for any 'normal' summer.  Snow on E side Rainier does seem to be receding to point where it's closer to typical than the obviously extraordinary amount of snow @ Paradise.
ron j

Posts: 2595

Re: August 12, 2011, Fryingpan and Whitman Crest
« Reply #1 on: 08/13/11, 12:37 PM »

Nice report, Wolfs.

"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." - Niels Bohr
"If a given person makes it a priority not to die in an avalanche, he or she stands a very good chance of living a long, happy life in the mountains." - Jill Fredston

Posts: 48

Re: August 12, 2011, Fryingpan and Whitman Crest
« Reply #2 on: 08/13/11, 03:45 PM »

Thanks for sharing.  I love the second pic.

Posts: 479

Re: August 12, 2011, Fryingpan and Whitman Crest
« Reply #3 on: 08/14/11, 01:38 PM »

Nice!  The Fryingpan area via Goat Cirque is beautiful!

There is nothing more practical in the end than the preservation of beauty." - Theodore Roosevelt
all mtn

Posts: 462

Re: August 12, 2011, Fryingpan and Whitman Crest
« Reply #4 on: 08/28/11, 12:21 PM »

   looks similar to the aftn light I get on Mt Lassen (NE aspect) * * *
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