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| |-+  May 2005 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  May 10, 2005, Frying Pan Glacier
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Author Topic: May 10, 2005, Frying Pan Glacier  (Read 2577 times)

Posts: 1224

May 10, 2005, Frying Pan Glacier
« on: 05/11/05, 04:57 AM »

When I got home from work around 2:00 AM Tuesday, the pouring rain didn't look promising, but Tuesday was the only free midweek day and we were inspired by the weekend reports from the Frying Pan Glacier, so we decided to go for it and at least hike up to the snow with our skis.

Fortunately, the weather cleared up for a while and we enjoyed some hot weather and blue skies on the somewhat muddy hike in. Started skinning right after the log bridge with the baling wire rail, following the tracks of the weekend group for the most part; traction was pretty good, at least in a straight line with the corn giving way fairly easily on steeper traverses. Little Tahoma looked like it will be sweet, Amar, after this wet snow consolidates.

When we got to the steep part of the ridge, we were able to use the boot track from Saturday- thanks, Kam & Co.! - although the bottom hundred feet or so were wiped out by a wet snow slide and required funky post-holing.

It was HOT on the upper snowfield, with Kevin's watch registering 86 degrees (84 degrees when strapped to his pack) and we sweated like the proverbial swine. At around 8,200 ft., however, the clouds moved in swiftly and it started SNOWING, with visibility going down to about 30 ft. by the time we got to the top of the Knob.

Sorry, no ski pictures. The 3-4 inches of wet fresh in 20ft. visibility, on top of a pile of rain-saturated corn mush (polenta?) made for some interesting skiing - the mellow slopes on the upper snowfield gave up some good turns, which would have been fun with any visibility - we basically followed our skin tracks and GPS's down. The steeper chutes near the boot up section and further down required doing a slipping ski cut about the width of your projected path and watching the top 6 inches or so of the snowpack rumble down in slow motion (well, it got moving pretty fast near the bottom), then following it down on clean corn. Kind of entertaining when you got to the bottom and realized it was still moving underfoot.

It was pouring rain below about 6,500 ft. and the hike out was a slog, but the Frying Pan itself was very cool - definitely a nice alternative to the south side of Rainier, and a much quicker drive from Seattle!

« Last Edit: 05/11/05, 05:40 AM by gregL » Logged

Posts: 511

Re: May 10, 2005, Frying Pan Glacier
« Reply #1 on: 05/11/05, 07:21 AM »

Greg and Kevin:  glad to hear you guys went up there, even though conditions were less than ideal.  nice pictures though and thanks for sharing.  Greg, are busy on Friday?

What do you mean you didn't bring skis?

Posts: 1224

Re: May 10, 2005, Frying Pan Glacier
« Reply #2 on: 05/11/05, 10:39 AM »

Sorry Kam,working a double shift Friday - see you at Glacier Travel class on Saturday . . .
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