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| | |-+  April 21-23 Tahoma Glacier Scouting mission
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Author Topic: April 21-23 Tahoma Glacier Scouting mission  (Read 1297 times)

Posts: 94

April 21-23 Tahoma Glacier Scouting mission
« on: 05/12/18, 11:16 AM »

Gavin, Rich, and Rob headed off to the wild west side of Rainier for a casual 3 day skiing and scouting mission for the Tahoma Glacier route on Rainier.  We parked on the west side road, which in early spring was still gated down low at about 2200'.  We hiked with skis on packs for about 2 miles until there was just enough snow on the road to skin the next 2 miles to the washed out Tahoma Creek trail.  We could (and maybe should) have skinned all the way to the Puyallup trail another 4 miles, but getting on trail was too attractive and this WAS a scouting and adventure mission.  Following trail was impossible, and skiing in the creek had its own challenges with intermittent snow and MANY creek crossings.

A challenging mud climb near a bridge crossing a skinny section of the Tahoma Creek was recommended, so we climbed the mud slope to re-gain the trail, which from here was all snow thankfully.

We made much better time to our camp at 5,600 feet at a local high point on the Wonderland Trail and our home for the next two nights.  Sadly, it took us 5-6 hours to reach approximately the elevation of Paradise!  We spent the evening digging in from the brisk wind and intermittent snow showers, building a dining table, and eating.  Gavin's new Mountain Hardware tent was great - albeit very cozy! 

We had a chill morning and a chill day climbing and skinning up the Tahoma Glacier and across towards the Puyallup Cleaver.  Gaining the Cleaver was pretty straight-forward, and climbing the ridgeline toward St Andrews rock was picturesque and really fun!

We topped out somewhere around 9,000 feet, had a nice lunch, admired the impressive and dominating face of the Tahoma and Puyallup above us, and had a really nice ski all the way down past camp to about 5,200’.  Though we roped up on the climb, there weren’t many crevasses on our route, so we skied with ropes in our packs. 

We had a super relaxing afternoon in warm sunshine and naps were had by all. 

Skiing out initially on the rib ended in cliffs, so after a short 200’ climb back to camp and a drop down onto the Puyallup Glacier, the skiing down the Puyallup Creek was super straight-forward and only ended up with one minor bit of Shenanigans to get out of the creek and onto the trail where the Puyallup trail meets the Wonderland.  Another few hundred feet of descent, and then we skinned up near some wild volcanic rock and climbed 500’ to get to Round Pass.  From here, we were able to pretty much slide all the way past the Tahoma trail and nearly to the point where we had initially skinned up.  We’d lost several inches of snow since we started two days before.

Nearly 3 days on Rainier, and we didn’t see a soul out there.  Pretty amazing that you can get so remote when there were hundreds of people skinning and climbing up to Muir on the exact same weekend!  The up and over route with a descent of the Tahoma Glacier looks pretty amazing for a competent and strong party.  Carrying all your gear over the mountain and skiing with it would make for some hard days!

After spending an hour trying to post this with pictures, I recall why I don't use this site much any more and Facebook is taking over.  If someone can tell me the secret for how you post rad pictures on TAY, I'll add them!


Posts: 777

Re: April 21-23 Tahoma Glacier Scouting mission
« Reply #1 on: 05/14/18, 02:25 PM »

That's really cool, thanks for posting.
Sorry the image upload isn't working for you. It is frustratingly difficult to keep using this old software. I hear there is an update in the works (?). Secret is to resize and make sure they aren't too large (in Kb).
« Last Edit: 05/14/18, 02:28 PM by kamtron » Logged
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