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+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2007 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  July 2007 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  July 4, 2007 Fryingpan Glacier and Whitman Crest
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Author Topic: July 4, 2007 Fryingpan Glacier and Whitman Crest  (Read 2665 times)

Posts: 144

July 4, 2007 Fryingpan Glacier and Whitman Crest
« on: 07/05/07, 07:46 PM »

After plans for an Emmons climb fell through, a solo jaunt to nail July turns was in order. Leaving the Fryingpan trail head at 8:20 on a stellar July morning, the hike in trail shoes went quickly up to Summerland. Looking for a change of routine I skinned towards Panhandle gap a little way before contouring right into Summerland cirque (does this area have a proper name?). Climbers left provided an easy ascent up the cirque, angling right towards the glacier at the top. Three short scree carries were necessary until continuous snow could be skinned to the top of Whitman crest at about 9,300. Conditions were perfect on this hot lowland day, with distant views, blue skies and solitude. Steeper rollers gave the best skiing down, with firm snow. The flats were a little sticky. A short carry at Summerland meadows to a snow finger took me to the trail at around 5,300 (Ascending this way would have worked too). 4,000 of good corn harvest in early July made for great memories on the chug down the trail. Back to a roasting car at 3:15, the jerry jug of water Id brought for a rinse was like hot tap water. Ah summer!

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Posts: 1090

Re: July 4, 2007 Fryingpan Glacier and Whitman C
« Reply #1 on: 07/07/07, 12:10 PM »

Tomski from Colorado (334 consecutive months) and I did this same trip yesterday (July 6) and found the same conditions. The slope right below Whitman Crest was the best, the large steep roll at the base of Fryingpan Glacier very good, and I started down Tony's route into that cirque ("Goat Cirque"??) but chickened out with all the rocks and cracks below and traversed right to a more open line (I was skiing with my joke boots, which don't inspire a lot of confidence on steep exposed runs). The flatter areas were definitely a bit sticky - the kind of snow where it works best to always be turning a little so that the skis are not flat on the snow. That must be some kind of "suction" phenomenon due to all the liquid water in the snow?

The traditional route directly up to Meany Crest from Summerland looked like it might still go through on snow, but not for much longer and there are now a lot of rocks poking through at the very top of the slope.

Miraculously, there is now a new log bridge in over Fryingpan Creek, making that crossing a non-issue. Good thing too, because in the afternoon the creek was really up and the convenient crossing rocks were all under water. Even more amazing, a good deal of the first mile of the trail (in forest) had actually been raked! No needles, no cones, no little rocks. Glad that the NPS budget allows for such important trail maintenance activities.

Posts: 536

Re: July 4, 2007 Fryingpan Glacier and Whitman Crest
« Reply #2 on: 07/07/07, 07:19 PM »

Well that answers some questions for me. I got to Whitman Crest this morning at about 10:30am by climbing to Meany Crest from Summerland and saw all of your turns. I guess I should have checked here first. The Meany route doesn't offer a continuous ski anymore, it would require two short carries to ski down this way (one at Meany Crest, and another on the rocky ridge at the bottom of the bowl below it), although one could eek out a little more vert and ski almost to Fryingpan Creek on this route. After seeing your turns I decided to follow your route and explore some new, to me anyway, terrain. I skied down just before 11am and the snow was nice corn, only minor sloughing on some of the steeper sections. I had one short carry, just about 20 feet across a rocky ridge, trying to follow where you all had skied. Beautiful blue sky day, not too warm, and the wind was pretty slight. I saw one skier heading up the trail on my way out. I don't think we tracked it out too much for him.

Posts: 144

Re: July 4, 2007 Fryingpan Glacier and Whitman Crest
« Reply #3 on: 07/07/07, 10:19 PM »

Charles - "Goat Cirque" is a pretty good name. I saw a herd of 21 in there last summer. None this time though, but there were footprints on the glacier!
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