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Frying Pan Glacier (MRNP)

5/29/07
WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
748
1
Posted by iluka on 5/30/23 9:31pm

Now that the road to White River CG is open, I figured I'd check out conditions on the Frying Pan Glacier today. Snow patches of varying lengths start  shortly after the trailhead but nearly continuous snow doesn't start until about 2.5 miles in on the trail. Those who are dedicated to having their skis on their feet as much as possible on every tour might opt to ski from and ski out to there but there are enough bare patches and other obstacles along the way to Summerland that one might as well walk to the bridge.  None of the side creek crossings posed any issues. The bridge across Frying Pan Creek is still standing with the only issue being getting across the water in the side channel to get to the bridge. At 2PM today on the way out, it was still possible to rock hop without getting one's feet wet. Once across the bridge, there is continuous snow. There are still snow bridges across the creek higher up towards Summerland but those will not be around for long based on their appearance today. The lower part of Summerland as you start to climb up to the Frying Pan is a mess with a big field of old avalanche debris that was quite the pain to move through. It's possible to skirt around it by going far to climbers right for a bit. The other snow in the lower basin has a lot of suncups and some mild runnels which made skinning a bit of a pain. Up higher, there are solid boot packs up the steeper portions of both routes up to the glacier. Once on the glacier itself, skinning conditions improved significantly compared to lower down in Summerland. Things were corned up by about 11AM but with the cool temps and high clouds, the snow still skied really well at 1PM. The surface is in great shape with some small suncups that posed no problems for the skiing. If you're looking fo some extra turns and elevation, the east facing slope down towards the Ohanepecosh Glaciers also skied really well in the late morning. It's possible to find continuous snow on the steep descent off the Frying Pan Glacier back to Summerland, although some holes around the rocks are starting to open. As one gets lower, the sun cups and runnels made for less appealing turns.  

 

Thanks for the report!


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69485
frying-pan-glacier-mrnp
iluka
2023-05-31 04:31:35