July 3-4, 2007, Mt Rainier, Emmons-Winthrop Route

7/3/07
WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
9730
5
Posted by Amar Andalkar on 7/5/07 3:29am
Brief Summary:
Drew (aka korup) and I skied the Emmons-Winthrop route in a day (and a bit). The trail to Glacier Basin is obviously much improved since Memorial Day, but still consists of very rough boulder hopping and dozens of stream crossings for the first mile-plus, with many skier-incompatible low-hanging tree branches. Reached continuous snow at 6450 ft about 1/2 mile past Glacier Basin. The crossing from Inter Glacier to Emmons Glacier is still all snow, but is no longer a nice traverse and involves a short steep descent dropping 100 ft, which will probably melt out within days.

The Emmons-Winthrop route has excellent snow coverage, but also has many, many thinly bridged crevasses due to all of the recent June snowfall. The current bootpack is much steeper than most years, but follows a very direct line to the summit with no bergschrund problems yet. Skied off of Columbia Crest at 2:45 PM in 35-40 mph SW winds. Snow conditions up high (above 12500 ft) consisted of nice firm wind-packed powder, easily skiable with little or no ice. Small patches of corn snow were found on the summit dome above 14000 ft, and then much lower down the snow transitioned to decent corn from about 12500 to 11000 ft. This changed to heavy, semi-unconsolidated mush below 11000 ft, but still smooth on the Emmons. In contrast, the Inter Glacier is not smooth at all, heavily runneled and suncupped throughout, with a widespread thin surface coating of brown ash.

An excellent trip, but we were both completely exhausted after dealing with the difficult snow conditions on the Inter. The hike out on the rough "trail" was somewhat miserable and painful. A total of about 10700 ft of ascent (counting ups and downs) for 8100 vertical ft of ski descent, in under 27 hours car-to-car.

Slightly More Detailed Report:

To follow, along with photos . . . or maybe just some photos . . .


Wow, congrats to you and my old friend Korup. Very impressive vertical in a day, I feel tired just thinking about all that uphill. :)
Nice work guys.

You guys are hard-core!  That kinda vert would land me in the ER!  Nice work ;)
And what a difference a week makes for the Inter, yikes

Thanks guys! It was a heck of a trip, and I finally got to see the summit crater in all of its glory!  I'll post some photos in a bit.

I'm impressed.

that kinda makes Dege look whimpy 8)....nice job!

Reply to this TR

4245
july-3-4-2007-mt-rainier-emmons-winthrop-route
Amar Andalkar
2007-07-05 10:29:39