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Russell and Flett Glaciers (MRNP)

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by iluka on 7/1/23 9:48pm

The gate to Mowich is still closed (due to open on 7/7) but the road is completely snow free so I opted to ride my bike up from the locked gate and head out to the Russell Glacier today. The trail into Spray Park is entirely snow free as is a good part of the climbers trail to the base of the Flett Glacier. There are a few longish patches of snow along the way but it's all discontinuous and not worth putting on skis until the base of the glacier. The largely dry climbers trail makes for fast travel. Once the skis are on, there are two carries needed to get over to the Russell -- one longish one at the top of the Flett to get over to the snow between Echo and Observation Rocks and then a short one to get onto the Russell Glacier. The Russell Glacier is well-filled in with only a few easily avoided small cracks showing off to the sides. The Russell has some sun cups and runnels but around noon-1PM, it was soft enough that it skied well from 9400 feet down to where it flattens out in the 7000 foot range. The Flett had some small suncups (smaller than on the Russell) as well and also skied well on the way out. Overall, aside from the two carries which may get a bit longer in the coming days, things look they should still be in relatively good shape when the gate opens later this coming week. 


Flett Glacier


Russell Glacier


Russell Glacier from Above


Nice.  Thanks for the info and pictures - hoping to get out there this weekend (it will be more crowded).

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2023-07-02 04:48:55