Forum Index > Trip Reports > Little Tahoma Peak 11,136'  5/13/10
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raising3hikers
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PostThu May 13, 2010 9:58 pm 
Note-a solo climb of Little Tahoma requires permission from the superintendent of Mount Rainier National Park.  It can be a very dangerous climb, it crosses several glaciers and has some loose volcanic rock.  Please know what you're doing if trying to do this solo, partners recommended


I woke up early and left for Paradise to try and climb Little Tahoma.  I've looked at it many times and have studied the routes for a long time and it was time to go for it.

I arrived at the parking lot at 7:15 a.m. to a little fox wandering around.  It didn't wait for me to take a picture though.  I got my stuff ready and headed up the hills toward Camp Muir.  I was making good time until I was right below Anvil Rock.  Here, I had to lose elevation and traverse the Paradise and Cowlitz glaciers.  I had to stay high enough for a while then aim for the flat spot above the Cowlitz crevasses and ice falls. I hated losing the hard fought elevation, so my pace slowed down a bit.  I looped around the crevasses to the other side where I had to go up a small ridge to get to the Ingraham glacier.

Cowlitz glacier
Cowlitz glacier
Little Tahoma Peak
Little Tahoma Peak

I reached to Ingraham glacier and pretty much had to do the same thing as I did on the Cowlitz.  Loop around the crevasses by aiming for the flat spots on the glacier where the crevasses are compacted together before they open up at the slope below.

serac on the Ingraham glacier
serac on the Ingraham glacier
Ingraham glacier
Ingraham glacier

I had to climb up a steep snow slope to get to the Whitman glacier and start gaining elevation again.   I stayed to the side of the glacier as I made my way towards the summit.  I was slowing down quite a bit by now but kept at it.  At about 800' from the top, I was energized by being so close to the top, it seemed to fly by.  I was soon right below the summit, where I took my snowshoes off and scrambled the rest of the way to the top.  I didn't stay there long but I definitely enjoyed the views.

looking down at the crevasses on the Ingraham glacier
looking down at the crevasses on the Ingraham glacier
Gibralter Rock
Gibralter Rock
Rainier
Rainier
summit shot
summit shot
Emmons glacier
Emmons glacier
gulley to the summit
gulley to the summit

It's hard to imagine that Little Tahoma is the 3rd highest peak in the state when it's dwarfed by it's much bigger neighbor.   I returned the same way and enjoyed some nice glissading.  Lots of fun to sit and go down hill rather than walk it.

Ingraham glacier to the summit of Rainier
Ingraham glacier to the summit of Rainier
snow slides
snow slides

I'm worn out!

13.5 miles
6800' gain
9.5 hours

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Tazz
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PostThu May 13, 2010 10:04 pm 
borank.gif NICE!

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Josh Lewis
Send that Summit



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PostThu May 13, 2010 10:14 pm 
Awesome trip report!  up.gif  up.gif  biggrin.gif I've wanted to do this for a while, that's it, time for a new thread.  wink.gif

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mtn.climber
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PostThu May 13, 2010 10:15 pm 
Sounded like a great day. up.gif  up.gif

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Layback
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PostThu May 13, 2010 10:18 pm 
Dang man.  That's movin'!   up.gif

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coach
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PostThu May 13, 2010 10:22 pm 
awesome report, looks like you had perfect weather  up.gif

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joker
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PostThu May 13, 2010 11:47 pm 
That's a nice push. Solo, no ropes? Did you have to deal with much loose rock? I've heard that at least by June it can be a tad intriguing, especially with a group.

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raising3hikers
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PostFri May 14, 2010 7:18 am 
joker wrote:
That's a nice push. Solo, no ropes? Did you have to deal with much loose rock? I've heard that at least by June it can be a tad intriguing, especially with a group.

I brought along some slings and a rope in case I needed to rappel from the top or anywhere else but never used them.  I took my time to find the right holds up and down that last gulley.  I also had a picket and ice screws with me for any other situation I might find myself in.

The rock was loose and crumbly where it was exposed.  I imagine the last few steep slopes, 200' from the top, become very tough when the snow is gone.  I could see where a lot of sliding and falling rocks could be a problem with multiple peolpe going at the same time.

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Gregor
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PostFri May 14, 2010 8:48 am 
how wet and sloppy was the snow?

any of the slopes look particularly avi prone? like the slope leading up to the summit gully, or the slope getting op over lower cathedral rocks, etc..

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iron
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PostFri May 14, 2010 9:02 am 
glad to see your back is healing well smile.gif

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raising3hikers
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PostFri May 14, 2010 12:38 pm 
gregor-The snow wasn't too bad for most of the day.  It was worst on the way back down from below Anvil rock to Paradise.  As far as some avy prone slopes,  I thought the upper Whitman from about 9500'-10000' might have some avy potential, there were some small slides on the northern side of the glacier.  I stayed as close as I could to the big rocky ridge on the south side of the glacier, so I wouldn't be in the middle of the slope.  The last few hundred feet to the top was steep but it had many exposed rocks and boulders that I traveled by in case of a slide.  The snow wasn't too deep here, I think that area melts out pretty fast because the sun is on it most of the day.  The worst spot was right below the summit gulley where there was only a couple feet of snow and it was a little loose.  I could feel the rocks below with my ax.  Overall, it seemed that the small slides I saw were only a few inches deep off of the main layer.  I dug down and had firm snow underneath it.


iron-thanks, it's been a little over 6 weeks now since I broke my back and it is recovering nicely.  The muscles are a little sore today but it needed a good workout to get back in shape.

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Tom_Sjolseth
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PostFri May 14, 2010 1:43 pm 
Wow, I had no idea you broke your back!  Nice recovery after 6 weeks!

Thanks for the TR and glad you're feeling better.   up.gif

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silence
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PostFri May 14, 2010 1:47 pm 
eric .. you continue to amaze me with your drive and energy ... and spirit of adventure ... you are my hero  wink.gif

funny we were both on the mountain (and the muir snowfield) at the same time again .. i was actually thinking about you yesterday as i climbed .. btw i got the old man up there this time .. yay!

o .. i forgot .. congrats on a job well done .. and your pix rock!

ps .. i didn't realize you had a broken back .. i've been away .. robert said something about a dislocated disc .. or some such .. man you have made a fast recovery .. sooo happy you're back at it again .. no pun intended  wink.gif

pss .. wow .. i just put 2 n 2 together .. 9.5 hrs .. awesome speed ... as always

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Scrooge
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PostFri May 14, 2010 2:59 pm 
You broke your back and six week later your climbing almost a vertical mile on ice and rotten rock?          eek.gif  dizzy.gif


Eric, the climb is awesome/ridiculous (choose one), but what I'm interested in is the glaciers (and their crevasses). Did you get any more pics while you were crossing the Paradise, Cowlitz, and Ingraham?

Top of Cowlitz Ice Fall, 08-05-09
Top of Cowlitz Ice Fall, 08-05-09

A GPS map of your crossing route would be nice, too, but I suspect you don't use one.

I've been following you in that area since you went up to Cowlitz Rock with the boys,
but your routes are getting trickier.
           wink.gif

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raising3hikers
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PostFri May 14, 2010 3:44 pm 
Scrooge-I took a few more glacier pics.  I always use my GPS but can't transfer the route to my computer anymore.  It stopped doing that about 6 months ago.  If you have a map of the area, both crossings were similar in that they were almost horseshoe shaped in the 8600'-9000' elevation range with the emphasis to spend most of the time where it's flat at the middle part of the glacier.

right above the Cowlitz ice fall
right above the Cowlitz ice fall
Cowlitz
Cowlitz
upper Cowlitz
upper Cowlitz
below Ingraham flats, climbers tracks above it
below Ingraham flats, climbers tracks above it

silence-way to get him up to Muir, such a great day for it!  Looked busy as I could see many climbers on the Ingraham route.   Yeah, I broke my L1 in a 2 story fall but at least all my disks are all right.  I lost 7mm on the front part of that vertebrea that I'll never get back but I'm recovering fine

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